The Toledo Zoo’s Lights Before Christmas will kick off Friday, Nov. 20 with the ceremonial lighting of the 85-foot Norway spruce tree between 6 and 6:30 p.m.
Throughout The Lights Before Christmas season, visitors will enjoy hot chocolate, model trains and other holiday treats, carolers and ice-carving demonstrations on selected evenings, and rides on the Safari Railway and African Animal Carousel, weather permitting.
Through Dec. 23, Santa will be waiting to visit with boys and girls in the Zoo’s Indoor Theatre.
This year’s opening ceremony will feature a whole new twist as presenting sponsor KeyBank will offer the “KeyBank Community Stimulus Package.” The first 1,200 visitors on the evening of Nov. 20 will receive an envelope containing one, two, three or four $2 bills. A total of $5,000 will be distributed to Zoo visitors.
Recipients are encouraged to spend their $2 bills that night or at local businesses and take a small step toward helping the local economy.
This year also marks the debut of the Zoo’s Giving Tree, located in the Great Hall of the Museum of Science. The Giving Tree is decorated with ornaments that help visitors provide enrichment items for some of their favorite Zoo animals. More information about the items, and information about how to contribute online, will be available at www.toledozoo.org.
The Lights Before Christmas is open from Nov. 20 to Dec. 31 (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). Hours are Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. (the park closes at 9 p.m.) and Friday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. (the park closes at 10 p.m.). Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for children (2-11) and seniors (60+), and free for children under age 2. Toledo Zoo members receive one free visit to The Lights Before Christmas.
During the day, The Toledo Zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For directions or more information, visit www.toledozoo.org or call 419-385-4040.