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Monday, January 27

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Kick off the holidays with two festive events

Start the season with the return of two festive traditions on December 7 and 8.

Zoo Atlanta kicks off the holiday season with a festive weekend featuring two signature events at Jungle Bells on Saturday, December 7 and Cookies with Santa on Saturday and Sunday, December 7 and 8, 2019.

Jungle Bells
Join the third-annual lighting of Zoo Atlanta’s 20-foot holiday tree in Grand Patio. Enjoy holiday-themed African storytelling with Deb Strahorn; a traditional eastern European holiday experience with Rosa Bulgaria; orchestral performances of holiday favorites; scenes from The Nutcracker from Neighborhood Ballet; caroling with The Graduates; an appearance by the Magical Juggling Elves; children’s crafts; a DJ dance party; and a very special visit from Mrs. Claus. Activities will take place from 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., with the tree lighting at 6 p.m. Jungle Bells activities are free with general admission; free for Members and children under 3.

Holiday snacks, warm spiced cider and, for guests over 21, warm mulled wine and hot hard cider, will be available for purchase.

Animals throughout the Zoo will discover holiday-themed surprises in their habitats during the annual Ho-Ho-Holiday Animal Enrichment Extravaganza on Saturday, December 7. Enrichment is a vital component of superior animal care at accredited zoological organizations, and Zoo Atlanta has a robust enrichment program in place year-round for all species. Animal enrichment, which may take the form of objects, foods, scents, feeder puzzles and more, stimulates animals’ natural behaviors and adaptations while promoting their well-being. Stay tuned here for the animal activity schedule; all animal activities are weather and temperature-permitting.

Cookies with Santa
Santa Claus makes two stops at Zoo Atlanta on Saturday and Sunday, December 7 and 8. Enjoy a visit with Santa and professional photo; hot cocoa and cookies; crafts; costume character meet-and-greets; animal encounters; and more.

A separate ticket is required to attend Cookies with Santa, and limited time slots remain. Pre-register by November 30 here.

Jungle Bells:
Saturday, December 7, 2019, 12:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. (tree lighting at 6 p.m.)
Cookies with Santa: Saturday and Sunday, December 7 and 8, 2019; limited time slots remaining.

Zoo Atlanta 
800 Cherokee Avenue, S.E.
Atlanta, GA  30315

Rachel Davis, Director of Communications
404.624.2812 – office 
404.309.2238 – cell

Gavin Johnson, Public Relations and Communications Specialist
404.624.5980 – office

About Zoo Atlanta
A proud accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the gold standard for animal care and welfare, Zoo Atlanta has a mission to save wildlife and their habitats through conservation, research, education and engaging experiences. The Zoo is home to more than 1,000 animals representing more than 200 species from around the world, many of them endangered or critically endangered. Highlights include giant pandas, including Ya Lun and Xi Lun, the only giant panda twins in the U.S.; one of North America’s largest zoological populations of great apes; and a global center of excellence for the care and study of reptiles and amphibians. Recent transformations include Scaly Slimy Spectacular: The Amphibian and Reptile Experience, home to more than 70 species in the world’s first LEED Gold-certified reptile and amphibian complex. Experiences include behind-the-scenes Wild Encounters with African lions, Aldabra giant tortoises, giant pandas and lemurs. Zoo Atlanta is open year-round with the exceptions of Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Keeper Talks, interactive wildlife presentations, education programs and special events run year-round. For more information, visit

NOW OPEN: the all-new African Savanna, featuring new and expanded habitats for African elephants, giraffes, zebras, ostriches, warthogs and meerkats. The African Savanna is part of the Zoo’s landmark Grand New View transformation. Future elements include Savanna Hall, a state-of-the-art special event destination, and a new grand entry plaza, opening in early 2020. For more on the Zoo’s mission and conservation programs and partnerships, visit or download the 2018 conservation report, Beyond the Zoo.

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