Holiday magic returning to ZooTampa with ‘Christmas in the Wild’

Hillsborough County

Danielle Shepard (ZooTampa)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – ZooTampa’s holiday tradition “Christmas in the Wild” will return this year, beginning on Nov. 26.

The event will take place on 18 select nights throughout the holiday season, complete with light displays, holiday treats, animal mingles and holiday music.

ZooTampa said in a press release this year will be “bigger, better and brighter than ever,” with six new zones of holiday lights and entertainment.

Here’s what’s new to Christmas In The Wild at the zoo this year, in addition to the new light displays:

  • The Forest of Fantasy: Two new light shows will illuminate the “manatee circle” at the entrance of the zoo, starting at sunset. Shows are every 15 minutes.
  • Photo Spots: Instagram-able photo opportunity areas are posted throughout the zoo, including the chance to snap a picture in front of a 30-foot tall Christmas tree adorned with lights and ornaments.
  • Ice Cavern: The Africa tunnel of the zoom will be “transformed into a winter wonderland” this holiday season.
  • Wallaroo Wrap Party: Guests can boogy with Santa’s elves and join in some reindeer games with Randolph the Reindeer in the Wallaroo area of the zoo.
  • Ticky Tacky Christmas: “See Roaring Springs transformed into ‘Tacky Christmas,’ where holiday decorations get silly,” the zoo said.
  • Animal Giving Tree: Guests can give gifts to the animals that call ZooTampa home via a scannable QR code. This opportunity to give back is located next to the Binturong habitat.

Returning favorites include the candy cane carousel, cookie decorating with Mrs. Claus, visits with Santa at the “Twinkle Town” marketplace, the Kaleidoscope Tunnel, Caribbean Christmas in the Key West portion of the zoo and more.

Christmas in the Wild will take place on select nights from Nov. 26 through Dec. 20 from either 4-10 p.m. or 4-9 p.m. depending on the date.

General admission is $29.95 per person and can be purchased online. Annual members and “Pay for a Day, Come Back All Year” ticket holders will pay a $5 reservation fee, which will be redeemed at the gate in the form of a $5 voucher, valid for food and merchandise on the night of the reservation.

Entry to the event is limited and advanced purchased tickets and reservations are strongly encouraged by the zoo, as it is the only way to guarantee admission.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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