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Insiders Tips to Christmas in the Wild

Nov 22, 2017

Insider Tips Blog
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas in the Wild is back at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo for 18 magical nights. The Zoo will be transformed into a winter wonderland with breathtaking lights, delicious holiday treats, festive entertainment and wildlife at night! Christmas in the Wild offers guests of all ages a merry and memorable evening with this unique, yet traditional holiday event. Check out the tips below to make sure you have a jolly good time:

  1. Skip the lines
    Christmas in the Wild will take place Friday and Saturdays November 24-25, December 1-2, 8-10, 15-17, 21-23 and 26-30. The holiday fun is included with Zoo Membership, single-day admission and you can even pay for a day, come back the rest of 2017 & 2018 FREE! If you have family and friends in town for just the night, there’s a special After 4 p.m. ticket available!

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  2. Here comes Santa Claus, right down Zoo Boulevard!
    The big guy in red will return to Santa’s Village and is excited to meet all the families of Tampa Bay! As you wait to tell Santa your Christmas wish list, there will be plenty of photo opportunities, drink options and playful elves to keep you entertained!  You can now make text reservations to ensure that you don’t miss jolly St. Nick before he goes back to the North Pole. Visit Santa’s Village upon entering the Zoo to save your spot!

    JOLLY TIP – Zoo Members can meet Santa early from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.!

  3.  Come hungry and satisfy those Christmas cravings!
    When we think of the holidays, one of the first thing that comes to mind is all of the food and treats! The Zoo’s Head Chef, Itza Henderson, has created a menu to satisfy every foodie’s taste buds. Savory dishes include braised short rib with smoked Gouda mac and cheese, to S’mores bacon, to a Holiday burger complete with bacon, cranberry relish, shaved Brussel sprouts, and feta cheese.

    JOLLY TIP – Use a holiday dining plan to sip and taste with ease! A Couples Holiday Sampler comes with 15 points to use and a Friends & Family Sampler comes with 30. If you don’t finish your points in a night, no worries! The holiday dining plan is good all dates of Christmas in the Wild!

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  4. Winter Wildlife
    Wildlife will also get into the holiday spirit with special themed activities including Presents for Primates and Ornaments & Elephants. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience an even closer look at our African penguins! All new this year, families will enjoy “Hazel’s Christmas Gift” a holiday themed animal show, featuring our famous animal ambassadors.

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  5. Save room for Christmas cookies and treats!
    For those with a sweet tooth, get ready to indulge in decadent desserts, we’ve got gourmet a selection of hot chocolates, peppermint mousse and deconstructed apple pie. And for those looking to spice up the night a little more, mixologists at the Zoo have created custom cocktails including peppermint martinis, frozen hot chocolate martini and spiked apple cider. Get your appetites ready – you can only taste these dishes at Christmas in the Wild!

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  6. 'Tis the season of giving
    Don’t stress about what to get your loved ones this holiday season and avoid the crowded malls! Get all of your shopping done at the Zoo! Give your family and friends a gift that keeps on giving - a Zoo membership which includes unlimited trips to the Zoo all year long and many other benefits. How about a memory to last a lifetime? Schedule a nose-to-horn rhino encounter, or an Aldabra tortoise encounter or even a behind-the-scenes tour! Other one-of-a-kind gifts include personalized ornaments, art painted by penguins and elephants, and much more! 

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  7. Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree
    Christmas in the Wild offers all types of dazzling entertainment. This year, we have a bigger and brighter 50-foot animated Christmas tree complete with 12,000 dancing lights, 2,000 ornaments, an 8-ft star, and a fabulous light show that runs every 30 minutes! Enjoy the merry sounds from a school choir and carolers dressed in Dickens era costumes performing traditional classics as well as contemporary favorites. Other holiday themed areas include Holiday Hoedown, Polar Paradise and Candy Cane Lane where you can see a festive performance from the candy cane girls! You can also get cozy with Mrs. Claus for holiday story time! 

  8. Ditch the Sleigh! Carpool, Uber, Lyft or taxi your way to the Zoo
    Parking for this event is free but may fill up fast. Save the time and hassle of parking by having your driver drop you off at the Zoo School drop-off point, located at the entrance on North Blvd. Be on the lookout for Zoo staff assistance!

  9. Follow Twitter for Updates!
    Make sure you’re following the Zoo’s Twitter account (@Lowryparkzoo) for the inside scoop on parking, event schedules and more! 

  10. Come early and stay late!
    There will be plenty of activities to do and see at Christmas in the Wild! Make sure you arrive early and beat the crowds to experience all of the holiday magic before anyone else and feel like a true insider!

Tags :

  • seasonal events
  • holiday
  • Christmas
  • christmas in the wild
  • Tampa Bay City Pass
  • Association of Zoos and Aquariums
  • affiliate4

Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is operated by the Lowry Park Zoological Society, an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to excellence in education, conservation and research. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and is featured among the “Top 25 Zoos in the U.S” by TripAdvisor (2015) and “10 Best Zoos in the U.S.” by Trekaroo (2015). The Zoo is located at 1101 W. Sligh Avenue in Tampa, one mile west of I-275 (exit 48) and is open seven days a week, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. 

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