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Great Gift Ideas from The Zoo!

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Nature's Neighborhood


Lights Before Christmas

Lights Before Christmas
Proudly Presented by:

Gate Hours:
Monday - Thursday:
Visitors are admitted 5 - 8 pm (Zoo closes at 9 pm)

Friday - Sunday:
Visitors are admitted 5 - 9 pm (Zoo closes at 10 pm

Please note: Lights Before Christmas will be closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day

Lights Before Christmas Standard Admission Rates:
Adults (ages 12-59): $11
Seniors (ages 60 and up): $8
Children (ages 2-11): $8
Children under 2: Free
Save $1 per ticket by purchasing online

Purchase your Lights Before Christmas tickets online and save $1 per ticket!

Discount tickets are also available at KeyBank locations in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan throughout Lights Before Christmas.

It all starts on Friday, November 18, when we light our 85-foot Norway Spruce with more than 35,000 lights (more than the famous tree in Rockefeller Center!). The tree-lighting will happen between 6 and 6:30 p.m. in front of the Conservatory.

As part of its 26th year of sponsoring the Toledo Zoo’s Lights Before Christmas, KeyBank will provide free admission to opening night for active military personnel and their families when they show their professional ID at the gate.

But the tree-lighting is just the start of the fun!

The Dancing Lights
The Dancing Lights display near Cheetah Valley is one more reason why the Toledo Zoo’s Lights Before Christmas is a holiday tradition like no other! It features state-of-art LED wide angle mini-lights for best possible brightness.

We know it's hard to last 'til the weekend; that's why we brought some weekend to you a day early. Celebrate cool artistic talents with ice-carving demonstrations on Thursday evenings. Local radio stations broadcast their remotes on Thursdays, too. And our sponsor, KeyBank, gives away 3-D glasses in our Main Plaza (which makes the lights even more magical!).

Festive Fun for All Ages
Whether it's a model train display with the Swanton Area Railroad and Model Club in our Museum of Science, Santa visits ('til he leaves for the North Pole on Dec. 24) or strolling carolers on select evenings, we know how to make your visit sparkle.

Nature's Neighborhood
Fun knows no season, and our award-winning Nature's Neighborhood is buzzing with activity. Monday and Wednesday evenings (5 - 7:30 p.m.) feature ornament-making; other evenings offer antler crafts (or maybe the chance to build a tree with your own "hand"iwork). Explore our workshops, Jumpin' Junction, the Forest and so much more. Come in and play!


Lights Before Christmas Fun Facts

Summed Up with "Yum"
From handmade fudge, funnel cakes and fresh popcorn to cinnamon-glazed nuts, cinnamon pretzels and of course those holiday cookies, we'll add a sweet touch to your evening. We've got hot chocolate, cappuccino, latte and more to wash it down, too, along with more substantial meals in Carnivore Cafe near Cheetah Valley and at Karoo Snacks in our Africa! exhibit.

Brynn and Emma Performances
Blade 2011 Battle of the Bands winners Brynn and Emma are back! Join us 6 - 8 pm Dec. 27 - 29 in the Indoor Theatre for great country music and Christmas carols. More info

Holiday Favorites Sung by Carolers
Our fabulous hot chocolate isn't the only way to warm up your holiday mood. Enjoy your favorite holiday carols sung by local singing groups. Don't miss out!

Caroling Schedule

18 – opening ceremony, Masterworks Chorale
19 – Dickens Singers from the Toledo Rep
28 – Commanders of Harmony
30 – Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Youth Group

2 – Maumee High School’s Select Singers
2 – Liberty Center Chamber Choir
2 – Eastwood High School Encore A Cappella Group
3 – Emmanuel Christian High School
4 – Eastwood High School Senior Choir
5 – Rossford High School Mixed Glee
6 – Clay High School Choir
7 – Central Catholic HS Latin Club
8 – Sr. John’s Jesuit High School Vocal Ensemble
9 – Central Catholic Alumni Glee Club
9 – Emmanuel Christian Elementary
10 – Springfield High School Chorale
10 – Toledo Campus Ministry Bell Choir and Acapella Singers 11 – BGSU Choir
12 – Pride of Toledo “Friends in Harmony”
12 – Archbold High School The Company
13 – Perrysburg High School – Tonal Temptations
14 – Genoa HS Choir – Tonal Temptations
16 – Toledo School for the Arts
17 – Fostoria Lake Plains Barbershop Chorus
17 – Napoleon Jazz Choir
18 – Centre Spotlight
18 – Eastwood High School Band Christmas Ensemble
19 – Rossford High School Varsity Choir
19 – Commanders of Harmony
20 – Voices of Harmony

Group Rate Discounts
Available for groups of 20 or more. Prices are as follows:

*Pre-registration rates (only applies to groups of 20 or more):
Adults (ages 12-59): $8
Seniors (ages 60 and up): $6
Children (ages 2-11): $6
Children under 2: Free

Unregistered arrivals at the gate (only applies to groups of 20 or more):
Adults (ages 12-59): $10
Seniors (ages 60 and up): $7
Children (ages 2-11): $7
Children under 2: Free

*Group tickets must be ordered in advance and cannot be purchased online. Please call the Group Sales office at (419) 385-5721, ext. 6001.

Animal Exhibits
Please note: many Zoo animals are off exhibit during Lights Before Christmas due to routine animal schedules and/or seasonal weather conditions. Some Zoo buildings have access to indoor exhibits that may randomly provide animal viewing opportunities.