By Crystal Harrell

It’s time to start planning for the holiday season, and the cherished WildLights holiday event at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is back to provide a touch of magic under a shimmering canopy of lights.

As night falls from November 22nd to December 30th, The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens will transform into a radiant wonderland. This year, not only will the Zoo have its key staples like Santa’s sleigh, s’more roasting, and specialty hot chocolate drinks, but attendees will also get to experience the magic at a whole new level with the introduction of a stunning 30-foot Christmas tree.

“Guests can look forward to a truly magical experience at this year’s WildLights holiday event, where they can enjoy spectacular Zoo lights that come to life after sunset. WildLights offers visitors a unique perspective of the Zoo at the The Living Desert, as visitors can view the Zoo quite literally in a different light. The event provides a distinct experience from daytime Zoo visits because not all animals are visible at night,” shared Allison Krupp, VP of Marketing at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens.


As guests stroll through the dazzling, lighted pathways consisting of over three million lights, they can also see many of the Zoo’s animals in their habitats throughout the park. This year, there will be a new 30-foot Christmas tree, opportunities to roast s’mores in the Palm Garden area, specialty drinks, a DJ, gift shops, and a variety of festive food options. Guests can capture photos with Santa up through Christmas Eve and the Grinch after Christmas in the Palm Garden, which will feature a Candy Cane Lane theme this year.

In addition, this year WildLights will feature a special night on Thursday, December 14th, for adults only. 21+ adults can take some time away from the young ones and come out to enjoy a festive evening just for themselves. Mix 100.5 Palm Springs will be spinning the tunes and creating a festive vibe for the night.

“WildLights has been around for over 30 years. This year will mark the 31st year. It has become quite the tradition, embraced by both the local community and visitors from afar. Over the years, WildLights has maintained a commitment to tradition by featuring animal-themed Christmas lighting while also incorporating new elements to keep the event fresh – and with time, it has grown into a beloved tradition for countless families,” stated Krupp.

WildLights has been voted as one of the best zoo lights in the country by USA TODAY, topping the list of 10 Best Reader’s Choice as one of the “Top Ten Best Zoo Lights” for several years running. Once again, WildLights has been nominated for the same title this year.

“WildLights is a standout holiday tradition in the Coachella Valley, bringing together not just the local community but also people from various parts of the nation to immerse themselves in the one-of-a-kind festive atmosphere. The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is excited to see WildLights continue to thrive and evolve in the years to come. They’re committed to preserving the beloved tradition and continually discovering new ways to provide excitement and engagement for both its loyal attendees and newcomers,” said Krupp.

Your timed WildLights ticket indicates the earliest time you can enter the Zoo. All daytime visitors, including members and guests with WildLights tickets, must completely exit the Zoo by 5:00 pm. Beginning at 6:00 pm, WildLights guests will be allowed to enter at the time designated on their ticket.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit