London Zoo Christmas Lights

If you go down to London Zoo tonight you’ll be sure of a big surprise, as the song nearly has it.  London Zoo Christmas lights start to twinkle once the animals have gone to sleep.  

Giraffe Lights London Zoo

The only animals that you will see at the London Zoo Light trail are ones made from hundreds of tiny bulbs.  The usual stars of the show slumber quietly in the shadows whilst visitors wander around the mile long light trail.  You start off by walking through three light tunnels including one amazing laser and smoke affair that is fiendishly difficult to photograph but transports you into a different world.  

Light Tunnel London Zoo

Once you have traversed the light tunnels you come to a central courtyard with food stalls, the regular cafe, a helter-skelter and a carousel.  This is also where the trail finishes, so depending on how hungry you are I would save this bit for last.

Carousel London Zoo

Now you go into the zoo proper.  Giant illuminated flamingos fly overhead.  If you go early in the evening right next door you can see and hear the real pat of flamingos settling down for the night.  I concede that this was my favourite part of trail.

Flamingo lights London Zoo

Onwards past Santa’s workshop and post room before coming face to face with the big man telling tales of the animals he encounters on his epic flight around the world.  Marshmallows are on sale at this point in all manner of fruity flavours, I opted for blueberry and Sipsmith Gin, which you can toast over a barbeque.

Toasting Marshmallows

Have you ever seen a Christmas tree made out of sledges?  No neither had I, in fact it took several moment of gazing at the changing lights on the tree to realise that was what it was.  

Christmas Tree London Zoo

London Zoo not only has famous animals but also listed buildings for them to live in.  Most famous off all the buildings in the Lubetkin Penguin Pool which is lit up spectacularly with a dancing light show all of its own.

Lubetkin Penguin Pool London Zoo

London Zoo Christmas lights are stunning, the mile long trail is step free and buggy friendly.  The glimpse of sleepy flamingos and the odd whiff of an animal is the nearest you get to seeing wildlife.  You exit through the gift shop giving ample opportunity to acquire animal themed stocking fillers.

London Zoo Christmas Lights need to know
  • London Zoo, Regent’s Park, NW1 4RY
  • 22 November 2018 – 1 January 2019, 4.45pm – 10pm
  • Admission: Adults £16.50, children £10.50, family £52, under 3 free.
  • To book tickets in advance click here.
  • 20 minute walk from Regent’s Park tube station
  • 15 minute walk from Camden Town tube station
London Zoo christmas lights

What kind of Christmas expeditions do you have planned?  If you need inspiration for a Christmas show to see take a look at my London Christmas Shows post.

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I was invited to a press preview of the London Zoo Christmas Lights, all opinions and a hankering for a pat of flamingos at home are my own.

43 Comments

  1. November 30, 2018 / 10:11 am

    These look like a marvellous addition to the London Christmas lights scene. I love the idea of hearing the flamingos, and seeing the light show at the modernist penguin pool. The kids would love it too #CulturedKids

  2. November 30, 2018 / 10:33 am

    Where do the penguins go?? Looks like great fun. My kids are huge fans of the zoo as Grandma and Grandpa have an annual pass and treat them to regular visits. Now trying to work out if we can fit this gorgeous evening in! #CulturedKids

  3. November 30, 2018 / 11:46 am

    I’m kicking myself I didn’t join you for this. It’s the idea of all those beautiful animals tucked up and snoring away,. And all those twinkly trails. Love it. #CulturedKids

    • Catherine
      Author
      November 30, 2018 / 1:23 pm

      I really liked the idea of all the animals tucked up and asleep!

  4. November 30, 2018 / 2:14 pm

    This looks lovely – there’s so many festive light shows this year, we’re spoiled for choice! #culturedkids

    • Catherine
      Author
      December 2, 2018 / 6:02 pm

      I know so many, I’ve yet to do my annual tour of the shopping streets in London!

  5. Trish @ Mum's Gone To
    November 30, 2018 / 4:23 pm

    Mmm gin marshmallows!
    This looks so beautiful – and I adore the Christmas tree made of sledges
    #culturedkids

    • Catherine
      Author
      December 2, 2018 / 6:01 pm

      So much nicer than the regular pink and white ones!

  6. November 30, 2018 / 6:38 pm

    I wonder how much money these places make from their light shows, hopefully there’s some profit in it. Walking round the zoo at night is a lovely idea, I just hope the animals aren’t disturbed! #Culturedkids

    • Catherine
      Author
      November 30, 2018 / 6:47 pm

      It must be a risk but hopefully a profit is made. There are big signs asking that no flash photography takes place to disturb the animals, they are tucked up well away from view.

  7. November 30, 2018 / 8:35 pm

    How amazing, I had no idea London zoo, had a wonderful Christmas setting. I loved the Christmas tree made Sledges. Such a wonderful post. Thank you so much for sharing this. 😄. #culturekids

    • Catherine
      Author
      December 2, 2018 / 6:00 pm

      I hope the sledges get used afterwards, or stored for next years tree.

