L.A. ZOO Lights

On Friday, my family and I experienced L.A. ZOO Lights, a walk-through show of colorful holiday light displays through a section of the Los Angeles Zoo. While the animals slept, we strolled through the dazzling decor which accented the walkways and animal themed art.

Arrive Early

We arrived a little past 6pm, when they opened. The line wrapped around at least three times and it took us about 30 minutes to get in. I would suggest bringing a stroller (which we forgot), and definitely comfortable walking shoes and warm clothes.

Bring your DSLR if you have one

L.A. Zoo Lights is a great event to flex your camera skills. I took pictures with both my Samsung Galaxy S8 and my Canon EOS 70D. Most of the photos in this post are from the Canon EOS 70D.

Twinkle Tunnel is worth the wait

There is another line inside, which is for the Twinkle Tunnel. It’s definitely worth the wait. My tip is to head straight to the Twinkle Tunnel line after entering the zoo. That way, you can enjoy it first, then take your time checking out the rest of the light displays. Twinkle Tunnel is a great place to take fun family selfies.

p.s. Another line with a wait is the carousel, which we didn’t ride. But it did look really cool against all the lights!

The Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree is lit from top to bottom. It’s easy to be mesmerized by it after walking through the gates, but I think a cooler view of it is on the way out, from this view (pictured above), with the snowflakes visible in the background.

Animal Art

The animals are asleep, but animal art surrounds you on the whimsical lit path. These frogs are made of recycled water bottles, and the lights change colors.

The elephant statue guards the sleeping elephants behind it.

There were a series of animal-inspired snowflake designs at the end. It was a fun animal guessing game to play with my daughter.


Reindeer were awake for viewing. We saw four.

Food and Beverage Options

There are plenty of snack and beverage options open during L.A. Zoo Lights. We saw beer stands, wine bars, and hot beverages as well. I loved the smell of churros in the air!


We didn’t see Santa, but he is there on select nights. According to the website,

“Santa will be available for photos November 17–19, November 24-26 and December 1–December 23, from 6–9:30 p.m.

Please note that photos with Santa require an additional fee and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Photo packages start at $26.99. Long lines are possible.”

More photos

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L.A. Zoo Lights

L.A. Zoo Lights runs from November 17th through January 7th at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens. It requires a separate ticket from the zoo, as it is it’s own exhibit. Please visit the website for more information, such as hours, pricing, and more.


The Los Angeles Zoo is located at the northeast corner of Griffith Park at the junction of the I-5 (Golden State) and the 134 (Ventura) freeways. The Zoo is directly across from the Autry Museum of Western Heritage at 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA, 90027.


Disclaimer: Westside Mommy attended as a member of the media and received complimentary tickets in order to facilitate this review. No monetary compensation was made for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.