A holiday family tradition everyone enjoys!
Lights Before Christmas
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2016 Lights Before Christmas hours:
November 18, 2015 - December 31, 2016
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day
Sunday - Thursday: 3 - 8 p.m. (Zoo closes at 9 p.m.)
Friday and Saturday: 3 - 9 p.m. (Zoo closes at 10 p.m.)
Lights Before Christmas admission rates:
*Rates apply all day each day during Lights.
Lucas County discounts do not apply for admission to special events, including Lights Before Christmas
Children under age 2: free
Children (age 2-11): $14
Adults (age 12-59): $17
Seniors (age 60+): $14
Make it an outing with advance group admission rates
(Group rates apply only for groups of 20 or more that have advanced reservations through the Group Sales department at 419-385-5721, ext. 6001.)
Children under age 2: free
Children (age 2-11): $12
Adults (age 12-59): $15
Seniors (age 60+): $12
Save money on your Lights admission
Look for specially marked Pepsi and Diet Pepsi cans with an offer to get a child’s Lights ticket free with the purchase of an adult’s Lights ticket at regular price.
Active or retired military members receive free admission.
- $1 discount also applies for military dependents with proof of dependency.
- Group discounts also available.
- Military discounts must be purchased at the gate and cannot be combined with other discounts.
Toledo Zoo members receive:
- Unlimited Monday through Thursday Lights Before Christmas visits AND
- One free weekend visit (Friday through Sunday) with a valid Toledo Zoo membership card.
Free admission is valid only for those persons covered under your membership category
Both named members are required to show a second form of identification.
Cardholder substitutions are not permitted.
One of the named cardholders must be present whenever guest privileges are used.
Family Plus level or above membership guest privileges are documented.
Unlimited free admission is not valid for guests.
Reciprocal memberships are not valid for Lights Before Christmas admission.
Details for the 2016 event will be posted here at a later date
Fun facts about Lights Before Christmas
• Lights Before Christmas began in 1986 with 50,000 lights and an attendance of 71,000 visitors; the record attendance for a Lights season was 2014, with 206,937visitors.
• Toledo Zoo began using energy-efficient LED lights in 2002. Today, over half our lights are LED.
• Dancing Lights and the 85-foot Norway Spruce are decorated with all wide-angle LED lights.
• A core crew of 12-15 employees from the Zoo’s horticulture department begins decorating in early August.
• Nearly 70 miles of lights are utilized throughout the display.
• Nearly 50,000 feet or almost 10 miles of extension cords are used!
• During Lights, the Zoo makes more than 2,700 pounds of fudge, 6,800 gallons of hot chocolate, more than 7,400 cinnamon pretzels and decorates over 8,900 cookies.
• After Lights Before Christmas, it takes about two months to take down all the lights, then sort and store them for the following year.
Big Tree stats:
- In 2011, Travelocity named the Big Tree one of the top holiday trees in the nation.
- The Big Tree is a Norway spruce located near the Broadway entrance by the Conservatory.
- It’s 65-70 years old and more than 85 feet tall.
- The lowest branches from tip to tip are 50 feet in diameter.
- The trunk circumference is eight feet seven inches and it is estimated to weigh seven tons—almost the combined weight of Renee and Louie, two of our African elephants.
- More than 35,000 energy-efficient LED lights (almost 3 miles of lights) cover the Big Tree.
- It takes a crew approximately one week to decorate the entire tree.
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