Holiday Festival of Lights – Cincinnati Zoo

Festival of Lights Classic CincinnatiWe have never been to Cincinnati but look forward to visiting one day. One event I would really like to see when we do make it to Cincinnati is the Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo. My friend Tina in the Cincinnati area sent me this information and I thought it would be fun to share on my blog. 

Festival of Lights 1They state that they are the largest and longest running holiday event in the tri state, area and bring joy to all with twinkling lights, holiday cheer and beautiful winter scenery. What makes this event amazing? It has to be the strolling entertainers, train and wagon rides, ice skating, light sculptures and more than two million lights. Festival of Lights is also a wonderful opportunity to see cold weather animals like the polar bears or go indoors to visit our warm weather friends like the manatees.


Here are some of the highlights of this y ears wonderful event:

Festival of Lights Swan LakeNEW Wild Lights Show on Swan Lake -Everyone loves a good synchronized light ‘n’ music show! Head over to Swan Lake to see a 21-foot-tall tree with thousands of lights dancing to the beat of holiday songs. It truly is a sight to be seen…and heard!

Festival of Lights FrozenNew Frozen Wonderland – A themed area where you can meet everyone’s favorite Royal Sisters.

4-D Special-FX Theater – Even adults will be enthralled with the 4-D Special-FX Theater that uses high-definition, 3-D projection with sensory effects like wind, mist and scents to draw you into the story of a young boy on an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole during The Polar Express.

Festival of Lights Soilders

Gingerbread Village – Peer through the windows to find the mouse in each of the newly themed gingerbread houses.

SmoresS’mores-N-More Stations – Hot cocoa! Roasted nuts! Homemade fudge! One of the best parts about winter and the holidays is indulging in those comfort foods of childhood – all of which you can enjoy at the Zoo…at two locations! You can even purchase a s’more kit and roast marshmallows over an open fire. Yum, I’ll take s’more, please.

Festival of Lights TrainToyland Express Train Ride – What better way to see all the lights and sights than aboard the North Polar Express Train? Sit back, relax and revel in the holiday spirit before the ride ends at Swan Lake.

Festival of Lights ReindeerLions , Reindeer and Polar Bears – Tis the season to visit all the cold climate animals like polar bears, red pandas, sea lions and, of course, reindeer! But don’t worry, there are more than a dozen heated indoor exhibits to keep you warm.


Festival of Lights FairylandPlus, enjoy live performances of the Madcap Black-Light Puppet Show, ride the carousel, visit with Mrs. Claus, check out the Holiday Post Office, and try to find the 5 fairies in Fairyland.

Festival of Lights Scavenger Hunt

 Looking for another fun way to enjoy #PNCFestivalofLights? Test your knowledge during their new scavenger hunt. Make your way through the Zoo to solve these festive riddles and heat things up with a little friendly competition! Share your scavenger hunt pictures on social media using #cincyzoopic for a chance to be featured in future Zoo marketing material.

Festival of Lights 2There are two things to take into consideration if you are planning on visiting the Cincinnati Festival of Lights.  First is that you can get half price tickets (certain nights) for the Festival of Lights coupons at your local Skyline. The event is currently running and will continue until January 2nd. They are open every Sunday – Thursday – 5–9, Friday  and Saturday 5–10. The remaining half-price nights are November 30, December 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9th. As you can see, there is still plenty of time to go and enjoy this event, even at half price! You can’t beat that. 🙂  The second suggestion is to GO EARLY! The earlier you go in the evening the better. There will be less people, better chance of getting some perfect Christmas photos, and better parking. This is a popular event which can sometimes make parking an issue.

Festival of Lights 3I am disappointed that I won’t be able to attend this event this year, but I think when we do plan to visit Cincinnati, we will definitely make it during the winter to see this event. Please share pictures and stories of this event. Would love to see and hear about  your trip. BTW, many of these pictures are from previous years events. Enjoy

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