Photo / Jamie Pham

While the LA Zoo has much to see throughout the year, if you love holiday lights, then the annual “Zoo Lights” is a must see.

This event  seems to get better each year, transforming the zoo’s grounds  with huge  displays that includes live music,  illuminated snowflakes, a twinkling walk through a tunnel of bright colors, a water and light show and animation that brings playful and unexpected surprises that represents the zoo’s animal kingdom and LA’s landmarks.  

This nightime display is held after zoo hours and requires a separate ticket purchase. While zoo animals are asleep, you’ll still be able to see reindeer and have a visit with Santa amid the glow of more than 500,000 LED lights. It’s a self-guided tour that can take between 60-to 90 minutes amid the glow of swinging monkeys, strutting flamingos and Asian elephants. “Zoo Lights” lends itself to a romantic holiday stroll or a family night out with the kids.      

LA Zoo Lights is currently in the running in a USA Today competition of  light displays. It has been nominated for USA Today’s 10 best readers’ choice travel awards for ‘Best Zoo Lights.’  If  you want to show some love for L.A.’s zoo and this bit of annual holiday magic, go to:  . The contest gives the public until Monday, Dec.10, to vote for the candidate of their choice.  You can vote once a day for the run of the contest.

The winners will be announced on Friday, Dec. 21.