The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, Wonderfully Wild. The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, Wonderfully Wild.

Press Room


PALM DESERT/INDIAN WELLS, CA • December 13, 2019

Contact: Erin Scott
Sr. Marketing and Public Relations Manager
760-346-5694 x.2610

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is proud to announce it has received the #5 position in USA TODAY’S 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Award for Best Zoo Lights.

According to the 10Best website, zoos across the U.S. get into the holiday spirit with festive seasonal displays and The Living Desert was one of 20 zoos nominated in this category. Voting was open to the public for one month and the contest closed on December 2. Winners were selected based on readers’ votes.

The top 10 winners include the following:

  1. PNC Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo
  2. Lights Before Christmas at the Toledo Zoo
  3. Electric Safari at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
  4. U.S. Bank Wild Lights at the Saint Louis Zoo
  5. WildLights at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
  6. Christmas at the Zoo at the Indianapolis Zoo
  7. Lights Before Christmas at Riverbanks Zoo & Garden
  8. Philadelphia Zoo LumiNature
  9. Holiday Lights at California Living Museum
  10. L.A. Zoo Lights

“It’s the season to celebrate and we are enjoying our annual WildLights tradition,” said Allen Monroe, President/CEO of The Living Desert. “We now have even more to celebrate with the honor of being nominated and voted in the top 5, amongst our counterparts across the country. Now is the perfect time to come out and experience the WildLights.” provides users with original, unbiased, and experiential travel content of top attractions, things to see and do, and restaurants for top destinations in the U.S. and around the world. The core of the site's uniqueness is its team of local travel experts: a well-traveled and well-educated group who are not only experts in their fields and their cities, but also discriminating in their tastes. These local experts live in the city they write about so the content is constantly updated, and averages 5 million visitors per month.

WildLights takes place December 13-14, 20-24, 26-28. Event hours are 6 - 9 p.m. with last entry at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $14 per person; $12 for members, military (with ID); $10 for children ages 3-12 and free for those under 3. Some attractions require additional fees. Tickets can be purchased online at or at the main admissions gate.  For more information, visit or call (760) 346-5694.

The Living Desert is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the grounds and gardens opening at 8 a.m.

About the Living Desert:

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is a nonprofit, accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, ensuring the highest standards of all aspects of animal care, education, conservation, public service, and operations. The Zoo is active in conservation research, habitat protection, breeding programs, and education initiatives around the world, as well as in its own community. The Zoo has been a top destination in the Palm Springs area for 50 years. The Living Desert is located at 47900 Portola Ave, Palm Desert, CA 92260. For more information: (760) 346-5694 or visit

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