Gay Desert Guide - 2021

Attractions & Tours

The History of WildLights at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

Tunnel of Lights Wildlights

WildLights, the Coachella Valley’s favorite holiday event began nearly 3 decades ago. In 1993, The Living Desert held its first WildLights event, and it has since become a beloved holiday tradition for so many. Featuring over a million lights, dazzling light displays, a multitude of photo opportunities, and lots of holiday magic, WildLights continues to offer guests a fun and memorable way to get into the spirit of the season.

Over the event’s 28-year history, WildLights has welcomed over 750,000 guests, and we look forward to welcoming you again this year. Although some aspects of the 2020 WildLights will look a bit different, the magic remains. Over a million twinkling lights, a herd of life-size animal lanterns, the tunnel of lights, dazzling gift, and more return. New this year, Santa will be perched in a specialty sleigh to accommodate for a safe, socially distanced visit. Souvenir photos with Santa will be available for purchase that evening and online following the event.

A variety of food and beverages will be available, including the opportunity to roast your own s’mores. Catch a ride on the carousel, experience the new pathways, and even write a letter to Santa.

Advanced reservations are required, and tickets are available now at WildLights will sell out, so don’t delay.

Did You Know?

  • WildLights has been voted as a 10Best Zoo Lights by USA Today readers in 2019! Voting is now open for 2020’s 10Best contest. Show your love and vote here >>
  • The Living Desert begins preparations for WildLights in September of each year. There are two shipping containers full of lights, light displays, trees, garland and other décor.
  • The Tunnel of Lights first appeared in 1996. This fan-favorite is one of the signature WildLights displays. And fun fact, singer Megan Trainor got engaged under the Tunnel of Lights in 2017.
  • You can sponsor a light display! Families and businesses can show their support for The Living Desert by sponsoring a light feature. To learn more about how you can sponsor a light display, please contact Amy Crabb at

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