USA Today Ranks PNC Festival of Lights #1!

Posted December 21, 2018

Cincinnati Zoo clinches top spot on USA Today’s 10Best Zoo Lights list

CINCINNATI  (December 21, 2018) – USA Today announced the results of their 2018 10Best Poll for Best Zoo Lights contest today, and the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s PNC Festival of Lights took the top spot!

“We’re thrilled to be #1 on this list again,” said Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard. “We start hanging lights in August and work to make our holiday event bigger and better every year!  It’s great to be recognized as the best!”

Experience it for yourself and find out why PNC Festival of Lights has become a family tradition.  In addition to being breathtakingly beautiful, with three million LED lights and larger-than-life animal lanterns, visitors can ride the BB&T Toyland Express, search for fairies in Fairyland, marvel at the spectacular Wild Lights show on Swan Lake, watch a Madcap black-light puppet show, and snack at one of two S’mores-n-More stands.

Photo opportunities! Children can visit Santa (starting at 4 p.m.) through December 23rd, when he flies back to the North Pole, and costumed characters are always strolling through the park, ready for pictures and fun with guests of all ages. The breathtaking, 35-foot-tall tree blanketed with more than 20,000 LED lights in the Zoo’s Historic Vine Street Village makes a great family photo backdrop. The Royal Sisters are ready to pose for pictures with their fans in a Frozen Wonderland themed area.

And there’s more! Warm up in the Special FX 4-D Theater while you experience The Polar Express™ 4-D Experience.  Tickets for specific show times can be purchased in advance (recommended).

Enjoy delightful seasonal fare such as fresh-baked cookies, caramel apples, funnel cakes, hot pretzels and roasted nuts. Or, 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. Stop in, take a look around, and pick up some memorable and unique gifts—there is something for everyone!

Guests can also warm up and see animals in heated buildings including World of the Insect, Manatee Springs, Night Hunters. The recently-renovated Wings of the World bird house will be open until 5 p.m. daily, so consider making that your first stop!  For the second year in a row, Gorilla World will be open and gorillas will be viewable in their indoor habitat.

The Zoo opens daily at 10 a.m.  The PNC Festival of Lights is open 5 – 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 5 – 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays through January 1, 2019, except on Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

Sunday night is the last chance to visit with Santa during PNC Festival of Lights.  If you’re not sure what to ask for, here’s a handy gift guide!

Happy Zoo Year!  The Zoo will be hosting the 10th annual Happy Zoo Year, powered by Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Honda Dealers, on Monday, 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. Enjoy an EARLY Zoo Year Countdown starting at 8:55 p.m. and top off the night with party favors and Rozzi’s fireworks