Christmas in the Wild



Select Nights in 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


ZooTampa Members' Tickets
Pay for a Day Ticket
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.
Click here to request changes to an existing reservation


Holiday Signature Animal Encounters
Add more WILD to the season with our Holiday Signature Encounters. On all event nights, you can meet a member of our penguin colony or get up-close with our amazing Indian rhino family. PLUS when you purchase a Holiday Signature Encounter, you can enter Christmas in the Wild as early as 4pm!
Guest must have a Christmas in the Wild ticket to participate in all Holiday Signature Encounters. Holiday African Penguin Encounter will be offered on event nights only at 4:45pm and 5pm. Holiday Indian Rhino Encounter will be offered on event nights only at 6pm. Separate ticket required for all encounters. Guests must be ages 5 and up and children 5-17 must be accompanied by an adult.
Breakfast with Santa Saturday, 12/10
Have a jolly good time with Santa, his friends Pippsy Penguin and Sam the Snowman from the North Pole, and his Florida helpers, Manny T and Flora! Celebrate the season with a festive breakfast that is sure to create magical memories for the entire family with special meet and greets, one-of-a-kind animal interactions, and photo opportunities!
Start a new Christmas tradition with Holiday Breakfast with Santa at ZooTampa! Stay tuned for details on the delectable special menu!

ZooTampa and Christmas in the Wild admission is not included with the Holiday Breakfast with Santa. ZooTampa members and Pay for a Day ticket holders are welcome to explore the Zoo after the event. Need admission to ZooTampa? Click here to purchase Zoo admission or become a Member.

Doors will open at 8:30am and will conclude at 10am. Seating is first-come, first-served. This is a rain or shine event and will take place outdoors under our Saunders Pavilion.Photos will be available for purchase, but guests are welcome to take photos with their own devices.

For dietary restrictions and other special requests, please contact our Guest Engagement team at

Event DAtes

String of Christmas lights


Cheerful Realms

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

Merry Shows

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

Jolly Animal Experiences

Celebrate the season with some unique and holiday-theme animal experiences 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


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 »

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.

Proudly Presented By:

Morgan Chevrolet
Publix Super Markets Charities
CocaCola Florida

Please review our booking tips before continuing

Outside Food & Drinks Policy

ZooTampa at Lowry Park offers a variety of delicious food for guests at several restaurants and concession stands throughout, but we understand that guests may need to bring outside food for special dietary needs. Acceptable and prohibited food items are listed below. For the convenience of our guests, there is a picnic area located outside the park near the main parking lot.

 Acceptable Items
  • Bottled water (max 20oz bottle, sealed) one per guest
  • Small snacks for young children
  • Baby food/baby formula
  • Soft-sided insulated bags no larger than 8.5” wide x 6” high x 6” deep (limit one per child)
  • Pre-purchased empty ZooTampa souvenir cups
  • Any food required for medical purposes and medically-indicated nutritional supplements
 Prohibited Items
  • Prepared or packaged food or meals
  • Alcohol
  • Glass or any open containers or water bottles filled with beverages
  • Hard-sided coolers of any size
  • Soft-sided coolers larger than 8.5” wide x 6” high x 6” deep
  • Suitcases and soft-sided bags with wheels larger than 24” long x 15” wide x 18” high

Prohibited Items

For the safety of our animals, guests and employees, the following items are not permitted to be brought into ZooTampa:

  • Any type of explosive or weapon
  • Knives or other sharp objects
  • Pepper spray
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Marijuana
  • Illegal drugs
  • Straws
  • Clothing likely to create a danger or disturbance
  • Any hazardous items or materials

The following items are also prohibited to avoid blocking of walkways and/or trip hazards:

  • Segways
  • Hover boards
  • Two-wheeled scooters
  • Self-balancing electric vehicles
  • Shoes with wheels
  • Drones
  • Hard-sided coolers of any size
  • Soft-sided coolers larger than 8.5” wide x 6” high x 6” deep
  • Suitcases and soft-sided bags with wheels larger than 24” long x 15” wide x 18” high

Please leave any unnecessary articles secured within your vehicle to expedite your entry into the park.

We reserve the right to deny entry to anyone not observing Zoo Rules.

Pay For A Day Tickets

With a new Pay For A Day, Rest of Year Free ticket – for a limited time – you get unlimited admission through December 31, 2023 including access to our seasonal event series. Some blockout dates apply — see below for details. Not valid with any other discounts.

When does my Pay For A Day ticket expire?

For a limited time, new Pay for a Day, Rest of Year Free tickets are valid from the day of purchase until 12/31/2023 Pay for a Day, Rest of Year Free tickets which were purchased prior to October 1st, 2022 are valid until 12/31/2022.

What are the blockout dates?

3/11/23 – 3/19/23
11/24/23 – 11/26/23
12/26/23 – 12/31/23

Can I purchase a Pay For A Day ticket on a blockout date?

Yes! You can purchase a Pay for a Day, Rest of Year Free ticket for first-time use on a listed blockout date and have full access to the park on that day. Blockout dates apply to repeat visitation.

Can I use my Pay For A Day ticket on blockout dates?

If you already have your Pay for a Day, Rest of Year Free ticket and wish to visit during a listed blockout date, please stop by the Zoo’s ticketing windows for alternate options:

  1. During blockout periods, Pay For A Day ticket holders have access to significantly discounted single-day tickets.
  2. For a limited time from the date of purchase, Pay For A Day tickets can be upgraded to a Zoo Membership (with no blockout dates).
I purchased a Pay For A Day ticket online. How do I get my actual ticket?

Bring a copy of your confirmation (or show the confirmation email on your mobile device) to expedite entry into the Zoo. At your convenience during your visit you can stop by the Tours & Guest Services kiosk located just inside the Zoo to print your physical pass. No need to stand in line at the ticket windows. Walk right in!
Still have questions? Email us or call (813) 935-8552 ext. 0.