Lights Before Christmas at Toledo Zoo Opens Nov. 23

November 1, 2018

TOLEDO, Ohio – KeyBank and Toledo Zoo invite everyone to kick off the 2018 holiday season at the Lights Before Christmas Opening Night on Friday, November 23! Join the Zoo for the much anticipated tunnel entrance re-opening ceremony at 5 p.m. and stay for the annual tree-lighting ceremony at approximately 6:10 p.m.!

The opening night ceremonies kickoff the five-week long Lights Before Christmas display that, as always, features over one million lights, the award-winning Big Tree and more than 200 illuminated animal images spread out across the Zoo. Combined with the tunnel re-opening, the 2018 electrical
spectacle is sure to be both merry AND bright!

The tunnel re-opening ceremony will take place in Blade Plaza, on the north side of the Zoo. At 4p.m., those who purchased a commemorative subway tile will have first access to the renovated tunnel to locate and see their tile.  Zoo admission gates will open at 4:30 p.m. and there will be a short, open to the public, press conference with ribbon cutting at 5 p.m. Shortly thereafter, the tunnel will be open for the first time in about 20 years for guests to cross into the historic side of the Zoo!

The annual lighting of the award-winning Big Tree, an 85 ft. Norway spruce decorated with 35,000 LED lights, will take place in the Garden area at approximately 6:10 p.m.

Fan-favorite traditions continuing at Lights this year include: the Winter Village, complete with Ice Slide, sponsored by Kroger, visits with Santa in the Arctic Encounter®, the Dancing Northern Lights sponsored by St. Luke’s Hospital and Scenes of Wonder, a 3D light installation that uses the Carnivore Café as a canvas to tell a unique holiday story, sponsored by Taylor Automotive Family!
And it would not be Lights without the Zoo’s famous hot chocolate, homemade fudge and baked goods!

New this year, Santa will be ziplining in toward his Arctic Encounter workshop at 4:30 p.m. daily from November 24 – December 23. Gather on the Africa Overlook to see the jolly man in red arrive in high style! Also debuting this year is the Arctic Blast, a snowball launcher game on the Africa Overlook! For $3 each participant receives three blasts from an air launcher to hit a holiday-themed target with snowballs. Height restrictions apply.

Lights Before Christmas will be open November 23 – December 31, 2018. The display will be closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Admission gates for Lights Before Christmas are open 3-8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 3-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The Zoo will close one hour after last admission. Visitors can save $1 per ticket by ordering online at

Come enjoy all the season has to offer at the 2018 edition of Lights Before Christmas presented by KeyBank at your Toledo Zoo!

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