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Christmas in the Wild at ZooTampa is back with dazzling lights and fun!

The holiday season is just around the corner, and ZooTampa is getting ready for its most festive and brightest Christmas in the Wild to date.

This year we are glowing everywhere with thousands of lights across holiday-themed areas throughout the Zoo.

Tampa’s premiere outdoor family holiday event will begin lighting up the nights on November 25, 2022 and continue twinkling for 16 select nights through December 30, 2022.

The Zoo will transform into a holiday wonderland full of magic and cheer, with special animal connections and Signature Encounters, expanded light displays, festive entertainment, and delectable seasonal food and drinks.

Christmas in the Wild at ZooTampa

What’s NEW for Christmas in the Wild at a ZooTampa 2022?

  • 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.
  • Lantern Lullaby: This calming walk through our Asia pathway is filled with Asian paper lanterns representing all the colors and splendor of the season, accompanied by the sounds of holiday lullabies.
  • 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.

Returning Favorites:

  • 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!
  • Wallaroo Wrap Party: Dance with Santa’s elves who’ve gathered to celebrate the season after working hard making presents for everyone. While in Wallaroo, join in some reindeer games with Randolph the Reindeer.
  • Ticky Tacky Christmas: Roaring Springs transforms into Tacky Christmas, where holiday decorations get silly.
  • Animal Giving Tree: Guests can get into the holiday spirit and give gifts to the animals that call ZooTampa home. Simply scan a QR code to give the gift that keeps on giving. The main tree is located next to the Binturong habitat, but QR codes can be found all over the park to share the gift of giving.
  • Candy Cane Carousel: Embark on an unforgettable ride with red and white lights sprinkled all around the carousel for a candy cane celebration.
  • 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.
  • Kaleidoscope Tunnel: 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 hilarious Christmas improv show, “Hymn-Prov”
  • Felices Dias Festivos: Deck the halls with cheerful Latino carolers singing their favorite Christmas carols in English and Spanish.

Essential Event Details:

  • Christmas in the Wild takes place on 16 select nights from November 25- December 30 2022.
  • Event dates are: Nov 25 (member night), Nov 26, Dec 2-3, Dec 9-11, Dec 18-18, Dec 22-23
  • General admission tickets are $29.95 and are available in advance at
  • 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. Date and time-specific tickets and reservations are available online.
  • They are strongly encouraged and the only way to guarantee admission.

WATCH: INSIDE LOOK: Christmas in the Wild at ZooTampa

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Laura Byrne
Laura Byrne
Laura Byrne is an award-winning former television news journalist who spent 15+ years in newsrooms across the state of Florida including Sarasota, Tallahassee, Fort Myers and right here in Tampa Bay where she still freelances on occasion. She covered the political beat, crime beat and every day breaking news during her time in Florida newsrooms, but is now focused on sharing positive news stories and events with families in Tampa Bay. She is a proud mommy of two little boys who keep her on her toes and laughing every day. Her goal is to inspire families just like yours to get out and play and experience all that Tampa Bay and our great state of Florida have to offer! She encourages you to share your stories and upcoming events so we can spread the good news.

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