There is no time better than Christmas time to remind you how wonderful it is to live in Cincinnati. So much to do, so many memories to be made.
Perhaps it is because there is so much to do each year that tonight was my first time seeing the splendor that is the Cincinnati Zoo’s Festival of Lights. It made it extra special that my first time amidst all the beauty was P’s first time too. And just like that a family tradition is born.
It was the perfect night for it – crisp and chilly enough to put you in the spirit, but not so cold that you had to endure a three-year whining about being, well, cold. We went on a Thursday – I highly recommend going on a weekday if you can manage. It was like we were Madonna and they opened up just for us and a few dozen of our closet friends. Hardly a line for the train and tram, plenty of room at all the exhibits. Simply a great night.
There are a ton of activities scattered through the park. The carousel turns to lovely Christmas tunes and the MapCap Puppets present a most amazing performance – Winter Wonders – in the outdoor theater. Journey up to the Children’s Zoo and Mrs. Claus is there waiting for you to read a couple stories and lead a couple caroles. For me, she was the best part of our visit – it was like we were right at the North Pole, warming by the fire. She was delightful. One thing we missed and will return for is the The Polar Express 4-D Experience. We spoke to another family in line for the train and they raved about it. That will be at the top of list for our next visit along with all the other stuff we missed – rapping elves, the Gingerbread Village, the list goes on and on.
If you are a Zoo member, the Festival is included. Not a member? Now is a great time to join and guarantee yourself a year of our award-winning Zoo. Individual tickets are $13 for adults; $9 for children and seniors. Parking is $6.50. Hurry, you can get half-price admission on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays through December 16th! The Festival of Lights runs nightly from 5pm to 9pm until January 3rd.
* Please note that the original audio on my video above was boycotted by You Tube. Believe me when I tell you that the original audio would have moved you to tears…You Tube needs to get in the holiday spirit already. For the record, the original music playing as the lights danced was Christmas Canon by Tran-Siberian Orchestra. The final 1.5 minutes coupled with my cinematography…would have rocked your world.
UPDATED TO ADD: The real, original video can be found here, complete with original audio: http://tinyurl.com/yz7grtx