TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – ZooTampa’s “Christmas in the Wild” event is returning on select nights of the holiday season in November and December.

The event begins Nov. 25 and runs through Dec. 30. Select dates and times of the event are listed on the zoo’s website.

Christmas in the Wild will bring cheerful, immersive “realms” of twinkling lights, holiday music and surprises to the zoo, as well as merry shows, jolly animal experiences and festive treats and drinks.

New experiences at Christmas in the Wild this year include:

  • Holiday Signature Encounters – Guests can make their evening even more magical with an animal encounter upgrade. Zoo goers can meet an African penguin or an Indian rhino. Tickets will be available online soon.
  • Lantern Lullaby – Guests can also enjoy a calming walk through the zoo’s Asia pathway, which will be filled with Asian paper lanterns in colors of the season, accompanied by the sounds of holiday lullabies.
  • Gingerbread Jubilee – The citizens of Gingerbread village as well as “Mayor Molasses” invite everyone to celebrate Christmas alongside them.

Returning favorites include:

  • The Forest of Fantasy – Two light shows will transform the Zoo at sunset with lights and festive music. Shows are every 15 minutes.
  • Ice Cavern – The Africa tunnel at the zoo will transform in to a winter wonderland for photo opportunities surrounded by glowing lights.
  • Wallaroo Wrap Party – Guests can dance with Santa’s elves and join in reindeers games with Randolph the Reindeer.
  • Ticky Tacky Christmas – Roaring Springs will transform into a location where holiday decorations get silly
  • Animal Giving Tree – Guests can give gifts to ZooTampa animals by scanning a QR code. The main tree is located next to the Binturong habitat, but QR codes can be found all over the park.
  • Candy Cane Carousel – Red and white lights will be sprinkled around the zoo’s carousel for a candy cane celebration.
  • Cookie Decorating with Mrs. Claus – Guests can decorate cookies every event night at Mrs. Claus’ shop.
  • Twinkle Town Marketplace – Zoo goers can visit with Santa and do some holiday shopping.
  • Kaleidoscope Tunnel – Sounds of the ocean will fill the pathways of Manatee Mangrove.
  • Caribbean Christmas – ZooTampa will present a Christmas improv show called “Hymn-Prov.”
  • Felices Dias Festivos – Latino carolers will entertain guests with their favorite Christmas carols in English and Spanish.

Tickets are available online now and start at $29.95 for admission after 4 p.m. to attend the event. There is a $5 reservation fee for zoo members and Pay for a Day ticket holders, which is returned in the form of a voucher that can be used for food and merchandise on the evening of the event.

Breakfast with Santa will be held Saturday, Dec. 10 and will include animal interactions and photos opportunities. Tickets for the breakfast will be on sale soon.