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Photos: The Dazzling Holiday Displays At L.A. Zoo Lights

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L.A. Zoo Lights is back for another holiday season at the Los Angeles Zoo, and yes—it's pretty spectacular.

LAist checked out L.A. Zoo Lights on Friday, which was opening night, so it was extremely packed until about 9:30 p.m., which must have been bedtime for the young kids that came with their families. This meant that until then, the lines were really long too; for food, drinks, Santa, access to the LAIR. (which stands for "living amphibians, invertebrates, and reptiles), and the water show. Hopefully as time goes on, waiting in line won't be such a hassle. If you want to see the lights, but avoid kids, you might want to consider two of the zoo's "VIP Experiences," which include a Holiday Happy Hour on December 10, and a New Year's Eve party on December 31. It ain't cheap, but you do get to skip lines, hang out in a heated lounge, and can enjoy complimentary beer, wine and hors d'oeuvres.

A self-guided tour of the decorated grounds lasts about an hour to 90 minutes; most of the animals will be asleep, but if you've ever wanted to see some reindeer up close and personal, L.A. Zoo Lights has got you covered—it's the only place in Los Angeles in which you can see reindeer at all. But on Friday, it was kind of a bleak scene. They seemed tired, and annoyed by the lights and throngs of people. Maybe they were trying to sleep? If lizards, snakes and amphibians are more your thing and you want to look at animals while your'e checking out the lights, the L.A.I.R. not only provided "good views," but it was also warm and cozy in there (thanks for lookin' out, cold-blooded friends).

Speaking of warming up—there's booze! Vendors are selling beer and wine, plus you can buy shots of alcohol to spice up hot cocoa or coffee.

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The Los Angeles Zoo is located at 5333 Zoo Drive in Los Angeles. L.A. Zoo Lights is open every night from now through Sunday, January 3, 2016, except on Christmas Eve (December 24) and Christmas Day (December 25). Hours are from 6 to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and from 6 to 11 pm Fridays through Sundays and December 21 through 23. Get your tickets here.