Illuminated Animals: LA Zoo Lights Returns

The seasonal after-sundown stroll-through is back with a dazzling array of natural scenes.

If you've ever walked into a room and flicked on the light switch, only to find your pooch snoozing in his bed, you know that the look he gives you, when he cracks his eye open to see just who is disturbing his slumber, can rightfully and accurately be described as the dreaded "hairy eyeball."

All of us have given a few hairy eyeballs in our time, when we've been woken up by sudden lights, which is why the Los Angeles Zoo, during LA Zoo Lights, tucks up its real beasties in their various nests/grottoes/trees before flicking the switch on its seasonal animals of light.

Lots of animals made of light, we'll add, and lots of light beyond those animals, too. The shimmery spectacular, which first debuted in 2014 as a way to "bring holiday lights back to Griffith Park," will again run for several weeks, from late November into early January at the vast animal park.

The Friday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 27, is the start day.

Or make that the start night. Unlike pretty much every other time one visits the zoo, there are no daytime hours to LA Zoo Lights. Darkness, of course, enhances all of those LED displays, displays like the "glowing 130-foot snake coiled on a roof" to "monkeys scampering through the grounds."

Light tunnels that are all a-glitter, light shows, water presentations, and 3D projections take the light-making art to a contemporary, tech-of-tomorrow level.

It takes about an hour to saunter through, or maybe 90 minutes, if you're comparing it, in your mind, to previous zoo visits. Hot beverages will be for sale, in case you need something to wrap your frosty mitts around on a California-cold December night, and snacks and such, too.

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Some VIP happenings, special events, and add-ons, like a happy hour feature, and a New Year's Eve party for families, are also on the schedule.

As for the real resident animals who shall be all asnooze? We'll wish them well as we stroll by the illuminated monkey display and the giganto snake and the shiny snowflakes and the other glow-by-night details dotting the grounds of the LA Zoo.

And we vow to always check to see if our dog is asleep before turning on the lights in a room. 

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