The Children’s Nature Retreat, a 20-acre animal sanctuary in Alpine, hosts annual Christmas Tree Lighting Festival on Sunday, Dec. 11. The unforgettable event will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Retreat celebrates the holiday season – animals and all! Guests can enjoy craft and gift vendors, hot cocoa and cider, cotton candy, hot dogs, raffles, and hayrides. There will also be a special appearance from Santa Claus himself!

The festivities will kick off at 10:00 a.m. with the tree lighting taking place at 4:30 p.m. with holiday carolers. The whole family is invited to spend the day and celebrate the season with our animals and special activities!

Regular admission prices apply. Single day admission is $38 for adults and $20 for kids (children under 2-years are free); seniors (60+) are $28. Alpine residents, military, first responders, teachers and veteran families receive a 10% discount (purchase tickets at the Retreat). Parking is complimentary.

The Retreat is open seven days a week, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. To buy tickets, visit

Events like this help the Retreat to care for the more than 200 animals, who would otherwise have nowhere to go. The Retreat is home to 25 different species and 70 distinct breeds of domesticated livestock and exotic animals from around the world. They have been inherited through a variety of reasons, including previous owners who could no longer care for them, moved, or passed away, and in some cases, the animals have been abused and/or abandoned.

Admission and donations help feed and care for the animals, as well as assist with veterinarian services. Donations can be made at

The Retreat is located at 5178 Japatul Spur in Alpine (91901). For more information, visit