TOLEDO, Ohio — After waiting all year, it's finally here!
Lights Before Christmas at the Toledo Zoo will be open again on Friday for the holiday season!
Kicking off with the annual tree-lighting ceremony, Lights Before Christmas will be open for all to enjoy from Nov. 22 to Dec. 31.
Opening night ceremonies kick off the five-week long display that features more than one million lights, the award-winning Big Tree that you just have to stop and get your picture taken in front of and more than 200 illuminated animal images spread throughout the Zoo.
Everywhere you walk will be lit up as far as the eye can see!
The annual lighting of the Big Tree, an 85 ft. Norway spruce decorated with 35,000 lights, will take place in the Garden area of the Zoo at about 6:10 p.m. on Nov. 22 and will be broadcast live on WTOL 11.
Fan-favorite events continuing at Lights Before Christmas include: the Ice Slide and Water Village, visits with Santa in the Arctic Encounter, the Dancing Northern Lights and the Scenes of Wonder 3-D display.
Also returning this year, Santa will be ziplining toward his Arctic Encounter workshop at 4:30 p.m. every day from Nov. 23 to Dec. 23. Head to the Africa Overlook to see him arrive.
Also back is the snowball launcher game the Arctic Blast, relocated to the Broadway Pavillion in the historic Amphitheatre. For $3, each participant receives three blasts from an air launcher to hit a holiday-themed target with snowballs. Height restrictions apply.
New this year is an interactive LED light display, also located in the Amphitheatre. Guests can move and groove on the floor and see their silhouettes in lights on the state. A variety of photo opportunities and "chill zone" complete with concessions and fire pits has also been set up on the floor.
Also new to the Lights this year is the ProMedica Museum of Natural History! You can stop in and warm yourself up with a seasonal beverage or treat from the museum cafe and check out the unique Ohio habitats featured on the first floor.
Speaking of goodies, Lights Before Christmas wouldn't be complete without the Zoo's famous hot chocolate, homemade fudge and baked goods!
You can see and experience all these wonderful things at Lights Before Christmas, presented by KeyBank, open from Nov. 22 to Dec. 31 including Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Admission gates for Lights Before Christmas are open 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Save $1 per ticket by ordering online.
The Zoo will close one hour after last admission.