Christmas in the Wild 2021

Lights, Lights, & More Lights

A flurry of fun for everyone

Select Nights Nov-Dec 2022/h3>

Stay tuned for more information about this year's event!

String of Christmas lights

It’s the most wonderful time of the year at ZooTampa with the return of Christmas in the Wild, featuring one of Tampa Bay’s largest light displays, delectable holiday treats, amazing wildlife and new festive adventures. This year is BIGGER, better, and brighter than ever, with six new illuminated zones of lights, festive entertainment that the whole family will enjoy.

Christmas in the Wild is a limited capacity event. Advanced purchase tickets and timed reservations are strongly encouraged and the only way to guarantee admission.

Buy Your Tickets Now for Christmas in the Wild

Member & Pay For A Day Reservations

Reserve the date & time of your choice


$5.00/personReservation Fee

Upon entry, Members & Pay for a Day, Come Back All Year ticket holders will be reimbursed the reservation fee in the form of a $5 voucher good for dining & merchandise purchases. Members may only purchase reservations for up to the number of guests registered with their membership. “Pay for Day” tickets holders may only purchase reservations for themselves. Please enter the event within the 30 minute window of your reservation.

General Admission Tickets & Reservations

Reserve the date & time of your choice



Due to the limited nature of this event, date & time-specific reservations are the best way to guarantee entry on the night of your choice. Please enter the event within the 30 minute window of your reservation.

Children 2 and under are free and do not require a ticket.

Nov-Dec 2021

Christmas in the Wild Event Nights in Blue

Be a Part of the Experience:

Joyful child wearing Christmas tree glasses in the Holiday Kaleidoscope tunnel at ZooTampa

Festive Realms

Roam through 6 fully immersive festive realms full of lights, music, and holiday magic!

A boy sits with Santa

Visit with Santa

Come tell Santa what you would like for Christmas and take a photo with him!

Forest of Fantasy Ice Queen

Holiday Shows

Holiday cheer is everywhere with fun and interactive family shows and festive entertainment throughout the Zoo.

The Twinkletown Marketplace

Twinkletown Marketplace

The scents of the season will lead you through this marketplace with delectable holiday treats to enjoy and festive ornaments on display.

Cookie decorating with Mrs Claus

Cookie Decorating with Mrs. Claus

Every night you will be able to decorate cookies at Mrs. Claus’s shop while she puts on a show.

*Additional purchase required to decorate cookies. Limited spots are available for decorating, but all are welcome for the show. Visit the Cookie Decorating Station at the Sweets Shoppe for more information.

An elephant eats a pumpkin

Animal Giving Tree

'Tis the season of giving. Visit the Animal Giving Tree and find out how you can give back to the animals that call ZooTampa home.

Click here to give the gift that keeps on giving!

Candy Cane Carousel

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.
A girl holds a plate with cake on it

Treats & Drinks

Indulge in tasty treats and festive drinks as your stroll through the zoo.

String of Christmas lights
Important Info:

Tickets & Reservations:


You must purchase an event ticket for every member in your party except for guests 2 years of age and under, who are admitted free. On your selected date of visit, you must present your CITW ticket(s), which will be emailed to you. Prices listed are per person and do not include service fees. Not valid with any other discount.


Entry to this event is limited; advanced purchased tickets and reservations are strongly encouraged and the only way to guarantee admission.

There is a $5 reservation fee for Members and Pay for a Day ticket holders, which is returned in the form of a voucher that can be used for food or merchandise purchases on the evening of the event. By instituting a small fee that’s returned upon entry in the form of a voucher, it allows us to bring this wonderful event to as many people as we can, in a safe and efficient manner while removing any uncertainty of entry for our valued Members and Pay for a Day ticket holders.


Vouchers are valid only on the date of your CITW reservation and are not valid during daytime hours. Vouchers may not be used for photography, calligraphy letter painting, caricatures, face painting, Frosty cart by Wendys, and Kona Ice. The $5 vouchers must be used in a single transaction. No change or credit will be given. Multiple vouchers may be used in a single transaction. Vouchers have no cash value. Purchases made with this voucher are non-refundable.


ZooTampa is principally an outdoor fresh-air experience; therefore, when outside on zoo grounds, guests who maintain proper social distancing are not required to wear facemasks.

We courteously encourage guests to wear masks at our indoor venues, which includes retail shops, restrooms, restaurants and Manatee Mangrove.

For the safety of our performers, we ask that all guests refrain from touching our performers and maintain a distance of 3ft from them at all times, which includes visits and photos with Santa.


Please do not arrive before your ticketed time; you will not be admitted entry to the park before your ticketed time, or on any other date than the event night selected. No readmission. Please enter the event within the 30-minute window of your reservation.


CITW is a rain or shine event. Tickets and reservations are non-refundable. Operating hours, products, attractions, services, and schedules are subject to change without notice. CITW may be cancelled due to weather that poses a safety hazard. Guests will be notified via the email provided during the reservation/ticketing process of any changes to event scheduling. Due to the limited nature of this event, no changes can be made to your tickets/reservations within 72 hours of your scheduled event date/time. Rescheduling is subject to availability. To make a change to your ticket/reservation, please request a reservation change using this form or call 813-935-8552 ext. 0 at least 72 hours before your scheduled event date/time.


This is a limited attendance event. Date and time-specific tickets and reservations are the only way to guarantee admission. Please make your reservation or purchase your ticket before arriving to the Zoo. Walk-Ups will only be accepted if the event date is not sold out.

A Special Thanks to:

Publix Super Markets Charities logo
Wendy's Logo
Belara Lakes Apartment Homes sponsor logo


String of Christmas lights

This holiday season ZooTampa will be flooded with festive lights, decorations, and performers to bring the joy of Christmas to life! Explore each of these unique realms to experience everything they have to offer.

Forest of Fantasy
Ice Cavern
Wallaroo Wrap Party

Ticky Tacky Christmas


Kaleidoscope Tunnel

Santa standing with gifts and Christmas trees