’Tis the Season: All New L.A. Zoo Lights Debut!

New in the Zoo
November 1, 2019
Zoo Update with Tom Jacobson
November 1, 2019

Now in its sixth year, L.A. Zoo Lights, which makes its 2019 debut on November 15, will present guests with an exciting mélange of holiday traditions, technology, and illuminated—and illuminating—animal characters.

A dazzling display of rainbow snowflakes, shimmering lights, and luminous palms greets you before you reach the entry plaza. The journey through the Zoo's wild winter wonderland is complemented by a vibrant soundscape, and illuminated signs at key points along the adventure will provide guidance and highlight some of the special new features.


The holiday festivities start with the world's largest illuminated pop-up storybook display, which features a majestic 26-foot-tall tree springing out of the center of the book, adorned by colorful macaws and whimsically sprawling up into the sky. Below, a gigantic story book lies open, its illuminated pages ready to spark the imagination of Zoo visitors. Meerkats, frogs, and lions pass holiday lights around to decorate the tree while mischievous tigers are more interested in pawing at glowing orbs.

As you pass through the International Marketplace, an impressive tapestry of tropical greenery–including ferns, flowers, and moss–will announce L.A.Zoo Lights, creating the perfect festive photo op for holiday greeting cards and social media posts.


The illuminated Cycad Garden will become the habitat for beautifully hand-sculpted silk lanterns in the form of orangutans and tigers. Meerkats are in on the holiday spirit as well, with seasonal adornments for the succulents in their home. Not to be outdone, the flamingo exhibit will feature super-sized sculpted pink flamingos with washes of light that celebrate everything pink. The wishing well is now a colorful array of spiraling lights that will mesmerize well-wishers.


A holiday makeover has transformed the LAIR into a magical world of wonders. A colorful snake welcomes you to a black-light party full of fascinating diversions. Later, a giant Brazilian wandering spider greets guests from a massive 80-foot web.


After taking in the popular water-and-laser show, stroll a path where butterflies twinkle and five iconic stained-glass animals glow on your way to Elephant Circle, where a one-of-a-kind interactive sound trail awaits. Walls of lights on the left and right of the walkway dance and move to the sound of voices and music.


If you missed the superbloom that took place after last winter's heavy rains, you can catch an L.A. Zoo Lights re-creation, with illuminated butterflies showing up their nocturnal moth cousins by glowing through the night.


Although the frogs usually dominate the Rainforest of the Americas at L.A. Zoo Lights, dragonflies are sharing the spotlight this year, soaring over brilliant new frog lanterns and oversized flowers for a magical reimagining of the rainforest ecosystem.

This year, the Twinkle Tunnel experience is a tremendous 225-foot winding path that offers three different tunnel experiences. The first section is a blanket of white lights with accents of purples, pinks, and blues. The second is a massive rainbow of colors floating on white clouds of light. The third is a blanket of warm white light with decorative fairy lights arching throughout.


After emerging from the tunnel of lights, you'll encounter a completely re-imagined version of the popular illuminated elephant sculpture display, where video-mapping technology projects a mesmerizing array of holiday designs. The grand finale of color and motion is too remarkable for words-a holiday surprise best experienced in person.

Tickets for L.A. Zoo Lights are on sale now. For more information, visit lazoolights.org.