Get Ready for all that Glitters and Glows at Christmas in the Wild at ZooTampa at Lowry Park

Experience the sights and sounds of the season at one of Tampa’s beloved holiday traditions

TAMPA, Fla. (November 2, 2023) – ’Tis the Season (almost) for Tampa’s premiere outdoor favorite family holiday tradition. ZooTampa’s Christmas in the Wild will begin lighting up the nights on November 24 and continue twinkling for 19 select nights through December 30.

Shining bigger and brighter than ever with thousands of lights across holiday-themed areas throughout the Zoo, the event features brand new larger-than-life illuminated animal sculptures and the return of Forest of Fantasy Christmas tree light shows showcasing synchronized twinkling lights to choreographed festive music.

Guests can also enjoy festive activities, dazzling entertainment, special wildlife connections and Signature Encounters, delectable seasonal food and drinks, and of course- Santa Claus!

The event is free to members and Pay for A Day ticket holders. General admission tickets are $29.95.

New features and returning favorites at Christmas in the Wild:

  • NEW – Larger-than-life illuminated animal sculptures: A wildlife journey in lights will be placed throughout the Zoo for beautiful photo opportunities for guests of all ages.
  • NEW – Rockin’ Wreath: Ituri Pass walk-through will be lined with interactive lite Christmas wreaths and playing your favorite rock ‘n’ roll versions of Christmas carols.
  • NEW – Holiday House Light Show: Guests can enjoy a festive holiday light show playing continuously through the night in front of ZooTampa’s own holiday house.
  • NEW – Snowy Christmas Oasis: Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? Guests can feel nostalgic with the entire family as they’re surrounded by 32 snow flocked Christmas trees and hanging snowflakes making it a true winter wonderland.
  • Holiday Signature Encounters: On all event nights, guests are able to make their evening even more magical by upgrading their experience with a Holiday African Penguin Encounter or a Holiday Indian Rhino Encounter featuring the opportunity to get up close to amazing animals.
  • Gingerbread Jubilee: Join Mayor Molasses and the citizens of Gingerbread Village as they invite all of our guests to celebrate Christmas alongside them at an unforgettable jubilee.
  • The Forest of Fantasy: Two light shows transform the Zoo at sunset with twinkling lights and festive music. Shows are every 15 minutes.
  • Ice Cavern: The Africa tunnel transforms into a winter wonderland this holiday. Have your camera ready to remember the moment you step inside the cavern surrounded by glowing lights!
  • Ticky Tacky Christmas: Roaring Springs transforms into Tacky Christmas, where holiday decorations get silly.
  • Candy Cane Carousel: Embark on an unforgettable ride with red and white lights sprinkled all around the carousel for a candy cane celebration.
  • Randolph’s Reindeer games: Meet Randolph in person and play some of his favorite holiday games.
  • Cookie Decorating with Mrs. Claus: Every night, guests can decorate cookies at Mrs. Claus’ shop.
  • Twinkle town marketplace: Guests can visit with Santa and enjoy some holiday shopping. Limited time till December 23.
  • Holiday Kaleidoscope: Be immersed in the holidays under the sea as the sounds of the ocean fill the pathways of Manatee Mangrove.
  • Caribbean Christmas: Transport to the Caribbean with a festive display of colorful lights.
  • Hymn-Prov: Guests will get into the holiday spirit through some laughs at Saunders Theater.

Festive Event Details:

  • Christmas in the Wild takes place on 19 select nights from Nov 24 – Dec 30.
  • Event dates: Nov. 24 (members only night). Nov. 25, Dec. 1-2, 8-10, 15-17, 20-23, 26-30
  • Operating Hours:
    • Nov. 24- Dec. 23 (4p.m. – 10p.m); Dec. 26 – Dec. 30 (4p.m.- 9p.m.)
  • Tickets:
    • General admission tickets are $29.95 and are available in advance at zootampa.org.
    • Members and Pay for a Day, Come Back All Year ticket holders are FREE (there is a $5 reservation fee which will be reimbursed upon entry in the form of a $5 voucher valid for food and merchandise on the night of the reservation.)
    • Event capacity is limited. Reservations are strongly encouraged.

Guests looking for a unique way to give back this holiday season can stop by the Giving Tree. Funds raised will support animal enrichment, which provides physically and mentally stimulating toys, activities, and environments which helps enhance their well-being. Additionally, the Giving Tree helps support ongoing veterinary care and daily nutrition needs for all of our animals, including sick, injured and orphaned manatees.

CLICK HERE FOR PICTURES

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About ZooTampa at Lowry Park: ZooTampa at Lowry Park is operated by the Lowry Park Zoological Society, an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to excellence in conservation, education, recreation, and research. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is recognized as Florida’s leading and most attended zoological cultural attraction. ZooTampa and our David A. Straz, Jr. Manatee Critical Care, were honored among the “Best Zoos” (#6) and “Best Zoo Exhibits” (#4) in USATODAY’s 2023 10Best Reader’s Choice Travel Awards. The Zoo is a twelve-time winner of the Trip Advisor Travelers’ Choice Award (2010-2023), ranking us among the top 10% of attractions worldwide. A winner of 2021 Best of Tampa and is a leader in the rehabilitation and care of Florida species. The Zoo is located at 1101 W. Sligh Avenue in Tampa and is open seven days a week (except Thanksgiving and Christmas) from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours for select events. For more information, visit www.zootampa.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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Please review our booking tips before continuing

1. Please make one field trip per reservation order. Complete one and start a new one if you have multiple days you are booking.

