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‘Wildlights’ at the Living Desert welcomes locals, visitors on opening night

The annual Wildlights at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens welcomed guests back on Wednesday, November 24.

The holiday lights exhibit goes on from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on select nights through December 30.

However, starting on December 17, the event will run through the end of the year. 

Wildlights Roadrunner fixture

President and CEO of the Living Desert, Allen Monroe told News Channel 3 they “are super excited to be able to welcome the 29th season of our holiday lights festival ‘Wildlights’ and welcome people back into the park."

Not too long into last year's light festival, organizers were forced to shutdown again after California experienced a spike in COVID-19 infections.

Presented by the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation and recognized by USA Today as Readers' Choice Best Zoo Lights for two years in a row, the event features more than 1 million lights alongside other holiday decorations and entertainment spread throughout the park.

Check out how the previous edition of Wildlights looked:

"This year, we have so much to celebrate and are thrilled to welcome our guests back to WildLights this holiday season,'' said Allen Monroe, president and CEO of The Living Desert. "With our new Rhino Savanna and the merriment throughout the park, we are honored to be part of families' memory-making traditions. Plus, every time someone visits The Living Desert, they help further our mission to save endangered species, so we invite everyone to join the festivities while supporting an important cause."

Select animal habitats are also open at night, including the new Rhino Savanna, which features two endangered Black rhinos.

3-year-old female Black Rhino Nia
2-year-old male Black Rhino Jaali

Monroe said 'Wildlights' guests will have a chance to see “not only our rhino, but our giraffe are out at night and some of our other animals.”

Other family-friendly attractions include a Santa Claus Photo Op, Carousel, kid and adult friendly beverages, live music, and you can even make S'mores.

Santa Claus at Wildlights at the Living Desert

Anyone interested in seeing the dazzling light show is required to make a reservation and purchase tickets in advance for both members and guests.

DJ Mod Girl at Wildlights at the Living Desert

Admission is $16 for adults, $14 for members, $12 for children 3-12 and military with ID. Children under three are free. More information about tickets is available at

Stay with News Channel 3 for more updates.

Article Topic Follows: Holidays

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Jennifer Franco

Jennifer Franco is the weekend anchor/weekday reporter for KESQ News Channel 3


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