      • December 2, 2018 / 6:38 pm

        Yes true. I hope they do get used again.

  8. November 30, 2018 / 9:02 pm

    We’ve gone to ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago almost every year we’ve lived here. It’s such a fun Christmas activity. #CulturedKids

    • Catherine
      Author
      December 2, 2018 / 6:00 pm

      They might have to become a family tradition with us now!

  9. November 30, 2018 / 11:16 pm

    There is such a thing as gin marshmallows? How have I lived this long without knowing that? London is so great for coming up with interesting after-hours things to do! I’d love to visit the zoo at night for the Christmas lights! #culturedkids

    • Catherine
      Author
      December 2, 2018 / 5:59 pm

      I know, now that I’ve discovered gin marshmallows I’m a convert!

  10. December 1, 2018 / 1:00 am

    How festive and fun! I have been to London, twice now, but I have never been to the zoo. It looks like this time of year is a good time to go. Thanks for sharing! #TheWeeklyPostcard

    • Catherine
      Author
      December 2, 2018 / 5:59 pm

      London Zoo is a very special place

  11. Anisa
    December 1, 2018 / 8:54 am

    Beautiful! I have gone to Zoolights a couple places in the US and it has always been a lot of fun. Would love to see this one too. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard

    • Catherine
      Author
      December 2, 2018 / 5:57 pm

      Zoo lights were a new thing to me, but would definitely seek out others!

    • Catherine
      Author
      December 2, 2018 / 6:03 pm

      They are all tucked up in bed and asleep!

  12. December 1, 2018 / 9:50 pm

    such beautiful lights! but I haven’t’ visited the London ZOO yet #culturedkids

    • Catherine
      Author
      December 2, 2018 / 5:57 pm

      London Zoo is incredible it does such good work and they buildings which the animals live in are pretty special too

  13. December 1, 2018 / 11:26 pm

    This looks so impressive! Great photos. I love the idea of the flamingos settling down for the night, and blueberry and gin marshmallows?! Who needs Christmas lights! #CulturedKids

    • Catherine
      Author
      December 2, 2018 / 5:56 pm

      I know, I’m not usually a fan of marshmallows but have been converted to gin ones!

  14. December 2, 2018 / 12:46 am

    Love seeing the flamingos! They are one of my favorite animals. This display is incredible. There is so much to see at every corner. #TheWeeklyPostcard

    • Catherine
      Author
      December 2, 2018 / 5:55 pm

      Love a flamingo too and this trail is amazing

  15. December 2, 2018 / 1:19 am

    This is the second zoo I’ve seen that does something with holiday lights!! How cool!! I would have thought this was completely magical when I was a kid. #TheWeeklyPostcard

    • Catherine
      Author
      December 2, 2018 / 5:55 pm

      Me too! The only lights we had were in the High Street of our nearest City!

  16. December 2, 2018 / 2:23 pm

    Awww I love the kangaroo shaped lights and also the giraffe lights, they look gorgeous at night! I wonder how long that takes to set up and how many crew members are involved? Would be fun to visit at this time of year. #FarawayFiles

    • Catherine
      Author
      December 2, 2018 / 2:27 pm

      I like to imagine a Disneyesque scene where all the animals are involved with the birds helping too, but suspect that it took many people a long time!

  17. December 3, 2018 / 11:35 am

    We went last year at Christmas at Kew Garden and we loved it. I think my children will really love this lights trail! Great photos!

  18. Clare Thomson
    December 3, 2018 / 10:08 pm

    Oh these lights look so wonderful. I do love a good Christmas trail and toasting your own marshmallows is a brilliant idea. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

    • Catherine
      Author
      December 3, 2018 / 11:29 pm

      I really enjoyed toasting the marshmallows

  19. December 3, 2018 / 10:56 pm

    Wow, those are grown up sounding marshmallows! I’m guessing they had some kid friendly ones too. The light trail sounds like a great alternative to a daytime visit, love the animal theme. #culturedkids

    • Catherine
      Author
      December 3, 2018 / 11:29 pm

      They did, most were fruit flavoured only one Gin one!

  20. Lyn
    December 4, 2018 / 12:21 am

    Wow that is truly spectacular, love to visit this display, especially to see those giraffes.

    • Catherine
      Author
      December 4, 2018 / 12:30 pm

      I always love a giraffe!

  21. December 6, 2018 / 6:21 pm

    We love displays like this – it combines two of our favorite things, zoos and Christmas lights! It also gives us a reason to visit the zoo during the winter, which we don’t usually do. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard!

  22. December 7, 2018 / 11:45 am

    This looks so impressive! Loving the sound of those grown up marshmallows #CulturedKids

  23. Ruth Murdoch
    December 9, 2018 / 5:33 pm

    My step son arrives in London tomorrow from New Zealand so I will be sending him to see this, thanks.

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