6 to 10 pm
Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens
FAMILY NEW YEAR'S EVE takes place in addition to regular admission and hours as L.A. Zoo Lights captivates guests with a self-guided 60- to 90-minute walking tour through select areas of the Zoo. While most animal residents are asleep, visitors can enjoy the only opportunity in Los Angeles to see a herd of real reindeer in their "Reindeer Village" habitat. Other live animals on view are a multitude of amphibians, invertebrates and reptiles in the LAIR, which also boasts black-lit "insects" scurrying above the rock walls. An inventive collection of animals depicted in lights range from frogs, meerkats, flamingos and monkeys to a glowing savanna with a "stained glass" condor, giraffe, elephant, polar bear, and rhino.
Awarded USA Today's "10 Best Zoo Lights" honors in 2015 and 2016 – and nominated again for 2017 – Los Angeles' holiday "must" destination under the stars sets the Zoo aglow with LED lights by the thousands, a disco ball forest, glittering twinkle tunnel, stunning 3-D animated projections and much more. A burst of breathtaking new features raises the bar for awe-inspiring nighttime holiday delight, among them a dynamic, musical holiday tree experience, a reimagined water show, a glittering “North Pole” setting for Santa photos, glowing “Northern Lights” featuring animal constellations that come to life, and an all-new “Wild Wonderland” finale spotlighting endangered and vulnerable species.
Sponsors of L.A. Zoo Lights include Service Systems Associates, 99 Cents Only Stores, SoCal Honda Dealers, Welk Resorts, Cirque du Soleil’s LUZIA and ScholarShare. Media Sponsor is KCRW. Denny’s also joins as a first time sponsor.
The landmark Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, drawing nearly 1.8 million visitors each year, is home to a diverse collection of 1,100 animals representing 250 different species, many of which are rare or endangered, as well as a botanical collection comprising over 800 different plant species with approximately 7,000 individual plants. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), whose members meet rigorous professional standards for animal welfare, the Zoo has achieved renown as an international leader in the preservation of endangered species and a conservation center for the care and study of wildlife. Its responsibility toward wildlife conservation not only encompasses safeguarding the animals in its care but also actively participating in the preservation of some of the world’s most critically endangered species and their habitats. Its many conservation successes include having led the charge in saving California condors from extinction and restoring populations of these critically endangered animals to their native habitats. The Zoo's lush grounds on 113 acres feature Rainforest of the Americas, an extraordinary collection of endangered and exotic mammals, reptiles, fish and amphibians living in spaces that exemplify their natural habitat in the rainforest biosphere; Chimpanzees of Mahale Mountains, home to one of the largest troops of chimpanzees in the United States; Red Ape Rain Forest, where visitors can walk among orangutans; the LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles); Elephants of Asia; Campo Gorilla Reserve; and one of the largest flocks of flamingos in any zoo in the world. Among other highlights are an extraordinary, hands-on Hippo Encounter and face-to-face Giraffe Feedings; the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo and Muriel's Ranch animal contact area; the Tom Mankiewicz Conservation Carousel; a variety of daily opportunities to learn more about animals, including close-up visits, special feedings and intriguing talks; and much more. The private, non-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA), which has supported the Zoo in partnership with the City of Los Angeles for more than five decades and provides funding for and operates seven essential Zoo departments, has 60,000 member households representing more than 240,000 adults and children. As evidence of the Zoo's popularity, GLAZA attracts one of the largest membership bases of any cultural organization in Los Angeles.
FAMILY NEW YEAR'S EVE tickets are $69 for adults (13+) and $45 for children (2-12), or $64 and $40 for GLAZA members. Family New Year’s Eve benefits require a separate ticket, even for L.A. Zoo Lights Season Pass holders. All L.A. Zoo Lights events and evenings take place on a "rain-or-shine" basis, with no rain checks issued. Visit LAZoolights.org for details and to purchase tickets. To become a GLAZA member and receive discounted ticket pricing, go to www.lazoo.org/membership or call 323-644-4747.
The Los Angeles Zoo is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways, at 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90027, 323-644-4200. Free parking is available. For additional information about L.A. Zoo Lights, call 866-949-8007; call center hours are 8 am to 8 pm, seven days a week. For tickets and more, visit LAZoolights.org