Staff Report

This holiday season, when shopping centers become a zoo, head to the real thing, Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, and embrace a Tampa tradition for the young and young at heart. There are many ways to share the excitement of the Zoo with friends and family this holiday season, while supporting an organization committed to making a difference in the lives of animals in the world around us.

Each holiday season, Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo transforms into a whimsical world of holiday magic for Wild Wonderland, presented by Publix Super Markets Charities. Spread some seasonal cheer this year as you stroll through the Zoo illuminated with holiday lights, sights and sounds on select nights, December 8, 14-23 and 26-30 from 6:30-10 p.m.

Find dazzling decorations and radiant lights throughout the Zoo’s pathways, including a musical light show set against the beautiful backdrop of an enchanting castle entryway, charming animated displays and lovely storefront windows.

The newest addition to the seasonal celebration is an Arctic Freeze Ice Slide, 100 feet of frozen fun, located inside the Reindeer Games area. Here families can “chill” out, play carnival games, and little elves can jump for joy on new inflatables.

Don’t miss the jolly old elf himself and his merry mammals – real reindeer. Their feathered friends the penguins will stay up late for the fun too, dressed in their black and white best.  For the first time, see the animals of Safari Africa in a whole new light — under the starry night sky. This enchanting area, known as Safari Spectacular, will include the Frozen Forest, a white crystal light experience.

‘Tis the season of giving, and by attending Wild Wonderland, guests are helping to support the Zoo, an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization providing an exciting nature-based entertainment destination, center for wildlife conservation, and educational resource for the community. Lowry Park Zoo is located at 1101 West Sligh Ave. in Tampa.

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. Parking is free. Tickets may be purchased at, at the Zoo’s front gate during business hours or on the night of the event.


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Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.