SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — With roughly 50,000 led bulbs, “Zoo Lights” allows visitors to experience the Santa Barbara Zoo in a completely different light.
Guests will be able to enjoy immersive displays of their favorite animals brought to life with animatronic features.
“I think they've been more excited to see the fake animals there than the real animals,” said Ali Wilson, who was visiting from Lompoc.
The zoo is highlighting Santa Barbara’s close connection with the ocean with its “Under the Sea” theme.
“We're seeing animals like fish. We're seeing animals like snakes. We're seeing animals like sloths. All of those are not your typical holiday focused animals, but they're all still here. In the wintertime, they may be hibernating or they may be swimming a little slower in a colder ocean, possibly, but they're still here, and we still want to celebrate all of the animals that share the planet with us,” said Santa Barbara Zoo Brand Manager Wendy Campbell.
“They get to see even a lot of animals that are not being able to be here at the zoo on exhibit. So I think that's really, really neat, really amazing,” said Cameron Arevalos, who was visiting from Lompoc.
“There are some giant parakeets that move and talk back. There's also puffer fish that we all kind of see wiggling through the water. There's different animals that might be swinging their tails or turning in circles,” said Campbell.
Starting Wednesday, Zoo Lights will be running from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on select dates up until January 14th.
“It was so much fun. Last year surpassed our expectations. We love the light up swings and just running around at night at the zoo. You don't get to be at the zoo very often at night. So we're looking forward to another fun family night again and all the lights. It's kind of like a great holiday kickoff,” said Aja Forner, who was visiting from Carpinteria.