Family New Year's Eve at LA Zoo

Say hello to 2017 on the early side while enjoying the glittery Zoo Lights.

Noisemakers, those holiday, make-some-hubbub devices, can include clappers and spinners and the various clanky doodads that sound off when the year takes its final bow.

Animals, as a rule, don't send away for a packet of noisemakers near the close of the year, for they have roars and purrs and calls that are so ear-amazing that they stand on their own.

To celebrate the noisemaker-iest holiday of the year among such grander roarers and purrers is something of an honor, even if the roarers and purrers are tucked up and fast asleep on New Year's Eve.

Spoiler alert: Koalas and flamingos are not the fastidious clock-watchers we humans are, so they generally don't feel the push to make it to midnight.

How to do celebrate among the roarers and purrers, though? Well, lookie here: The Los Angeles Zoo's Zoo Lights, the holiday illumination extravaganza, will be open on Saturday, Dec. 31.

Nope, closing time is not midnight or later — it is 10 p.m. — which makes it an ideal out for families with younger tots and those who love some dazzle but have to get their zzzs, too.

What makes this Zoo Lights night a bit different from the others? In short, which gives it some NYE-style pizzazz? Look for "an East-Coast-midnight toast," one that comes with a gratis glass of Champagne for the grown-ups and sparkly apple cider for the under-21 guests.


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There's a dinner buffet, too, and some other special touches. This will require a different ticket, do note, and it is a ticket comes with "'skip-the-line' express entry" to the Zoo Lights extravaganza.

Want to welcome 2017, but outside, in the glow of all those bulbs, near the snoozing beasties, at an earlier hour? This is your bash.

And no noisemakers are even required. After all, you don't want to wake the local residents. Instead, raise your glass of bubbly or cider at 9 p.m. and wish the close-at-hand critters, and we humans who share their planet, a very happy new year.

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