Frisch’s Theater

up to 150 seated


  • 150 seated; 280 standing
  • Located inside our Education building and near our Public Meet-a-Creature Station
  • Built-in stage and AV capabilities (all AV needs are additional)
  • Easy access to restrooms
  • M-TH: $1,800 for the first 2 hours; $500 per additional hour
  • FR-SUN: $2,000 for the first 2 hours; $600 per additional hour

Half-up to 50 seated; Full-up to 100 seated


  • Half: 50 seated; 100 standing Full: 100 seated; 200 standing
  • Ability to divide the room in half or have the full room
  • One side overlooks our nicely lit garden area and the other side overlooks our Africa habitat walkway
  • Private bathrooms inside venue space
  • M-TH (Half): $500 for the first 2 hours; $250 per additional hour
  • FR-SUN (Half): $600 for the first 2 hours; $350 per additional hour
  • M-TH (Full): $850 for the first 2 hours; $500 per additional hour
  • FR-SUN (Full): $1,000 for the first 2 hours; $700 per additional hour

up to 50 seated


  • 50 seated; 125 standing (best with cocktail seating)
  • Centrally located & located right next to our Train Station
  • Tall wooden ceilings & tall windows creates a unique ambiance
  • M-TH: $1,800 for the first 2 hours; $500 per additional hour
  • FR-SUN: $2,000 for the first 2 hours; $600 per additional hour

SSA Group, the Cincinnati Zoo’s onsite full-service catering partner, has created a seasonal menu crafted to fit your specific holiday party needs. Minimums are required.

2023 Menu


Is there a minimum number of guests required?

There is not a minimum number of guests required to host your event at the Cincinnati Zoo. However, our 3rd party catering team does require a food and beverage minimum to be met, depending on the food needs (see below):

What are the baseline costs required to host?

We require 3 baseline costs: Venue Cost, Admission Tickets, and our Food and Beverage Minimum.

The venue rental includes basic set-up of tables, chairs, and food/beverage tables. Any additional set-up needs will accrue additional costs.

Take advantage of our pre-booking sale for venue and ticket discounts!

Can I bring in an outside caterer?

All food and beverages are available through our on-site caterer only.

Can I bring in my own decorations?

Yes – you are able to bring in your own, with approval from our Event Coordinator’s. Each room is dressed up with holiday décor as well.

The Zoo does not permit confetti, birdseed, glitter, table sprinkles, bubble or fog machines, drinking straws, disposable cup lids, or balloons of any type. No open flames permitted. Votive candles and hurricane globes are permitted with prior approval.

All costumed characters will need to be kept inside the venue space.

What if I exceed the room capacities?

We highly encourage a come-and-go style event, where your group experiences the Lights and comes to the venue space to warm up and dive into some snacks and drinks. For dinners, we do have limited capacities for everybody to be seated at one time, but our catering menus can be catered to almost any group size.

How early can holiday parties start and how late can they end?

The Zoo is open starting at 10am, with Festival of Lights festivities starting at 4pm. We are able to accommodate lunch events, and our standard evening holiday events can start at any time until the Zoo closes. Our recommended event start time is between 5 and 6pm; however, to avoid most traffic and parking delays during PNC Festival of Lights, we suggest attendees try to arrive before 4:30pm, especially on nice weather days and weekends. Event tickets are valid starting at 10am.

Events must end no later than 9pm Sunday-Thursday and 10pm Friday-Saturday.

What is required to reserve a date?

Please complete the following JotForm or email [email protected] so our Private Events team can reach back out to you to start the booking process. In order to book, we require a signed event agreement and a $1,000 deposit. Events booked less than 60 days prior to the date, will require a 50% deposit. A Payment Plan and Credit Card Form will be sent at the time of booking.

When is final guest count and payments due?

Final guest count is due no later than 15 days prior to the event. At this time, we request tickets to be printed and the Group is responsible for distribution prior to the event.

Payments are due at the time of booking (deposit), 60 days out, 30 days out, and the final payment is due once your final guest count has been received 15 days out.

Events must be paid in full prior to the event.

What happens if there is bad weather?

Our Force Majeure Policy states that if there is a snow emergency and the agreement must be cancelled, then User shall be entitled to a full refund of all monies paid. We can also look into a possible reschedule, pending availability. However, if there is no emergency, then events are snow or shine!

How are event tickets distributed?

The group is responsible for all ticket distribution prior to the event. Tickets are requested once the final guest count is received 15 days prior. Tickets take a minimum 2 days to print. Once printed, there are 2 options:

  • Zoo Event Coordinator can leave them in Will-Call for one individual from the group to pick up prior to the event to distribute accordingly
  • Zoo Event Coordinator can send them via USPS for a $10 mailing fee.

Do you offer Non-Profit Pricing?

We offer discounted venue rental and ticket prices, with proof of non-profit status upon booking.

Please reach out to [email protected] for more information.

Do you accept memberships for private events?

No – the Zoo does not accept memberships for private events. All guests attending the event will need to be considered in the final guest count for both tickets and catering needs.