Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is known both locally and across the nation for its clinical excellence, inspiring butterfly logo and mission: “We create hope and build healthier futures.” At the L.A. Zoo, CHLA is recognized by visitors as the institution organization that adds a special blend of fun and learning to the Zoo experience with its whimsical transformation of the Play Park.

Each day at the Zoo, hundreds of visitors spend time at the Play Park sponsored by CHLA. It provides time for our younger patrons to explore a world that’s “just their size,” and for parents to enjoy a few minutes’ rest during their busy day. CHLA butterflies abound at the Play Park (look closely and you’ll find 17 in all!) as a reminder to families that the hospital is a place that is there for them in both times of good health and when care is needed. The Play Park is universally-accessible so that visitors of all levels of physical ability can enjoy it.

“It’s so much fun to watch kids stretch their ‘wings,’ compare their ‘paws,’ and track their height along with members of the animal kingdom at the interactive signage made possible by CHLA,” says Genie Vasels, Vice President Institutional Advancement for the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association. “But there’s so much more that CHLA brings to the L.A. Zoo.”

The hospital is also deeply committed to making the enriching experience of visiting the Zoo accessible for CHLA patients and families who would not otherwise be able to attend due to health reasons or financial constraints.

For two years in row, CHLA partnered with the L.A. Zoo to participate in Dreamnight– a global initiative bringing together zoos, aquariums and local hospitals. Through this program, over 1,500 CHLA outpatients and family members were able to enjoy a very special evening at the Zoo designed with their experience, and their needs, foremost in mind. “Many of the kids we treat have mobility challenges or are in need of a private area for minor medical procedures the families administer during the zoo visit. The event has been especially popular with children who have autism,” says Nancy Lee, CHLA’s Chief Clinical Officer and Senior Vice president. CHLA and L.A. Zoo staff worked together to create a controlled environment to meet these needs, and to bring the experience of animals and nature – and an abundance of fun – to patients and families in need of a respite from the pressures of treating an illness.

Please join us in recognizing the role of CHLA in our community, and all that it brings to the L.A. Zoo, as you enjoy L.A. Zoo Lights and reflect on the people and things you value most during this holiday season.

About Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has been ranked the top children’s hospital in California and sixth in the nation for clinical excellence with its selection to the prestigious U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll. CHLA is home to The Saban Research Institute, one of the largest and most productive pediatric research facilities in the United States. Children’s Hospital is also one of America’s premier teaching hospitals through its affiliation with the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California since 1932. For more information, visit