Santa’s reindeer are coming to Lowry Park Zoo. On select evenings in December, the reindeer will be available for viewing by park visitors from 6:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. Zoo visitors will also be able to enjoy unlimited rides on the new 100-foot-long Artic Blast Ice Slide and the nightly “Florida flurries.”

Wild Wonderland at Lowry Park Zoo
1101 W. Sligh Ave.
Tampa, FL 33604
(813) 935-8552

Dates: December 8, 14-23 and 26-30 from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Price: General Admission: $13 for adults; $11 for children 3 to 11; children 2 and under are free. Yearly pass holders admission: $9.50 for adults; $7.50 for children 3 to 11; children 2 and under are free.

Lowry Park Zoo’s Wild Wonderland is returning again this year with reindeer, Frosty and his friends and African penguins. There will be whimsical storefront windows and animated displays, as well as delicious holiday treats to enjoy. Don’t forget to check out the reindeer games and free zoo rides.

A new addition to Wild Wonderland this year is the Safari Spectacular. This adventure ride offers visitors a festive way to see the animals under the starry night sky. Admission to Wild Wonderland includes unlimited free zoo rides so visitors can ride the Safari Spectacular, the Tasmanian Tiger Family Roller Coaster and other rides as often as they want.

The magical experience begins at the front gate when visitors can gaze at the spectacular Castle Light Show. Thousands of colorful lights have been synchronized to holiday music creating a fantastic experience from the moment visitors enter the gate. Then take a relaxing stroll around the zoo and admire the dazzling display of festive lights. Snowflakes, animal figures, trees and moving displays will delight visitors both young and old.

Related: 2012 Tampa Bay Holiday Theater Preview

Walk through the new ‘Frozen Forest’ and enjoy glistening ice, snow and more. Also, take a ride on the new 100-foot-long Artic Blast Ice Slide or the new Outback Bumper Boats. Visitors can continue to have fun in the Love Garden by partaking in all of the inflatable fun located there.

Unique holiday shopping awaits visitors in the Special Holiday Gift Shop at Wild Wonderland. Visitors can find something for everyone on their holiday list. There is even a Sweet Shoppe for those who prefer to give edible treats for the holidays. Gourmet cupcakes, hand-dipped ice cream, nostalgic candies, specialty cookies and other delicious treats can be purchased at the Sweet Shoppe located near the Winter Carousel.

Before leaving the zoo, stop by and visit Santa and tell him what you want for Christmas. Bring the camera for some awesome photos with Santa and, sometimes, with Mrs. Claus.

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Katherine Bostick is a freelance writer covering all things Tampa Bay. Her work can be found on