Nothing sparks holiday nostalgia like seeing neighborhood homes adorned with twinkling Christmas lights. When I was a kid my uncle used to drive a limousine and on Christmas Eve he would pile us up into the limo and drive us over to Candy Cane Lane to ooh and ahh over the festive lights. Those are cherished holidays memories and while that particular tradition is no more, I've made a strong effort to create new ones with my own family. The theme remains the same but on a much grander scale! This year we added L.A. Zoo Lights to our list of holiday traditions.
Last night the Los Angeles Zoo kicked off of the second annual L.A. Zoo Lights! A self-guided walking tour through the zoo, illuminated in spectacular holiday splendor featuring an amazing array of wildlife themes, a few obligatory nods to L.A., and magical, glittering walkthrough displays that would make even the scroogiest visitor delight in wonderment. This is definitely not your average trip to the zoo. Most of the animals are asleep, save for the reindeer and the residents of The LAIR (Lizards, Amphibians, Invertebrates and Reptiles), but there are plenty of electric creatures stirring about. And on select nights, the big man himself drops in for photo ops (what would an L.A. event be without celebrities?).
A few things to know before you go: Advance tickets are available for purchase online and will save you the trouble of waiting in two separate lines when you arrive. Last night the event sold out so I would advise having a ticket in hand before arriving. Also, the night air does get chilly so I'd recommend bundling the little ones up for this outdoor adventure, but there are also lots of warm treats available for purchase throughout the zoo like hot chocolate (with a shot of Bailey's or Schnapps for the grownups), cinnamon churros, and fresh kettle corn. All of the elements you need for a uniquely festive holiday experience are right in your own back yard.
Tickets to L.A. Lights vary, starting at $10. Visit www.LAZoolights.org for details and to purchase tickets. Stay tuned for details about this year's two VIP experiences: Holiday Happy Hour (21+) on December 10th and Family New Year's Eve for all ages. And because it's the time of year for giving, one lucky reader will have the chance to win a family four-pack to L.A. Zoo Lights below!