L.A. Zoo Lights Returns Bigger and Brighter for 2015 Holiday Season

PHOTO CREDIT: Jamie PhamWith the flick of a switch that illuminates a dazzling wonderland, L.A. ZOO LIGHTS returns bigger, better and even more spectacular as it heralds a new standard for nighttime magic at the Los Angeles Zoo from Friday, November 27, 2015, through Sunday, January 3, 2016. With awe-inspiring features providing a brand-new spin on holiday lights in Griffith Park, L.A. ZOO LIGHTS sets the Zoo’s enchanting environment aglow with breathtaking displays, among them thousands upon thousands of LED lights, flurries of illuminated snowflakes, stunning 3-D animated projections and glittering light tunnels. A fanciful menagerie of animal characters include mischievous animated monkeys scampering through the grounds, a glowing 130-foot snake coiled on a roof, a hillside with snowboarding “lizards,” 3-D animated elephants wearing colorful holiday sweaters, an origami-type rhino lit from within and so much more. L.A. ZOO LIGHTS is open every night, except Christmas Eve (December 24) and Christmas Day (December 25), from 6 to 10 pm Mondays through Thursdays, and 6 to 11 pm Fridays through Sundays and December 21 through 23.

An instant hit when it debuted last year, attracting more than 175,000 people, this year’s L.A. ZOO LIGHTS is sure to top the “holiday tradition” destination list once more, with a trove of new lights and displays for an even brighter atmosphere of wonder and delight, and unlike anything seen in L.A. before. Captivating guests for an ideal family outing, meet-up with friends or date night, L.A. ZOO LIGHTS’ self-guided 60- to 90-minute walking tour through select areas of the Zoo — while L.A. Zoo animal residents are asleep — offers a unique visitor experience that features the only opportunity in Los Angeles to see real reindeer; visits with Santa Claus on select dates; and steaming hot chocolate, irresistible churros and other holiday treats and goodies for sale. Last year, the first-ever LA ZOO LIGHTS was established by the private, non-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) as a festive new tradition.

PHOTO CREDIT: Jamie Pham

In addition to more lights, displays, décor, effects and a larger L.A. ZOO LIGHTS area in the Zoo, the event’s biggest expansion this year takes place in and around The LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles), which boasts a giant 130-foot illuminated snake gazing down from the rooftop, flicking its tongue as guests enter the building. Inside The LAIR, guests find themselves bathed in ultraviolet light with glowing webs, orbs, and “insects” of all kinds on the rock walls. In the LAIR courtyard, guests will witness snowboarding igunas on a sparkly, frosty hillside. At an equally stunning next stop, guests encounter a holiday aquatic show boasting lighted fountains and shooting screens of water with majestic projections of fanciful animations set to music. The re-imagined Santa’s Village is in an all-new, glittering alpine setting, the perfect location for magical holiday photos (available for an additional fee).

Also new this year are two VIP Experiences, including an exclusive HOLIDAY HAPPY HOUR for the 21-and-up crowd, and a FAMILY NEW YEAR’S EVE for all ages. HOLIDAY HAPPY HOUR on Saturday, December 10 features “skip-the-line” express entry to L.A. Zoo Lights with a private lounge from 6:30 to 8:30 pm boasting hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine and hot and cold specialty cocktails. Tickets for HOLIDAY HAPPY HOUR are $75 per person. FAMILY NEW YEAR’S EVE on Thursday, December 31, 6 pm, provides an opportunity to celebrate the coming of 2016 in style with “skip-the-line” express entry to L.A. Zoo Lights, dinner buffet, soft drinks, complimentary champagne for adults, sparkling apple cider for kids, dessert, a ride on the Zoo’s special conservation carousel, crafts for youngsters, DJ dance party, cash bar and live broadcast of New York’s Times Square ball drop at 9 pm, after which guests are welcome to experience L.A. Zoo Lights until closing. FAMILY NEW YEAR’S EVE tickets are $65 for adults and $40 for children, or $60 (adults) and $35 (children) for GLAZA members. Tickets for both “VIP Experiences” have limited availability, so early purchase is strongly suggested.

LA Zoo Lights Decorations PHOTO CREDIT: Jamie Pham

L.A. ZOO LIGHTS has again been developed in collaboration with art director Gregg Lacy and Bionic League, entertainment-industry partners renowned for remarkable large-scale installations for festivals, stadiums, arenas, clubs, and artists like Daft Punk, Kanye West and many others.

Sponsors of L.A. ZOO LIGHTS are 99 Cent Only Stores, Service Systems Associates, and ScholarShare. Donors include The Georgina Frederick Children’s Foundation, Beth and Joshua Friedman, Larry and Sue Ivanjack, Paramount Pictures, Donald and Susan Rice, The Shultz Family and the Employees of the Shultz Steel Company and The Simms Family Foundation.

Admission to “L.A. ZOO LIGHTS” is $13 for adults/seniors and $11 for children ages 2 to 12 on Mondays through Thursdays (except on December 21, 22 and 23 when tickets are the same as weekend prices), and $16 for adults/seniors and $14 for children ages 2 to 12 tickets on Fridays through Sundays. Tickets for GLAZA members are $11 for adults/seniors and $10 for children ages 2 to 12 on Mondays through Thursdays (except on December 21, 22 and 23 when tickets are the same as weekend prices), and $14 for adults/seniors and $13 for children ages 2 to 12 on Fridays through Sundays. Children under age 2 are free. Purchase tickets online to attend during the first week (Nov 27 – Dec 3) for the online-only Early Bird Rate of $10 each. Tickets are also available for $9 after 9 pm on select nights. Visit LAZoolights.org for details and to purchase tickets.

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