Experience the sights and sounds of the season at one of Tampa’s beloved holiday traditions

’Tis the Season (almost) for Tampa’s premiere outdoor favorite family holiday tradition. ZooTampa’s Christmas in the Wild will begin lighting up the nights on November 24 and continue twinkling for 19 select nights through December 30.

Shining bigger and brighter than ever with thousands of lights across holiday-themed areas throughout the Zoo, the event features brand new larger-than-life illuminated animal sculptures and the return of Forest of Fantasy Christmas tree light shows showcasing synchronized twinkling lights to choreographed festive music.

Guests can also enjoy festive activities, dazzling entertainment, special wildlife connections and Signature Encounters, delectable seasonal food and drinks, and of course- Santa Claus!

The event is free to members and Pay for A Day ticket holders. General admission tickets are $29.95.

New features and returning favorites at Christmas in the Wild:

  • NEW - Larger-than-life illuminated animal sculptures: A wildlife journey in lights will be placed throughout the Zoo for beautiful photo opportunities for guests of all ages.
  • NEW - Rockin’ Wreath: Ituri Pass walk-through will be lined with interactive lite Christmas wreaths and playing your favorite rock ‘n’ roll versions of Christmas carols.
  • NEW - Holiday House Light Show: Guests can enjoy a festive holiday light show playing continuously through the night in front of ZooTampa’s own holiday house.
  • NEW – Snowy Christmas Oasis: Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? Guests can feel nostalgic with the entire family as they’re surrounded by 32 snow flocked Christmas trees and hanging snowflakes making it a true winter wonderland.
  • Holiday Signature Encounters: On all event nights, guests are able to make their evening even more magical by upgrading their experience with a Holiday African Penguin Encounter or a Holiday Indian Rhino Encounter featuring the opportunity to get up close to amazing animals.
  • Gingerbread Jubilee: Join Mayor Molasses and the citizens of Gingerbread Village as they invite all of our guests to celebrate Christmas alongside them at an unforgettable jubilee.
  • The Forest of Fantasy: Two light shows transform the Zoo at sunset with twinkling lights and festive music. Shows are every 15 minutes.
  • Ice Cavern: The Africa tunnel transforms into a winter wonderland this holiday. Have your camera ready to remember the moment you step inside the cavern surrounded by glowing lights!
  • Ticky Tacky Christmas: Roaring Springs transforms into Tacky Christmas, where holiday decorations get silly.
  • Candy Cane Carousel: Embark on an unforgettable ride with red and white lights sprinkled all around the carousel for a candy cane celebration.
  • Randolph’s Reindeer games: Meet Randolph in person and play some of his favorite holiday games.
  • Cookie Decorating with Mrs. Claus: Every night, guests can decorate cookies at Mrs. Claus’ shop.
  • Twinkle town marketplaceGuests can visit with Santa and enjoy some holiday shopping. Limited time till December 23.
  • Holiday Kaleidoscope: Be immersed in the holidays under the sea as the sounds of the ocean fill the pathways of Manatee Mangrove.
  • Caribbean Christmas: Transport to the Caribbean with a festive display of colorful lights.
  • Hymn-Prov: Guests will get into the holiday spirit through some laughs at Saunders Theater.

Festive Event Details:

  • Christmas in the Wild takes place on 19 select nights from Nov 24 – Dec 30.
  • Event dates: Nov. 24 (members only night). Nov. 25, Dec. 1-2, 8-10, 15-17, 20-23, 26-30
  • Operating Hours:
    • Nov. 24- Dec. 23 (4p.m. - 10p.m); Dec. 26 - Dec. 30 (4p.m.- 9p.m.)
  • Tickets:
    • General admission tickets are $29.95 and are available in advance at zootampa.org.
    • Members and Pay for a Day, Come Back All Year ticket holders are FREE (there is a $5 reservation fee which will be reimbursed upon entry in the form of a $5 voucher valid for food and merchandise on the night of the reservation.)
    • Event capacity is limited. Reservations are strongly encouraged.

Guests looking for a unique way to give back this holiday season can stop by the Giving Tree. Funds raised will support animal enrichment, which provides physically and mentally stimulating toys, activities, and environments which helps enhance their well-being. Additionally, the Giving Tree helps support ongoing veterinary care and daily nutrition needs for all of our animals, including sick, injured and orphaned manatees.  



About ZooTampa at Lowry Park

 ZooTampa at Lowry Park is operated by the Lowry Park Zoological Society, an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to excellence in conservation, education, recreation, and research. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is recognized as Florida's leading and most attended zoological cultural attraction. ZooTampa and our David A. Straz, Jr. Manatee Critical Care, were honored among the "Best Zoos" (#6) and "Best Zoo Exhibits" (#4) in USATODAY's 2023 10Best Reader's Choice Travel Awards. The Zoo is a twelve-time winner of the Trip Advisor Travelers' Choice Award (2010-2023), ranking us among the top 10% of attractions worldwide. A winner of 2021 Best of Tampa and is a leader in the rehabilitation and care of Florida species. The Zoo is located at 1101 W. Sligh Avenue in Tampa and is open seven days a week (except Thanksgiving and Christmas) from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours for select events. For more information, visit www.zootampa.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Media Contact:

ZooTampa Communications Department
Office: 813-935-8552