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The 12th annual Wild Wonderland returns to Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo

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This December the Lowry Park Zoo will transform into a Wild Wonderland. Guests will be able to enjoy festive holiday music, lights, unlimited Zoo rides and real reindeer. Special holiday hours will be from 6:30 to 10 p.m. on Dec. 3, 9-11, 16-23, and 26-31.

Holiday décor will light up the Zoo’s pathways. The castle entryway will provide a stunning backdrop for a musical light show that includes sparkling lights synchronized to festive holiday music. A simulated fireworks show will use LED lights in a festive way.

The newest addition to the annual celebration is a display called Wonder and Delight. Stroll through a holiday fantasy village with animated storefront windows and Santa’s sleigh and reindeer. Displays like Visions of Sugarplums and a newly expanded Frozen Forest will help to usher in the season.

In addition to the unlimited Zoo rides guests can meet a real reindeer. The reindeer theme extends into the” Rudolph’s Reindeer Games” area. This section is designed for younger children and features inflatable bounce houses.

Wild Wonderland is a fundraiser for the zoo, a nonprofit organization, with proceeds benefiting animal care and education programs. Admission prices for Wild Wonderland are $13 for adults (ages 12 and over), $11 for children (ages 3-11), and free for ages 2 and under. Annual Zoo Passholders receive discounted admission. Admission includes free unlimited rides on all nights. Tickets may be purchased online to expedite entry.

Another themed event during the holiday season gives children the chance to enjoy a day program while their parents shop or do other errands. “Drop & Shop” camps offer weekend help during the busy holiday season. From 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec. 10, 11, 17, or 18 parents can enroll children in a day program that includes Zoo hikes, animal encounters, a visit with the reindeer, holiday crafts, and hot cocoa and cookies. Drop & Shop camps are for ages 3-12 (young children must be potty trained). The cost is $30 for one child and $10 for each additional child per date. Space is limited and advance registration required.

Children who will be celebrating a birthday in December can have a Wild Wonderland birthday party. These specialty birthday parties are available from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on select nights and include Wild Wonderland admission, a private birthday party room, pizza and more. Parties will also include a birthday party host, up-close animal encounters, age appropriate game or activity, party supplies and a special gift for the birthday child. To organize a party, call 813-935-8552 ext. 268.

For more information about the winter events visit LowryParkZoo.com .

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