Like many other Christmases, this year we drove from the San Francisco Bay Area to the Los Angeles basin to visit my husband’s family. After celebrating Christmas we usually head out somewhere together, and this year we were going to see the Los Angeles Zoo Holiday Lights. We headed out in the morning to spend the day at the zoo and see the animals, then went for an early dinner in a close-by restaurant and returned to the zoo for the light show. We really enjoyed it and had a great time walking around looking at lights.
A WILD WONDERLAND OF LIGHT
The Zoo Lights opened at 6 pm. The tickets were sold at two different entrances; 6 pm or 8 pm. Ours were for the earlier one, since we were out with kids and wanted to get back home at a decent time. But I think most people there had the same idea. The line to get in was soooo long! We were horrified when we saw it, but the line moved fast, and we got in pretty quickly. If you are planning to see the Zoo Lights some year, definitely get your tickets online beforehand, because there is a very minimal amount of tickets to be sold at the door.
It took us a couple of hours to walk through the Zoo Lights. During the holiday light display there are no animals present except the few swans we saw, a reindeer and the reptiles which were inside the reptile house. That was good of course, since the light show for sure is not part of the zoo residents’ daily routine. I am not sure where all the bigger animals that we saw during the daytime went though. Here and there they did have some signs to keep the noise down, because it would disturb the animals which was a little bizarre with all the music and lights going on there.
MORE CHRISTMAS AND LESS TECHNO, PLEASE
We did like the lights and different kinds of light shows at the zoo. However, I would have preferred them to be more in a holiday spirit than they actually were. They were well made and very entertaining, but many had electronic music and had very little to do with Christmas. This is Holiday Lights after all! Somehow the theme and the place for the electronic music just felt a little bit wrong, but we still enjoyed watching the lights.
In the beginning of the evening, we saw a guy making an ice sculpture, and figured that when we leave, we must stop by to see what he made. And we did. While we were touring around he had finished an ice gorilla which was really well made. Other great spots at the Zoo Lights were the disco ball forest which I liked a lot, and some photo spots which could be found here and there. They also had some Northern Lights… not real ones though of course!
The Zoo Lights seem to be a thing among the zoos. I know that at least in the San Francisco Bay Area the Oakland Zoo also has had holiday light displays. We had fun and the kids of course love this kind of thing. They were selling churros, hot chocolate and other snacks, but we returned home to have some Glögg (the Scandinavian Christmas drink) and cookies. The day was long, but so much fun!