After recovering from a flu and cold respectively, Ry and I were finally able to venture out again after what seemed to be an extremely long three-week unplanned hiatus. Since there are so many light displays currently happening in SoCal that are sadly ending soon, we decided to check out L.A. Zoo Lights. I have to say, I loved it. Despite the shivering cold and Ry not being in the best of moods, I still enjoyed myself. And ultimately, Ry did too. He told me so as we were making our exit, but I think the warm and fresh kettle corn also helped.
For this seasonal attraction, a big portion of the zoo grounds is transformed into a magical realm of illumination featuring 3D projections, animal-themed LEDs, lasers, and animated displays. New this year is a dazzling water and light show choreographed to music and a black light party at the reptile house. There are also a few reindeer on hand for viewing – really the only other animals you’re allowed to see during this evening event besides the critters at LAIR.
Some of our favorite displays from Lights would have to be the green lit pathway encountered upon entering the zoo. The silver colored disco balls with purple lit trees, as well as the bigger spheres enrobed in white or blue lights were simply mesmerizing. The twinkling lights tunnel towards the end of our stroll was also fabulous. And as an added bonus, you’re greeted with falling snow after exiting the tunnel. I actually didn’t even realize it until Ry excitedly pointed it out to me. Additionally, the water show was a nice attraction. And how can I forget the tree with the cascading green lights. I’m not an arborist, but I’m gonna guess it’s a banyan tree? Please tell me if you know what it is (see photo below).
L.A. Zoo Lights runs through January 8th and then the lights are switched off until next year. It really is festive and fun and a wonderful wintry experience for the entire family. Just dressed warmly and you’ll have a lovely time.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Admission to L.A. Zoo Lights is separate from daytime general zoo admission. There is a convenience fee of $1.10 per ticket when purchased online. Groupon is also currently offering discounted tickets. Zoo Lights takes place nightly from 6pm to 10pm.
December 16 – January 1
Adults (13+): $18
Children (2 – 12): $14
Younger than 2: Free
January 2 – 8
Adults (13+): $14
Children (2 – 12): $11
Younger than 2: Free
Parking is free, but you may find yourself driving around a while to find a spot.
Food is available for purchase at several eateries throughout the zoo. There are also vendors selling snack items such as hot cocoa, warm churros, freshly popped kettle corn, and roasted nuts. For the adults, alcoholic bevys are sold at some of the cafes and I also did notice a separate cocktail stand. Sadly, when we went to eat at Zoo Grill at approximately 8pm, the selection of kids’ meals was thin since they had run out of a few items. Since there were still a few hours left to the event they really just should have made more, but the staff didn’t appear interested in doing so. This is perhaps my one complaint of our night’s experience.
- Even in Los Angeles, it can get chilly out at night in the wintertime, so be sure to dress warmly.
- Feel free to bring strollers or wagons for the little ones. But if you happen to forget yours, strollers are available for rent on a first come first served basis.
- This event occurs rain or shine.
- More FAQs can be found here.
Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens
5333 Zoo Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027