Open Sunday – Thursday – 5p – 9p Friday & Saturday – 5p – 10p
Closed Thanksgiving (open during the day), Christmas Eve (open during the day) and Christmas Day (closed all day).
Light Show on Swan Lake
The Tunnel of Lights
Mail a letter to Santa at the Holiday Post Office
Visit with Mrs. Claus
PNC Festival of Lights
Santa lights the tree
See Santa's reindeer
Visit with Santa
Fairyland is a favorite place for many of our visitors.
Roast marshmellows at our Smore's N More stations.
Madcap Blacklight Puppet Shows
Host your holiday party at the Zoo!
Cincinnati Zoo Members are invited to a special preview.
6:00pm starts the official Tree Lighting Ceremony in Vine Street Village. Emcee Jon Jon from Q102, special guests Drew & Lea Lachey, and a performance by Lachey Arts will help us kick off the holiday festivities.
6:15pm Join Santa as we light the tree to officially kick off the 32nd annual PNC Festival of Lights.
Ring in the Zoo Year with a bunch of “party animals!” Kids of all ages are invited to ring in the Happy Zoo Year as the Cincinnati Zoo holds its very own New Year’s Eve bash. Enjoy a kid-friendly, Early Countdown Before the Ball Drops
New Years activities will include shows of Winter Wonders by Madcap Puppet Theater at 8:30pm, a meet and greet with Father Time and Baby ZOO Year and the Zoo will cap off all celebrations with an EARLY (8:55pm) countdown with fireworks presented by Rozzi Fireworks
The PNC Festival of Lights has been a family holiday tradition for over 30 years. We are proud to be the largest holiday light display in Cincinnati, but we understand that on some days during certain hours the amount of guests visiting the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden can cause delays. These tips will help you maximize your holiday experience.
Visit the “plan your visit” section of this site to decide what to see and to learn when rides and activities are scheduled during the holidays. Make your own custom schedule using our FREE mobile app!
Skip ticket lines at the zoo by purchasing your tickets in advance. Print tickets and present them at the admissions gate. Discounted General Admission tickets can be purchased at the Customer Service counter at local Kroger stores.
Our busiest days in general are Fridays and Saturdays, especially the weekend after Thanksgiving and Christmas. The week between Christmas and New Years Day is the busiest week of the season. If you are able, please try to schedule your visit around these peak days.
Traffic will be much lighter to enter the zoo if you are able to arrive before 6pm. This way you can take your time inside the zoo and be the first to enjoy the most popular holiday activities like riding the train or visiting Santa. Admission is the same price whether you arrive before the PNC Festival of Lights activities start or after.
You can always shed a layer! You’ll be more comfortable, and warmer, if you sit on a blanket in our amphitheater during the Madcap Puppet shows.
Our street address is: 3400 Vine Street Cincinnati, OH 45220. Directions >
The holidays are a peak time for membership gifts and renewals. Although we will be happy to process your membership at Member Services, you can save time by renewing/purchasing it online or over the phone (513) 559-7713. If purchasing online, you will receive a temporary membership card to print immediately after completing your transaction that can be scanned at turnstiles. If you are giving a membership as a gift, you will receive a gift certificate by mail to present to your recipient.
Warm up with a variety of holiday treats available throughout the park.
Get 1/2 off admission to PNC Festival of Lights on Mon.-Wed. Nov. 24 through Dec. 10. Coupons are available at participating Skyline Chili locations.
Help us put a smile on a child’s face this holiday season! We are collecting new, unwrapped toys for “Ronald’s Workshop”. These toys will be delivered to children at our neighboring Ronald McDonald House. They are in need of gift cards, toys, DVDs and video games for children of all ages. Please consider bringing in an item or purchasing from the Gift Shop!
Toy Drive Flyer (pdf) | Toy Drive Needs (pdf)
Find your way around PNC Festival of Lights with the Cincinnati Zoo’s mobile app. It’s free and available for iOS and Android.