Starting Nov. 21 — the same day the Festival of Lights opens — the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden will be requiring guests to wear masks at the park.
“Due to the recent surge in COVID cases, we are taking extra precautions to keep our guests, staff and animals safe this holiday season. Even Santa will be wearing a mask,” said Cincinnati Zoo director Thane Maynard. “We’ve created a whole village for Santa so kids can visit him in an outdoor setting and also get photos without getting too close.”
Masks will be required for everyone ages 6 and up. The zoo will have masks available for purchase at the gate, including disposable ones and new, glowing face coverings.
Visiting the Festival of Lights, which has been named the No. 1 light display in the nation by USA Today for the past two years, will require a reservation. The zoo will be open daily from 1-9 p.m. The zoo says if you'd like to see the animals during your visit, make reservations between the hours of 1-5 p.m.
The Festival of Lights will continue through Jan. 3, and then will be open for "bonus nights" Jan. 8-10 and Jan. 15-17.
In addition tot he "socially-distanced outdoor visits with Santa" at 4 p.m. daily (through Dec. 23), there will be three s'more stations; North Polar Express train rides (with Plexiglas installed between seats); Fiona fairy statues in Fiona Fairyland; giant animal lanterns; the ever-popular Wild Lights show at Swan Lake; and fun and festive photo ops throughout the park.
Visit cincinnatizoo.org/events/festival-of-lights for more.