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 Open Nightly Beginning November 23

FOLCINCINNATI (November 7, 2013) – The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden will once again be transformed into a “Wild Wonderland” for the 31st annual PNC Festival of Lights! While taking in the beautiful sight of over 2-million LED lights, visitors can watch a Madcap Black-light puppet show, visit with Santa, ride the North Polar Express Train, search for fairies in Fairyland, watch the spectacular Wild Lights show on Swan Lake, or snack at one of two S’mores-n-More stands. The PNC Festival of Lights opens nightly November 23 and goes through January 4, 2014 from 5 – 9 p.m. on Sundays through Thursdays and 5-10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

 “In what has become a Cincinnati holiday tradition, PNC’s support continues to bring this kind of spirit and joy to the people of the tri-state area,  and we invite all of our neighbors to visit the Cincinnati Zoo to take part in the PNC Festival of Lights,” said Kay Geiger, President, Greater Cincinnati/N. Kentucky.

fairyThis year, families will make memories as they journey through the different themed areas in the Zoo, from Fairy Land, where kids can search for five hidden fairies, to Candy Cane Forest, and Twinkle Trail! Santa will be ready for visitors in the North Pole until December 23rd. And, costumed characters are always strolling through the park, ready for pictures and fun with guests of all ages.

FOL Opening Night TreeUpon entering the Zoo, guests are first welcomed at the entrance by a breath-taking 35-foot-tall tree, blanketed with more than 20,000 LED lights in the Zoo’s Historic Vine Street Village. Just beyond the entrance is Swan Lake, where visitors experience the spectacular sights and sounds of the Wild Lights Show – a 21-foot-tall computer-controlled tree with thousands of LED lights dancing to the beat of holiday songs and tunes.  Then visitors are welcomed to head on over to the Train Depot and see all the sights in the Zoo while aboard the North Polar Express.

In the Wings of Wonder Theater, watch life size puppets come to life right before your eyes during live performances of Winter Wonders by Madcap Puppet Theatre.  Each amazing black-light theater-style show features snowmen, ice skating, and of course dancing marshmallows!  Show times are 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. An additional 9:30 p.m. show will be shown on Friday and Saturday nights.

The Polar Express™ 4-D Experience and Ice Age – A Mammoth Christmas will be showing in the Special FX 4-D Theater. Be sure to purchase tickets in advance online. Shows will sell out early!

In addition to dozens of holiday activities, the winter is also a great time to see cold climate animals on exhibit. This is the perfect opportunity to see active lions, polar bears, red pandas, Japanese macaques, sea lions and reindeer interacting and playing in their favorite season! Guests can also warm up and enjoy the Zoo’s 12 indoor animal exhibits, visiting some of the warm-climate residents.

As always, there will be delightful seasonal fare available for snacking, such as fresh-baked cookies, caramel apples, funnel cakes, homemade fudge, hot pretzels and roasted nuts. Or, choose to warm up with a mug of Starbucks coffee, a glass of hot apple cider or some hot chocolate. Be sure to also visit the popular S’mores-N-More Stations where guests can purchase a S’more kit and roast marshmallows over an open fire. As always, the Zoo’s gift shops, including the Zoo Shop at the Historic Vine Street Village and the Handcrafted Gift Shop Presented by the Zoosters, located in the P & G Discovery Forest, will be open for shopping and filled with perfect holiday gifts. Stop in, take a look around, and pick up some memorable and unique gifts—there is something for everyone!

Back by popular demand, the Zoo will be holding its very own New Year’s Eve bash on Tuesday, December 31, from 5-9 p.m. and kids of all ages are invited! Come out and meet Father Time and Baby Zoo Year during a one-of-a-kind meet and greet. Kids can then enjoy an EARLY Zoo Year Countdown starting at 8:55 p.m., topping off the night with party favors and Rozzi’s fireworks.

Discounts are available! Half-Priced coupons for select nights are available at participating Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Skyline Chili locations.  Coupons are valid November 25, 26, 27, December 2,3,4,9, 10, 11 only.  Discount tickets are also available at any area Kroger, good for $2 off adult and $1 off child admission any night of the event.

Celebrate 31 years of family and tradition at the Cincinnati Zoo PNC Festival of Lights. The Zoo opens daily at 9 a.m.  The PNC Festival of Lights is open 5 – 9 p.m. on Sundays through Thursdays and is open 5 – 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays from November 23 – January 4, 2014, except on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.  Purchase admission tickets or timed-tickets to the Special FX 4-D Theater.