LA Zoo Lights: A Luminous Holiday Extravaganza

Griffith Park has always been a Los Angeles landmark. Spanning more than 4,000 acres, it’s the second largest park in California and home to attractions like the Griffith Observatory, Autry National Center, and the Los Angeles Zoo. The park used to have a drive-through lighting display for the holiday season, until it was nixed in 2009. Now, the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association of Los Angeles is proud to revive the tradition and host “L.A. Zoo Lights” – a winter wonderland full of glowing animal sculptures and lights scattered throughout the zoo.

The festival lights tell the story of renegade monkeys that have escaped their pen to arrange the electrical lines to power the zoo’s displays.





This is the “Christmas Tree” that greets attendees at the Zoo’s front gate.



An escaped “monkey” helps reroute the power source to the rest of the zoo.





Bringing the yuletide tradition to the zoo was done with the help of Councilmember Tom LaBonge. “Griffith Park is accessible to so many residents of Los Angeles and occupies a special place in the hearts of many,” says LaBonge He wanted to provide Angelenos with a holiday activity to replace the beloved DWP Holiday Light Festival. “”L.A. Zoo Lights” is a new and different experience that people are going to love and cherish as they get out of their cars and walk through an amazing holiday wonderment with remarkable LED lights.”


The luminous animal figures were plenty – ranging from origami rhinos, flamingos, alligators and even bullfrogs made completely of plastic bottles.






The “Singing Elephant” display featured images projected onto statues while holiday music and sound effects played through hidden speakers.








Santa’s ice throne


Where would Santa be without his right-hand reindeer, Rudolph?



Not exactly seven swans, but they were aswimmin’


The lights paid homage to California’s natural landscape


The farthest end of the zoo had a wide open space that was filled with a spectacular lighting display – complete with monkey paparazzi. I also recognized a few of the old lights from when the DWP hosted the drive-through Holiday Light Festival, like the Hollywood sign and an outline of the Griffith Observatory.





The lights were designed by Gregg Lacy and Bionic League, an event lighting company who has worked with the likes of Kanye West and Daft Punk. The LA Zoo Lights will be open nightly from 6PM to 10PM (excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) until January 4th.


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