‘Christmas in the Wild’ returns to ZooTampa this week

The holiday-themed tradition ‘Christmas in the Wild’ is returning to ZooTampa this week. The family friendly event kicks off Friday, November 26, the first of 18 nights through December 30.

Here’s what Zoo Tampa says is new this year:

  • Lights, lights, and more lights: ZooTampa is illuminated with dazzling lights and dynamic holiday displays.
  • The Forest of Fantasy: Watch the Zoo transform at sunset when the warm glow of twinkling lights fills the night sky. Two brand new light shows across the entire manatee circle. Shows are every 15 minutes.
  • Picture perfect spots: Pose for Instagram-worthy photos in front of our many photo-op areas, like our Christmas trees soaring over 30-feet high with thousands of dancing lights and festive ornaments.
  • Ice Cavern: Our Africa tunnel transforms into a winter wonderland this holiday season. Have your camera ready to remember the moment you step inside the cavern surrounded by glowing lights!
  • Wallaroo Wrap Party: Dance with Santa's elves who've gathered to celebrate the season after working hard making presents for everyone. While in Wallaroo, join in some reindeer games with Randolph the Reindeer.
  • Ticky Tacky Christmas: See Roaring Springs transformed into Tacky Christmas, where holiday decorations get silly.
  • Animal Giving Tree: Located next to the Binturong habitat, get into the holiday spirit and give gifts to the animals that call ZooTampa home. Scan a QR code to give the gift that keeps on giving. 

Here’s what ZooTampa says is returning this year:

  • Candy Cane Carousel: All aboard the Candy Cane Carousel! Embark on an unforgettable ride with red and white lights sprinkled all around the carousel for a candy cane celebration.
  • Cookie Decorating with Mrs. Claus: Every night you will be able to decorate cookies at Mrs. Claus' shop.
  • Visit Santa at the Twinkle town marketplace: Come tell Santa what you would like for Christmas and take a photo with him.
  • Kaleidoscope Tunnel: Returns and moves to Manatee tunnel. Become immersed in the holidays under the sea as the sounds of the ocean fill the pathways.
  • Caribbean Christmas: Key West will transport you to a Caribbean Christmas with a hilarious Christmas improv show, "Hymn-Prov"
  • Felices Dias Festivos: Deck the halls with cheerful Latino carolers singing your favorite Christmas carols in English and Spanish. Join in and sing along with these spectacular voices.

Event nights are Nov 26-27, Dec 3-4, 10-11, 17-23, with operating hours of 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.., and Dec 26-30 with operating hours of 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

General admission tickets are $29.95. Advanced registration is strongly encouraged at zootampa.org