By Veronica Vicente |Staff Writer|
The Los Angeles zoo and Botanical Gardens commenced their annual zoo lights festival on Nov.18, which featured thousands of lights and animal installations to spread holiday spirit.
The event brought together more than 170,000 visitors and was awarded the Best Choice Travel award by USA today.
Among walking inside, there are several lit paths that take you to different exhibitions of the zoo.
“The Lair”, which represents for living amphibians, invertebrates and reptiles was the only exhibition open to the public.
It contained a giant green snake covered with bright lights on top of the rooftop,greeting the guests as they walked through the entrance.
“The Lair” creatively put together decorations such as glowing spider webs, insects, with the inside of the building glow in the dark which stunned the guests as they saw their clothes and jewelry glowing amongst the rest of the lights.
The only real animals that were being shown to the public were three reindeers.
The reindeer romp village was crowded with parents and their children all gathering around the fence to take pictures of the reindeers, as well as a few props laid out.
Santa Claus made an appearance at the zoo, as children and guests waited in line to take pictures with him.
There were snowflake decorations and white Christmas trees surrounding Claus.
The whole zoo had Christmas music blasting, and it seemed to put everyone in the Christmas spirit.
Along with the speakers blasting music, there was also a small stage that featured small local bands playing cover songs of famous artists.
One of the cover bands consisted of a drummer and a lead girl singing Bruno Mar’s hit song “Treasure.”
Although it seemed like many people were more interested in viewing the lights, I took some time to stop and view the performance and I enjoyed how well of a singer the girl was.
The cover band performed enthusiastically and made the experience even better.
“The music and displays are very well thought out and even the flow of traffic was directed well by the staff and signs.” said first time guest Nahid Davari.
There was also a water show called “Lightscapes”, which contained music, lights and shooting water fountains.
There are no seats to watch the water show, everyone was standing up which caused a huge crowd, and it was difficult to see some parts of the show due to tall people or kids on parents shoulders blocking the view.
A fun ride was the carousel for only $3 a person.
The line went by extremely fast for this ride.
There was also several vendors who were selling churros, hot chocolate, coffee and glazed almonds for less than $10 an item.
Besides the food, there were many stands located all over the zoo that sold alcoholic mixed drinks and hard liquor.
Tickets are $14 for adults and $11 for children on the weekdays, while on weekends the prices go up to $18 for adults and $14 for children.
The LA Zoo Lights is open every night from 6 to 10 p.m. except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Whether its sipping some coffee or hot chocolate, snacking on a sweet churro or walking with your friends or loved one, the dazzling lights at the Los Angeles zoo are a great destination to celebrate the upcoming holidays.