‘Tis the Season for Safe Jolly Family Fun! ZooTampa at Lowry Park kicks-off an unforgettable holiday season with the return of Christmas in the Wild, one of Tampa Bay’s most beloved holiday traditions. Families can safely experience this year’s holiday celebration as they stroll through the beautiful ZooTampa grounds and take in the sights and sounds of the season. Christmas in the Wild is a limited capacity event. Date and timed reservations are strongly encouraged and the best way to guarantee admission. The event kicks-off on Friday, November 27th and continues for select nights through December 30th. Tickets for Christmas in the Wild must be purchased in advance and are now available online.
A reservation-only event, Christmas in the Wild delights and amazes visitors each year with unique wildlife experiences, plenty of holiday adventure, a festive holiday light display, and yummy treats.
Known across the region as a much-anticipated holiday tradition, Christmas in the Wild offers a cornucopia of Yuletide delights, including:
• Forest of Fantasy: Manatee Circle is transformed into a spectacular forest of evergreens as guests embark a frosty escapade. The trees sparkle with life, thanks to the technology of mapped pixels and projection mapping. Perfect for kids of all ages, the event sees the “Queen of Ice and Snow” entertain visitors along with her Royal Icing Guards. Watch in amazement as the frigid trio conjure a dazzling snowstorm.
• Christmas Market presented by Melitta: Jolly Old St. Nick will be ho-ho-ho-ing at an authentic European marketplace featuring scrumptious German food and merchandise for sale with an international flair. Santa and his scampering elves will be available to meet and greet before flying back to the North Pole. Of course, no Christmas Market would be complete without a cookie decorating station with the First Lady of Christmas, a master baker who just might share her collection of delicious goodies (if you’re on the “Good List,” of course).
• Holiday Kaleidoscope: Walk through a colorful wonderland and be dazzled by a holiday kaleidoscope. Using the magic of projection mapping, lighting and immersive sound, the presentation of animals, global holiday celebrations and messages of hope will remind us why this holiday season is so special.
• Illuminate: It’s time for a winter adventure as Santa and one of his reindeer greet one and all aboard a Safari truck as they return from an epic journey to Africa. Visitors will have the opportunity to create a visual Christmas experience by being photographed with Santa in a socially distant, safe environment.
• Holiday Entertainment: Enjoy a fun twist to your favorite Christmas songs with our “Hymn-Prov” duo of carolers as they perform throughout the night in Saunders Theater in the Key West area. “Yule” be treated to traditional Christmas carols with a twist as you enjoy tasty food and drink at ZooTampa’s new Salty Turtle bar.
• Felices Días Festivos: Enjoy the sights and sounds of Latin-inspired traditions as you embark on a joyous cultural stroll.
Dreaming of a Wild Christmas
No ZooTampa holiday extravaganza would be complete without wild encounters with their special animal friends. Tuck in the fine feathered friends for the evening with Sleep Tight, Penguins and wish these avian friends a good night.
With such an extensive and immersive holiday experience, you’ll no doubt work up an appetite for your zoo adventure. Christmas in the Wild will feature inventive culinary delights, from cranberry glazed ribs to delightful Santa cheesecake hats. Adult visitors can catch the holiday spirit with specialty cocktails such as a cranberry mule or “The Grinch.”
At ZooTampa, they’re committed to ensuring guest and employee safety during these trying times. Since ZooTampa is mostly an outdoor fresh-air experience, guests who maintain proper social distancing are not required to wear facemasks. Even so, every guest entering the zoo is strongly encouraged to wear a mask. ZooTampa will provide disposable masks free of charge to anyone who does not have one. Guests will be informed of indoor venues where masks are required, including retail shops, bathrooms, restaurants (except while seated for dining), and Manatee Mangrove.
• Christmas in the Wild takes place on 17 select nights from Friday, November 27- December 30.
• Specific event dates: November 27, 28, and December 4-5, 11-12, 18-23, 26-30.
• Event starts at 4 p.m. with extended hours until 10 p.m. on event days before Christmas and until 9 pm after Christmas.
• Christmas in the Wild is a limited capacity event. Date and timed reservations are strongly encouraged and the best way to guarantee admission.
• Enhanced health and safety precautions will be in place including non-invasive temperature checks, social distancing, enhanced sanitation of attractions and mask requirements in limited outdoor locations. Additionally, all staff members including costumed characters will wear masks.
Sundays with Santa
Come to ZooTampa at Lowry Park and get your holiday pictures taken with Safari Santa!
Sundays with Santa are not Christmas in the Wild event dates, and event tickets are not needed. You can attend Sundays with Santa with a regular daytime Zoo ticket or membership. For the safety of the performers, they ask that all guests refrain from touching the performers and maintain a distance of 6ft from them at all times, which includes visits and photos with Santa.
Holiday Gifts & More
Whether you give Christmas in the Wild tickets, an adopted Zoo animal, a gift membership, or an unforgettable animal encounter, they’ll love their unique gift, and you’ll give twice — to your recipient and to ZooTampa!
A celebration of the season is not complete without finding that special gift or taking an opportunity to give back. Holiday shopping includes unique and themed gifts that support the Zoo’s mission of conservation. Find unique, environmentally friendly products that also help support our mission to preserve and protect wildlife. From reusable bamboo straws to plush toys made with recycled water bottles, there are a lot of eco-friendly gift options for everyone on your list. You can also purchase the present that supports their mission to protect and preserve wildlife – an animal adoption.
Remember—beyond this season of holiday fun, ZooTampa continues to fulfill a mission to rescue, rehabilitate and care for animals, while also creating exceptional personalized experiences that connect people with wildlife and each other in fun, immersive ways.
Visit the website for information, tickets, and the full schedule of activities.
For twice the fun, grab a ZooQuarium ticket and venture to the Florida Aquarium for even more adventures.