Event begins Nov. 25, runs through Dec. 30, 2023. Tickets go on sale Sept. 1

August 25, 2023 — The California Living Museum (CALM) announced today that the award-winning HolidayLights will be returning as a stroll-thru event in 2023. Tickets will go on sale September 1st online at www.calmzoo.org for the 21st annual HolidayLights. HolidayLights will kick-off on Saturday, Nov. 25 and run nightly through Dec. 30, except on Christmas, from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

According to CALM Director Meg Maitland, based on community feedback, CALM felt it was time to bring the event back inside the zoo where guests can stroll through the zoo grounds, enjoy delicious food and beverages from CALM’s agency partner Teen Challenge, and ride the ever-popular Candy Cane Express train.

“The drive-thru format worked well for three years and allowed many guests to enjoy HolidayLights for the first time. With that said, the community overwhelmingly wants HolidayLights back inside the zoo,” Maitland stated.

“HolidayLights is a long-standing tradition that families look forward to, not to mention CALM’s largest fundraiser,” said Russell Bigler, Chair of the CALM Foundation. “While we enjoyed hosting AutumnNights last fall, we decided to put our energy into bringing HolidayLights back as a stroll-thru experience. We look forward to continuing this amazing Kern County tradition.”

HoldayLights is designed and installed by Bakersfield resident Josh Barnett and his company Lightasmic! There are several new displays and attractions scheduled for this year, and CALM will also be selling Christmas trees as part of this year’s HolidayLights experience.

Tickets will go on sale on Sept. 1 and should be purchased in advance online at www.calmzoo.org or at the CALM gift shop. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for children 3 and up, and $10 per ticket for CALM members, seniors, and military.

HolidayLights is CALM’s largest fundraiser and every dollar raised stays at CALM to help improve the facility and its programs. The event has been voted best annual event by readers of The Bakersfield Californian, one of the top ten light shows in the western U.S. by the Los Angeles Times, and among the 10 Best Zoo Light Shows in the U.S. by USA TODAY.