Holiday Happy Hour “VIP Experiences”


December 9, 2016


Thursday, December 8, 2016, and Thursday, December 15, 2016
6 to 10 p.m.
Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens

L.A. Zoo Lights

Photo by Jamie Pham

Lights, Libations and LAIR, OH MY! Get into the holiday spirit at two HOLIDAY HAPPY HOUR “VIP Experiences” evenings for the 21-and-up crowd during L.A. Zoo Lights on Thursday, December 8 and Thursday, December 15, 2016, beginning at 6 pm. Both feature “skip-the-line” express entry at 6 pm with a private lounge from 6:30 to 8:30 pm including complimentary hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine and hot and cold specialty cocktails. Themes for Holiday Happy Hours are “Ugly Sweater Night” on December 8, when guests are encouraged to dust off their best holiday kitsch attire, the uglier, the better; and “60s Cocktail Night” on December 15, which takes guests back to 1966 in honor of the Zoo’s 50th Anniversary, with retro cocktails, appetizers and a cool soundtrack to match. Dress to impress for the decade as glasses are raised to the opening of the L.A. Zoo 50 years ago. While most animal residents are asleep, Holiday Happy Hour visitors can view the LAIR’s amphibians, invertebrates and reptiles as well as enjoy the only opportunity in Los Angeles to see a real reindeer family comprised of two adults and two adorable babies. Both Holiday Happy Hour evenings take place in addition to regular admission and hours at L.A. Zoo Lights, which captivates guests with a self-guided 60- to 90-minute walking tour through select areas of the Zoo.

L.A. Zoo Lights, awarded USA Today’s 2015 “10 Best Zoo Lights” honor and currently in the running for this year’s honor, sets the Zoo aglow in wonder and delight to top everyone’s “holiday must” destination list with a fanciful menagerie of animal characters brought to “life,” LED lights by the thousands, giant illuminated snowflakes, a “red-carpet” 50th Anniversary party celebrating the Zoo’s Golden Year, a disco ball forest, glittering twinkle tunnels, stunning 3-D animated projections, and much more. Guests this year enjoy a range of breathtaking new features, among them a laser show set to music boasting majestic screens of water with projections of fanciful animation and an animal shadow puppet installation complete with interactive photo-op and a new waterfall feature in the Children’s Zoo. A giant illuminated snake atop the LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles), which made its debut last year, flicks its tongue at Zoo Lights visitors this time around as they approach past a bigger, brighter spider web hanging in the courtyard. Inside the LAIR, guests are bathed in ultraviolet light for a black light party with scurrying “insects” above the rock walls.

Established by the private, non-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) as a festive annual tradition, LA Zoo Lights 2016/17 celebrates not only the Zoo’s 50th anniversary but also its 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.

Sponsors of L.A. Zoo Lights include Service Systems Associates, 99 Cents Only Stores, Lyft, metroPCS, and Paramount.

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. The L.A. 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; 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.

Tickets for HOLIDAY HAPPY HOUR are $75 per person and open only to ages 21 and up. All L.A. Zoo Lights events and evenings take place on a “rain-or-shine” basis, with no rain checks issued. Visit for details and to purchase tickets.

The Los Angeles Zoo is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways. Free parking is available. 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90027, (323) 644-4200. 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