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Select nights, 6pm - 9pm
December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 - 24, 26 - 30
Closed December 25
|Child Ticket (ages 3-12)||$12|
WildLights is celebrating 29 years dazzling guests by transforming the Zoo into a sparkling winter wonderland. Come to this festive, annual tradition and marvel at more than a million colorful, sparkling holiday lights.
Recognized in the Top 5 Best Zoo Lights by USA Today, WildLights guests will encounter a herd of life-size, luminescent animal lanterns, explore newly added pathways and stroll through the popular tunnel of lights flashing to holiday music. In true WildLights tradition, the festive G-scale model trains with more than 3,300 feet of track will be decked out for the holidays. Delicious food and beverages will also be available for purchase. Light up your holiday and join us!
Advanced reservations are required for both members and guests.
Guests should expect traffic delays and congestion during WildLights. You’re encouraged to arrive with ample time to accommodate for parking. The Living Desert’s parking can fill up quickly; carpooling is encouraged. Parking is located within the main Zoo lot, with overflow on Portola Avenue and surrounding streets. Please be courteous when parking on neighborhood streets; do not block driveways, park in red/No Parking zones, or block in other cars. Please be mindful of barricades and signage that is put into place to create a smooth parking experience for our guests. Allowed street parking locations include Portola Avenue, Haystack Avenue, and Buckboard Avenue. Also, please be expeditious when dropping off friends and family near the front gate so as not to impede the flow of traffic.
General Event Questions:
What are the dates and times WildLights?
6:00pm - 9:00pm | 8:30pm Last Admission
November 24, 26, 27 | December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 - 24, 26 - 30
November 23 - Members only night
The Living Desert is closed Christmas Day, December 25.
What are the prices for WildLights?
$16 general admission
$14 members, military (with I.D.)
$12 child (3-12 years old)
Free for children under 3
How do I purchase tickets for WildLights evening?
Advanced reservations are required for both members and guests. Tickets may be purchased online or by calling (760) 346-5694.
Can I use my tickets on any night?
No. WildLights tickets are valid only on the specific date and time for which you purchased your tickets.
Why are there timed entry tickets?
Timed-entry tickets help us regulate how many people are in the Zoo at any given time. Once inside the event, guests may stay until the event ends.
I purchased my tickets online, but never received the tickets or confirmation?
Try checking your SPAM or Junk email folders. The sender is “eGalaxy Store” <email@example.com>
You will receive a confirmation email from "eGalaxy Store" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, and your ticket order will be attached as a PDF.
If you are unable to locate the tickets, please contact the Guest Experience Center for additional assistance at (760) 346-5694.
Does The Living Desert offer members special pricing or entry days?
Member admission to WildLights is discounted to $14 per person on event dates November 24 - December 30.
We are pleased to offer an exclusive Member Preview Night on Tuesday, November 23rd.
Will there be tickets available day-of? If tickets are sold out online, will there be tickets available at the gate?
You are strongly encouraged to purchase your WildLights tickets in advance as this event can sell out quickly.
When should I buy my tickets?
We recommend purchasing tickets as far in advance as you can, as we anticipate selling out.
Do I need to bring my membership card and photo ID even though I used my ID number to buy my ticket online?
Yes, we reserve the right to check member cards and photo IDs at the gate.
Are group discounts available?
Yes, groups discounts are available for groups larger than 20 guests. However, the tickets must be purchased in advance and are not available for purchase onsite. To purchase group tickets, please call the Guest Experience Center at (760) 346-5694. All tickets must be purchased for a particular date and time. The Living Desert will not have a will call available. Group discounts are for general admission tickets to WildLights only.
Can I enter the Zoo before the event starts?
On each event evening, the Zoo will be cleared of all daytime guests, including members and guests with pre-purchased WildLights tickets at 5 pm. At approximately 5:45pm each evening, the Zoo entrance gates will open for pre-admission into the Living Legacy Garden. At 6pm, guests are welcome to explore all of WildLights.
Can you see the animals during WildLights?
This year’s WildLights features new guest pathways. Although the light displays are the main feature of the event, some animals may be visible.
Where should we park?
You’re encouraged to arrive with ample time to accommodate for parking. Parking is located within the main Zoo lot, with overflow on Portola Avenue and surrounding streets. Please be courteous when parking on neighborhood streets; do not block driveways, park in red/No Parking zones, or block in other cars. Please be mindful of barricades and signage that is put into place to create a smooth parking experience for our guests. Also, please be expeditious when dropping off friends and family near the front gate so as not to impede the flow of traffic.
The Living Desert’s parking can fill up quickly. You can use your favorite rideshare app such as Lyft or Uber to save time and avoid parking inconveniences.
Allowed street parking locations include Portola Avenue, Haystack Avenue, and Buckboard Avenue.
Are gift shops and concessions open?
Yes, the main gift shop and select food and beverage outlets will be open. All food service will be take-away, and there will be limited seating areas provided. Both offerings will be following all health and safety guidelines.
Palm Garden Outdoor Grill – Grill fare, along with hot chocolate, snacks and beverages.
Churro Stop – Fresh, made-to-order churros, soft serve ice cream, and beverages.
S’mores Station – S’mores kits available, along with hot chocolate and snacks.
Are strollers and wheelchairs available for rental?
Yes, The Living Desert rents strollers and push-cart style wheelchairs from the front plaza for a $5 fee. Strollers and wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first served basis.
Will there be shuttles running?
No, shuttles are no longer available. Private tours are also not available during WildLights. You're visit to the Zoo is and WildLights is a walking event.
What is the refund policy?
WildLights tickets are non-refundable. If you pre-purchased tickets, but are unable to attend, consider giving them as gifts to friends or family. WildLights is a rain or shine event.
What can I do at the event?
WildLights is a magical winter wonderland complete with a million twinkling lights, light displays, and holiday fun. It is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit and make lasting memories with friends and family.
Included Experiences (with paid WildLights admission):
Synchronized Light Zones
Tunnel of Lights
The Dazzling Gift
Exploring the Zoo’s lighted pathways and light displays
Photos with Santa - Palm Garden
Plentiful photo opportunities
Upgraded Experiences (for an additional fee)
S’mores Station – adjacent to the carousel
Enjoy various food and beverage options – The Churro Stop, Beverage Cart in the Living Legacy Garden, S’mores Station. Palm Garden Outdoor Grill will also offer beer, wine and spirits.
What about Santa?
New this year, Santa will be available for photos. Perched high in his festive sleigh, to accommodate for social-distancing, guests of all ages will be able to step into the front of Santa’s sleigh to pose for selfies with Santa.
Santa will depart for the North Pole on Christmas Day, so he will not be at WildLights on December 26-30.
How do I make the most of our WildLights evening?
Purchase tickets in advance
Plan your route and activities
Dress warmly and for comfort
Are WildLights tours available?
WildLights is a self-guided experience. Group and private tours are not available during WildLights.