Ring in the New Year with an Early, Family-Friendly Countdown at the Cincinnati Zoo

Posted December 29, 2023

Happy Zoo Year fun includes 4 million lights, games, glow goodies, and more! 

CINCINNATI, OH (December 29, 2023) – Ring in the new year with some party animals at the Cincinnati Zoo’s 15th annual Happy Zoo Year celebration powered by Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Honda Dealers. On December 31, visitors can enjoy all that PNC Festival of Lights has to offer plus games, glow goodies, music, and a kid-friendly early countdown at 8pm. 

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“Happy Zoo Year is great for families that want to ring in the New Year a little earlier than midnight,” said Cincinnati Zoo director Thane Maynard.  “It’s a great opportunity to enjoy PNC Festival of Lights for the first, second, or third time this season, especially if you’re a Zoo member.”  

Members can visit the Zoo as often as they like, and there’s no additional charge for PNC Festival of Lights.  Memberships are on sale through December 31. 

Happy Zoo Year highlights this year include fun giveaways for the kids, Cincinnati Circus performances, LED cornhole and giant Jenga games, and a light show that guests can be part of using the CUE app.  

The celebration will take place during PNC Festival of Lights from 5-9 p.m.  Most of the activities, including the early countdown, will take place in Vine Street Village, but the 4 million LED lights are spread throughout the Zoo. 

The spectacular lights are the main attraction during PNC Festival of Lights. Visitors coming to see animals should come earlier in the day or visit indoor habitats such as World of the Insect, Manatee Springs, and Night Hunters during the evening hours.   

PNC Festival of Lights runs through January 7, 2024.  Penguin Days , sponsored by U.S. Bank, start January 8 and feature deeply discounted admission and Penguin Parades on select days.  Zoo hours will shift back to 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily. For more information, visit cincinnatizoo.org 

otter holding happy new year horn