2. Headcount can be approximate. Please include children and adults in your headcount. Please do not include pass holders in your headcount for a ticket.

3. On the ticket page, choose the correct grade level (to the left of your screen) to receive the correct chaperone ratio.

4. On the ticket page, when on the calendar section, the number of tickets available will appear in the top right corner for each particular day. Tickets available include children and adults. If you have more people than tickets available, please choose another day.

5. Anyone that is ordering lunch, even pass holders and adults that receive free chaperone tickets, do need to pay for a lunch IF they are ordering one. Free chaperone tickets and pass holders are for admission only.

Boxed lunch orders must be received 5 business days prior to your field trip arrival. Groups will be responsible for all boxed lunches that were confirmed at that time.

6. Payment does not need to be paid at the time of registration. Choose the pay upon arrival option if you would like one person to pay for your entire trip on the day of your visit.

7. The prices of adult and children’s tickets are different.

8. You will receive a confirmation number and confirmation letter via email when your trip is confirmed. If you do not, please contact FieldTrips@ZooTampa.org right away.

Join our Summer Camp Waitlist

Parent/Guardian Name(Required)
Child's Name(Required)

Important Information

To complete your camp registration, you must:

  • Add camps to your shopping cart.
  • Enter roster information for each camp.
    • List all people that are authorized to pick-up your child from camp.
    • No camper will be released unless the adult picking up the child is on the authorized pick-up list and shows a photo ID.
  • Read and agree to the following documents:
  • Make payment.
  • Upon payment, you will receive a Confirmation Email with the above documents attached. Please print, sign, and return the Camp Waiver and Liability Release to EducationPrograms@ZooTampa.org or ZooTampa Summer Camp, c/o Jamie Elkington, 1101 W Sligh Ave, Tampa, FL 33604. All waivers MUST be received no later than 2 weeks prior to the start of your camp program or your registration is subject to cancellation.

By clicking the registration button below, I confirm that I have read and agree to the Camp Waiver and Liability Release and Camp Handbook and will print, sign, and return the Camp Waiver and Liability Release to complete my registration.

‘Tis the Season For Giving!

Donate to the ZooTampa Giving Tree

Trustees of the Lowry Park Zoological Society, Directors of the Lowry Park Zoo Endowment Foundation, and the Employees and Volunteers of ZooTampa understand and appreciate the vital role of philanthropy to accomplish our work. That’s why we subscribe to the Donor Bill of Rights developed by the American Association of Fund Raising Counsel, Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, Council for Advancement and Support of Education, National Society of Fund Raising Executives:

“Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life. To assure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the not-for-profit organizations and causes that they are asked to support, we declare that all donors have these rights:

  1. To be informed of the organization’s mission, of the way the organization intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes.
  2. To be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization’s governing board, and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities.
  3. To have access to the organization’s most recent financial statements.
  4. To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given.
  5. To receive appropriate acknowledgment and recognition.
  6. To be assured that information about their donation is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law.
  7. To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature.
  8. To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organization or hired solicitors.
  9. To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share.
  10. To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.”

ZooTampa at Lowry Park is committed to protecting your privacy. We value the trust of our donors, volunteers, employees, and other supporters and recognize that maintaining this trust requires us to ensure the confidentiality of personal information that you share with us.

As a non-profit organization, ZooTampa relies on your support, depends on the support of generous contributors, and achieves ambitious fundraising objectives by communicating with and understanding donors. We know that it is essential to protect the privacy of that information. ZooTampa, the Lowry Park Zoological Society, and the Lowry Park Zoo Endowment Foundation will neither sell nor trade a donor’s personal information to any other entity without the written permission of the donor.

FLORIDA STATE REGISTRATION

Lowry Park Zoological Society of Tampa, INC.: Registration No. CH140
Lowry Park Endowment Foundation, INC.: Registration No. CH20389

A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.

DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES

Phone: (800) 435-7352
FloridaConsumerHelp.com

Christmas in the Wild Reservation Changes

  • This can be found in your original purchase or reservation confirmation email.
  • We will do our best to accommodate your request, however changes are based on availability. A member of our team will reach out to you via the contact information provided above within 48 hours. Note: an additional fee may apply to event tickets being changed to a higher priced event night. Thank you!

Commemorations

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, 2024 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?

Pay for a Day Get the Rest of the Year Free tickets purchased in October, November, or December of 2023, are valid from the day of purchase until 12/31/2024. Any Pay For a Day Get the Rest of the Year Free tickets purchased prior to October 1, 2023 expire on 12/31/2023.

What are the blockout dates?

11/24/23 – 11/26/23
12/26/23 – 12/31/23
3/9/24 – 3/17/24
11/24/24 – 11/26/24
12/26/24 – 12/31/24

Blockout dates apply to admission before 4:00 PM on the above dates.

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.