Wildlights is back at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium this year as a fantastic holiday tradition, and you won’t want to miss this event powered by AEP Ohio. From Friday, November 16, 2018 – Sunday, January 6, 2019, you can check out the Columbus Zoo Christmas lights and festivities featuring displays of millions of LED lights and holiday fun. Now in its 30th year, Wildlights just keeps getting better and better!
Some of the features of Wildlights include:
Sparkling Spruce: The 42-ft. LED-powered tree. This 21 century tree presents the shows “Candela: The Evolution of Light” and “Holiday Cheer” featuring light and sound displays to delight visitors of all ages. The shows alternate every 30 minutes.
Santa’s Holiday Home at Battelle Ice Bear Outpost: Santa will be available for photos and to hear the kids’ wishlists through December 23; additional fees apply
Animated Musical Light Shows around Conservation Lake featuring holiday rhythms. Enjoy the show every 30 minutes, starting at 5:45 p.m.
Rudolph and Friends in Asia Quest: Rudolph, Bumble, and Hermey the Elf will be hanging out for photos and fun.
Character Christmas Show at the Animals on Safari Stage: Join the Character Ambassadors in celebrating the season in a musical whimsical way, and meet the characters after the show.
Tinsel Town: A Pop Culture Christmas in Asia Quest: This fun attraction plays tribute to the characters of favorite Holiday television shows and movies.
Holiday Dreams presented by Disney on Ice: Dream Big at My House at Habitat Hollow
Polar Bear Express Train Ride: $2 per rider
Camel Rides: Heart of Africa will be closed, but the camels will be giving rides through the season. $7 per ride
Carousel Rides south of Shores Park: $2 per person
Santa’s Reindeer Corral
Oak Ridge Bears Jingle Jamboree at Battelle Ice Bear Outpost. The animated bears will entertain with at holiday set every 30 minutes, starting at 5 p.m.
4D Theater Experiences: (additional fees apply) Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
Regular zoo admission rates apply; free for Columbus Zoo and Aquarium members. Police, fire and EMT workers and five additional guests will be able to enter for FREE until Jan. 6. They just need to show a badge or department ID for admission.
Admission $19 adult, $14 children 3-9 and adults over 60. Franklin County residents receive a $5 discount with valid driver’s license, state-issued ID or a current utility bill to receive the Franklin County pricing. Purchase tickets online to save $1 (plus save time at the gates – can show admission on your smartphone). Parking is $10/car, free for members. Hot Chocolate will be available for purchase on those chilly evenings! Dress warm, but there are plenty of indoor holiday activities where you can warm up.
Columbus Zoo Christmas Lights Wildlights Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 5:00PM-9:00PM Friday-Saturday: 5:00PM-10:00PM. Zoo opens daily at 10 am. Many animals will be inside during Wildlights, so arrive earlier in the day if you wish to view the animals; all-day admission is included. Some of the animals may be available for indoor viewing after dark in select regions including Asia Quest, Shores Region, and the Noctural Building. These building also provide a warm respite from whatever the Ohio weather throws at us.
Please note the Zoo is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
Special Wildlights Dates
- Thursday, November 15 is Member Preview Night from 5 – 9 p.m. Don’t miss the Tree Lighting Ceremony of the animated 42 inch tall Sparkling Spruce. Enjoy complimentary hot chocolate and cookies at Water’s Edge Park (while supplies last), meet Character and Animal Ambassadors, plus many more activities. More details will be released closer to the event.
- Friday, November 16 is Stuff a Truck Food Drive – Bring 5 cans of food per guest for free admission and parking. They will be collecting cans as early as 10 am, so you can arrive early and stay all day to enjoy Wildlights.
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Columbus Zoo and Aquarium