Sunday, June 16, 2024

Toledo Zoo Lights Before Christmas kicks off holiday season

Toledo Zoo to kick off its annual Lights Before Christmas with a tree-lighting event Friday, Nov. 17.

More than one million lights, over 200 illuminated animal images and the fan-favorite dancing lights sponsored by Fiber Frame will be on display again this Holiday Season, from Nov. 17 to Dec. 23.

“We are excited to unveil the revitalized Winter Village as part of the Toledo Zoo Lights Before Christmas,” Shayla Moriarty, chief operating officer and executive vice president of the Toledo Zoo, said. “Our team has worked tirelessly to create the enhanced Winter Village and we hope it will become a cherished holiday tradition for years to come.”


RELATED: The Toledo Zoo Lights Before Christmas Ticket Giveaway


Visit the newly redesigned Winter Village, sponsored by Kroger, located in the historic Amphitheater, to enjoy a sweet treat at The Sweet Shoppe, a holiday drink at Twinkle Tavern, shop holiday favorites at Enchanted Gifts, get warm by the fire pits, ride the ice slide and take a picture with Santa, photos available from 4 to 8 p.m. daily.  

According to the Toledo Zoo, other fun winter activities will be available throughout the zoo:

Rides and Activities


$3 per ride

Indoor African Carousel


Ice Carving Demos

Thursdays in Dec. at 6 p.m. in Main Plaza. Included with Zoo admission.


Reindeer Encounter

Visit our Reindeer in the Nancy L. & Martin Davidson Barnyard. Included with Zoo admission.


Holly Jolly Express

$3 per ride

Holiday train ride through Africa! Fri, Sat, Sun only. Weather permitting.


Swanton Model Train Railroad Club

Starting 5 p.m. daily in the Cafe. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Included with Zoo admission.


Special Events

Brewdolph Bash, presented by Rehmann

Nov. 16

21+ event


Polar Paws & Santa Claws 5K run/walk

Dec. 10


Noon Year’s Eve

Dec. 31


Last year, Toledo Zoo’s Light’s Before Christmas was voted #2 in USA Today’s Best Zoo Lights of 2022, coming in second to another Ohio zoo with the PNC Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo taking first place. Vote again this year for Toledo Zoo to win the #1 spot at

The zoo will be open starting at 3 p.m. for the 2023 Toledo Zoo Lights Before Christmas from Nov. 17 to Dec. 23. The schedule for this holiday season is as follows:

Mon – Thurs

Open 3 – 8 p.m., Zoo closes at 9 p.m.


Fri – Sun

Open 3 – 9 p.m., Zoo closes at 10 p.m.


Thanksgiving Day

Open 3 – 8 p.m., Zoo closes at 9 p.m.


Christmas Eve

Open 3 – 9 p.m., Zoo closes at 10 p.m.


Christmas Day

Open 3 – 8 p.m., Zoo closes at 9 p.m.


New Year’s Eve

Open 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Zoo closes at 10 p.m.


Reservations are required for both members and non-members to see the top-rated zoo lights. 

For more information, to reserve or purchase tickets, visit

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