California Zoos


California Zoos Holiday Festivals, Lights

Zoos are already entertaining and magical places to visit. Come the holidays, however, the darkness turns to light with the beautiful zoo lights holiday celebrations. Other festivals and events include special zoo feeds with Christmas gifts and foods that humans can relate to. If you can go, you're attendance helps support zoos.

ATASCADERO: Atascadero Charles Paddock Zoo Holiday Magic December 15, 2018, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. The Zoo is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
9100 Morro Road
Atascadero, CA 93422
Santa is visiting the animals at the Charles Paddock Zoo a little early to deliver special gifts to our animal friends. Join in the fun. Enjoy a visit with Santa and start your holiday off with tons of animal fun! Check the front entrance for schedules so you don't miss out!

BAKERSFIELD: Bakersfield CALM Holiday Lights November 30, 2018-January 5, 2019

FRESNO: Fresno Chaffee Zoo Lights, November 30, 2018-January 5, 2019

FOLSOM: Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary, December 1, 7, 8, 14-23 and 26-30, 2018

LA JOLLA: Birch Aquarium Seas 'n' Greetings December 1-31, 2018
2300 Expedition Way
La Jolla, CA 92037
 Seas 'n' Greetings Celebrate the Holiday SEAson! From December 1 to 31, Birch Aquarium is transformed into a holiday wonderland full of SEAsonal activities for the whole family. Deck the Hall (of Fishes) and get into the holiday spirit every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and check the schedule for special appearances by Scuba Santa, crafts, activities, as well as live holiday music on weekends. All holiday activities are included with admission
November 29 5:30-8 p.m. Let it Glow
December 1 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Seas 'n' Greetings
 December 2 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Seas 'n' Greetings
 December 3 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Seas 'n' Greetings
 December 4 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Seas 'n' Greetings
 December 5 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Seas 'n' Greetings
 December 6 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Seas 'n' Greetings
December 7 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Seas 'n' Greetings
 December 8 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Seas 'n' Greetings
 December 9 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Seas 'n' Greetings
 December 10 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Seas 'n' Greetings
 December 11 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Seas 'n' Greetings
 December 12 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Seas 'n' Greetings
 December 13 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Seas 'n' Greetings

LODI: Micke Grove Zoo Lights December 7-9, 2018 and December 14-16, 2018, 5-8 p.m.
Micke Grove Zoo
11793 N Micke Grove Road
Lodi, CA 95240-9499
$20 per vehicle,
Games, crafts, activities, free pictures with Santa

LONG BEACH: Aquarium Holidays December 1-23, 2018
Holiday Treats for the Animals December 8-9, 2018, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
100 Aquarium Way
Long Beach, CA
Part of the month-long Aquarium Holidays, Santa Diver delivers an ocean of gifts for penguins, sea otters, seals, sea lions, lorikeets, and fish. This seasonal event includes festive decor, a snow play area, crafts,  photo opportunities with Santa, a display of gingerbread houses, daily Penguin Walks at 10 a.m., shopping, snowfall in the Great Hall, a special holiday menu in Cafe Scuba, and daily appearances by Santa Diver and Aquarium characters in their holiday outfits. Hanukkah storytelling and dreidel, too

  • SANTA DIVER: Weekends: 12:45 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. | Weekdays: 1:30 p.m.
    See Santa dive with the fishes.
  • HANUKKAH STORYTELLING AND DREIDEL ACTIVITY: December 1-2 at 12:30 p.m. | December 8-9 at 4 p.m.
  • HOLIDAY TREATS FOR THE ANIMALS: December 8-9, 2018, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
    Santa Diver delivers an ocean of gifts to the Aquarium of the Pacific for its animals, including penguins, sea otters, seals, sea lions, lorikeets, and fish.
  • MEET AN AQUARIUM HOLIDAY CHARACTER: Weekends 10:45 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 1:45 p.m., 2:45 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m.
    Take photos with our ray, polar bear, penguin, otter, and octopus costume characters in their holiday attire.
  • SNOW: Weekends 10:45 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 1:45 p.m., 2:45 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. | Weekdays 10:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m.
    Watch as snow falls in the Great Hall.
  • FREE HOLIDAY FILM: Weekends 11 a.m., 2:40 p.m. & 4:30 p.m. | Weekdays 11 a.m., 2:40 p.m.
    Original cartoon Dr. Seuss How the Grinch Stole Christmas in Ocean Theater.
  • PENGUIN PARADE: 10 a.m. 2nd Floor Northern Pacific Gallery in front of Sea Otter Habitat
  • HOLIDAY CRAFTS: Weekends 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • GINGERBREAD HOUSE DISPLAY: December 8-23, 2018 See a special ocean-themed gingerbread house display created by Aquarium staff.

LOS ANGELES: Los Angeles LA Zoo Christmas Celebration November 16, 2018 - January 6, 2019, 6-10 p.m. 

OAKLAND: Oakland ZooLights Holiday Lights Attraction December 7, 2018 - January 6, 2019

SACRAMENTO: Sacramento Zoo Holiday Magic December 8, 2018 | PJ Party Christmas Eve December 24, 2018

SAN DIEGO: Jungle Bells December 14, 2018-January 6, 2019

SAN DIEGO: SeaWorld San Diego Christmas Celebration November 17, 2018-January 6, 2019
Discount Tickets
500 Sea World Drive
San Diego, CA 92109
(800) 257-4268
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Dolphin Island Christmas, Clyde & Seamore Christmas Special, more!

SAN FRANCISCO: San Francisco Zoo Lights December 14-16, 2018, December 18-23, 2018 & December 26-30, 2018

SAN JOSE: Happy Hollow Zoo Gifts for the Animals December 15, 2018, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
 Happy Hollow Park & Zoo/Business Office Building/1300 Senter Rd, San Jose CA 95112
$30, ages 4+,
Holiday season to make gifts for the animals! You and your family will learn about the importance of enrichment in zoos and create a holiday-themed enrichment item to give to one of the zoo animals. If you took this class last year, it will be similar, but we will meet and see different animals.

SANTA ANA: Santa Ana Zoo Snow Days with Critters December 15-16, 2018, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. both days
 1801 E. Chestnut Ave.
Santa Ana, CA 92701
All Zoo celebration featuring stations focusing on winter and snow. Watch animals receive icy treats, listen to festive music, enjoy the winter decorations, play educational games, create cool crafts and listen to delightful winter stories. Also shop for the holiday season with an extra discount during the "White Elephant Sale" at the Treetop Toys Gift Ship both days. 

SANTA BARBARA: Open December 24 & 25, 2018, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Santa Barbara Zoo
500 Ninos Drive
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
$18 admission | zoos
Beautiful and elusive, snow leopards are highly endangered and the subject of celebration at this Zoo event. Kids sled down the Zoo's mini-Himalayan mountains and play in the snow area. There are also snow leopard arts and crafts, and photos with Santa. Cost: festival is free with Zoo admission; $3 extra charge for snow area access.

VALLEJO: Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Vallejo Christmas November 23, 2018-January 6, 2019
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
1001 Fairgrounds Dr.
Vallejo, CA 94589
Christmas is mostly celebrated in the theme park with rides, food, and attractions, but there aquarium / zoo does have some holiday themed events, too.

Events and details are subject to change. Please confirm before going.

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