Christmas in the Wild



Select Nights in November & December

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 festive entertainment that the whole family will enjoy.

ZooTampa Members and Pay For A Day ticket holders get free admission to seasonal events like Christmas in the Wild.

String of Christmas lights


Member admission to Christmas in the Wild
Admission for ZooTampa Members-Only Night
Member admission to Christmas in the Wild
Pay for a Day Ticket holder Admission
General Admission Event tickets
$29.95 after 4PM
*The reservation fee for ZooTampa members and Pay For A Day ticket holders is $5 per person which will be reimbursed upon entry in the form of a $5 per person voucher valid for dining and merchandise purchases valid for that day only. Pay for Day, Come Back All Year” tickets holders may only purchase reservations for themselves. Members can only purchase the same number of tickets as individuals listed on their membership.

Click here to make changes to an existing reservation

Personalized Experiences

Holiday Photo Mini Sessions

Put a WILD twist on your holiday cards this year! Each 30-minute session includes two locations – one with one of our iconic animal ambassadors and a second location at one of the Zoo’s scenic spots. Animal options include African penguin, macaw, Indian rhino, orangutan, giraffe, and African elephant*. Packages include a digital gallery with 10-20 professionally edited images. The best gift of all – you are helping support ZooTampa and our conservation efforts.

Member – $315
Non-member – $350

Limited spots for each animal are available.

Photo sessions are available with our Masai giraffe, Bornean orangutan, African penguin, African elephant, and Indian rhinos. Each animal session is available on select dates and times, so please make note of this when planning your reservation.

Encounter Dates & Times:
Giraffe – 8:15am
Dates: 11/4, 11/5, 11/11, 11/12, 11/18, 11/19; 12/3, 12/10

Orangutan – 8:50 AM
Dates: 11/4, 11/5, 11/11, 11/12, 11/18, 11/19, 12/3, 12/10

Penguin – 4:40 PM
Dates: 11/3, ,11/4, 11/5, 11/10, 11/11, 11/12, 11/17, 11/18, 11/19; 12/3, 12/10

Elephant – 4:40 PM
Dates: 11/4, 11/5, 11/11, 11/12, 11/18, 11/19; 12/3, 12/10

Indian Rhino – 5:15 PM
Dates: 11/3, 11/10, 11/17

Age Restrictions:
Open to all ages

Meeting Location:
Meet at the front entrance at least 10 minutes before your session.

Ticket Requirements:

  • Tickets must be purchased in advance.
  • Photoshoot reservations do not include admission to the Zoo.

Personalized Videos

Christmas in the Wild - ZooTampa at Lowry Park

Whether you want to make a celebration even more memorable, or just brighten someone’s day, send them a personalized video from their favorite animal at ZooTampa! We’re here to help you celebrate all of life’s occasions.   Stay connected to family and friends while supporting ZooTampa’s animal care and conservation efforts.

Member – $40
Non-member – $45

We are excited to offer the opportunity to purchase a one-of-a-kind video to help make special moments even more unforgettable!

Things to know:

  • The personalized video (approximately 30-45 seconds in length) will be sent via email to the purchaser to share.
  • Each purchase also includes additional digital content.
  • Please allow up to 2 weeks for order fulfillment.
  • Animal featured based on availability (purchaser will be provided a list to choose from).
  • You will be contacted by a member of our team within 72 hours for the personalization details.
  • Optional plush add on is required at checkout. Shipping is free with purchase of personalized video.

Event DAtes

Christmas in the Wild - ZooTampa at Lowry Park
String of Christmas lights


Cheerful Realms

Experience the magic of the holiday with immersive realms full of twinkling lights, cheerful music, and joyous surprises.

Jolly Animal Experiences

Enjoy winter-themed Wildlife Connections and celebrate the season with one of our Signature Animal Encounters. 

Merry Shows

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

Festive Treats & Drinks

Indulge in tasty treats and delicious drinks as you experience twinkling lights and joyful entertainment.
String of Christmas lights

‘Tis the Season For Giving!

Donate to the ZooTampa Giving Tree

A celebration of the season is not complete without finding that special opportunity to give back. At ZooTampa we care for more than 1,100 animals including endangered, threatened, and vulnerable species. Help support our mission by donating to our Giving Tree. Funds raised will support animal enrichment, which provides physically and mentally stimulating toys, activities, and environments which helps enhance their well-being. Your contributions will also support ongoing veterinary care and daily nutrition needs of all of our animals, including sick, injured and orphaned manatees.

Join us on our mission to enrich the lives of animals, conserve wildlife, and inspire generations of youth to protect the natural world we all share.

String of Christmas lights


Give a gift that’s WILD! ZooTampa Memberships are the perfect gift for the adventure-seekers in your life. As a Member, your loved ones can visit again and again and make unforgettable connections with wildlife and each other!
Christmas in the Wild - ZooTampa at Lowry Park


Download our App

Don’t miss out on the excitement; access all of our event details from the palm of your hands! Get walking directions to all of the event locations, view the nightly show schedule, and more.

Download for Apple »Download for Android »

View Our Foodie Guide

Preview our Christmas in the Wild Foodie Guide and know what special winter-themed delicacies are available and where to find them.

See the Foodie Guide »

Preview Event Map

Take a look at our print map and see the scare levels for each zone and show. All content available on the print map is also available on the mobile app.

View the Event Map »

View Our Gift Guide

We have curated a Holiday Gift Guide for your favorite animal lover from Gift Memberships to personalized messages, and more! With this guide you can shop for exciting gifts that support ZooTampa.

View Gift Guide »

Expectations & Sequencing Support

ZooTampa has teamed up with the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities to provide support and assistance to optimize the potential of people who are neurodiverse.

View our Sequencing Guide »

View Our Gift Guide

We have curated a Holiday Gift Guide for your favorite animal lover from Gift Memberships to personalized messages, and more! With this guide you can shop for exciting gifts that support ZooTampa.

View Gift Guide »

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.

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Christmas in the Wild - ZooTampa at Lowry Park
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Christmas in the Wild - ZooTampa at Lowry Park
Christmas in the Wild - ZooTampa at Lowry Park