L.A. Zoo Lights 2017 Sets Zoo Aglow with Wonder, Awe, and “Wow!”

CONTACT: GLAZA Press

October 24, 2017

“Holiday Must” Destination, Awarded USA Today’s “10 Best Zoo Lights” Honors, Shimmers for Seven Weeks with LED Lights by the Thousands, Spectacular New Water and Light Show, New Animated “Northern Lights” with Glittering Animal Constellations, Disco Ball Forest, Glittering Twinkle Tunnel, Stunning 3-D Animated Projections, and a Burst of Breathtaking New Features

L.A. Zoo Lights 2017 Features “Preview Week” $10 Discount Admission for Adults (13+) and Children (2-12) from Nov 17-22 with Online Purchase, Special Unlimited-Visits Season Pass with Express Entry, Exclusive HOLIDAY HAPPY HOURS for Ages 21-and-Up on December 7 and 14 and FAMILY NEW YEAR’S EVE For All Ages

Friday, November 17, 2017, through Sunday, January 7, 2018 (except November 23, December 24 and December 25) 6 to 10 pm Nightly Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens

Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens

Photo by Jamie Pham

L.A. ZOO LIGHTS returns for its fourth spectacular year to shimmer for seven weeks of wonder, awe and “wow!” from Friday, November 17, 2017, through Sunday, January 7, 2018 (except November 23 and December 24/25) at the L.A. Zoo. 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. L.A. Zoo Lights was established by the private, non-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) as a festive annual tradition to celebrate the Zoo’s important role as an international leader in the preservation of endangered species, a conservation center for the care and study of wildlife and a special place for people of all ages in the world’s entertainment capital.

An instant hit since its 2014 debut, L.A. Zoo Lights captivates guests for an ideal family outing, meet-up with friends or date night, offering a self-guided 60- to 90-minute walking tour through a large area 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. Photos with Santa on select dates are available for an additional fee in a glittering “North Pole” setting to capture holiday memories, and the Zoo’s hand-crafted Tom Mankiewicz Conservation Carousel is open during L.A. Zoo Lights, with $3 per person on-site tickets.

L.A. Zoo Lights has attracted over 500,000 people in a three-year span, a vast number of whom consumed 10,000 gallons of steaming hot chocolate and 30,000 churros in 2016. The aforementioned goodies, other seasonal treats, including Smore’s Sundaes, handcrafted gourmet pizza slices, craft beer by Golden Road Brewery and sweet and savory pretzels with warm dipping sauces, and light-themed souvenirs are available for sale.

L.A. Zoo Lights 2017 presents a “Preview Week” with discounted admission of $10 for all ages (under 2 free), available online only for November 17 to 22 dates, an unlimited-visits Season Pass, exclusive HOLIDAY HAPPY HOURS for ages 21-and-up on December 7 and 14 and a popular FAMILY NEW YEAR’S EVE for all ages. Tickets for members of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association are $10 during the entire run, the deepest member discount ever offered. Memberships are available for purchase at www.lazoo.org/membership.

Returning this year are “VIP Experiences,” including two exclusive HOLIDAY HAPPY HOURs for the 21-and-up crowd – “Flapjacks and Flannel” theme on Thursday, December 7 and “Tamales and Tequila” on Thursday, December 14 – as well as a FAMILY NEW YEAR’S EVE for all ages. The two HOLIDAY HAPPY HOUR evenings feature “skip-the-line” express entry to L.A. Zoo Lights at 6 pm with a private lounge from 6:30 to 8:30 pm including gourmet hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine and specialty cocktails. Tickets for HOLIDAY HAPPY HOUR are $75 per person and $70 for GLAZA members. FAMILY NEW YEAR’S EVE on Sunday, December 31, 6 pm, provides an opportunity to celebrate the coming of 2018 in style with “skip-the-line” express entry to L.A. Zoo Lights, dinner buffet, soft drinks, a glass of complimentary champagne for adults, sparkling apple cider for kids, dessert, a ride on the Conservation Carousel, games, 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 $69 for adults and $45 for children. GLAZA members save $5. Tickets for all three “VIP Experiences” have limited availability, so early purchase is strongly suggested. ” Flapjacks and Flannel” is sponsored by Bushmills’ Red Bush Irish Whiskey, and “Tamales and Tequila” is sponsored by VIVA XXXII Tequila.

Media Sponsor KCRW will be on-site with lawn games and family fun on Thursday, December 7, Wednesday, December 13 and Friday, December 29.

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 and is offering customers who visit Denny’s locations in the Greater Los Angeles Area a free child’s ticket to L.A. Zoo Lights with the purchase of two paid adult tickets starting November 13 through January 7. Complete offer details available at Denny’s locations.

L.A. Zoo Lights’ production partner is GES Events.

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.

Admission to L.A. Zoo Lights is $10 with online purchase for all ages (2 and older) and times during “Preview Week” from November 17 to 22. Thereafter, admission prices vary and range from $14.95 to $19.95 for adults (13+) and $11.95 to $14.95 for children (2-12). Children under age 2 are free. Tickets for members of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association are $10 during the entire run, the deepest member discount ever offered. A special unlimited-access L.A. Zoo Lights Season Pass, with express entry privileges nightly, is $49.95 for adults and $44.95 for children ages 2 to 12. Tickets for HOLIDAY HAPPY HOUR are $75 per person (ages 21 and up), or $70 for GLAZA members. FAMILY NEW YEAR’S EVE tickets are $69 for adults (13+) and $45 for children (2-12), or $64 and $40 for GLAZA members. Holiday Happy Hour and Family New Year’s Eve benefits require a separate ticket, even for 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