Make Wild Lights at the Akron Zoo a Christmas Tradition

Wild Lights at the Akron Zoo is a must-see Christmas tradition in Akron! Get tickets now for this weekend!  Experience the Akron Zoo in a new and exciting way covered in Christmas lights! Plus, visit Santa and get your picture taken with Santa professionally, visit the Snow Queen, Snow Princess, and Snowman, listen to local choirs, enjoy s’mores, and more!!

Wild Lights at the Akron Zoo 2019

I continue to be impressed by the remarkable programs and improvements the Akron Zoo has made over the last decade! Wild Lights at the Akron Zoo is better than ever this year!  More lights, additional dressed-up characters, new exhibits and more fun to be had by all ages! This is a family tradition that your family needs to enjoy – with grandparents, friends, and family.

This year, we went to Wild Lights with my husband’s brother and family. It is always so much fun to share experiences with others and create new, lasting memories together. Your kids will remember quality time spent together during the holiday season more than the toys they receive. I encourage you to make time for your family this busy holiday season, to really enjoy each other and fun events like the Wild Lights at the Akron Zoo.  Don’t miss the chance to bond with your kids and create a new Christmas tradition that your kids will look forward to every year.

If you haven’t been to the Akron Zoo lately, you will be amazed at the new expanded African lion habitat, Pride of Africa. This recently open exhibit has you even closer to animals. Crawl through the tunnel to get right into the lion enclosure or step right up to the glass where they often lounge. The lions have a lot more space now, enough for an entire pride to live together!  When we visited, the male and 3 females were lying right next to the glass. What an amazing view. The Akron Zoo really fulfills their tagline, “you’ve never been this close” and we love it!

Be sure to catch a ride on the train as it has been extended to go behind the Pride of Africa habitat – you’ll get a chance to see Christmas lights that nobody else can as well as the animals in the Pride of Africa habitat. The train ride is a lot more fun since it is extended by more than double the time and distance, maybe triple. Other animals in the Pride of Africa also has new white storks and Speke’s gazelles as well as Crested guineafowl, and Boer goats.

My family loves visiting the Akron Zoo in winter, it is one of the best times to see the animals. Many animals prefer the cooler weather so they are more active. And at night, these coyotes were putting on quite the show!

Another favorite at the Akron Zoo for us are the majestic bald eagles!

And the River Otters – they always have so much fun swimming all around, visiting everyone at the multiple viewing spots!

The Akron Zoo really does a great job making the entire zoo light up with Christmas lights. We loved walking through all the tunnels of lights.

Even the trellises were adorned with beautiful lights in the Lehner Family Zoo Gardens. The pathways, trees, and bushes are lit with lights that twinkle with the music playing throughout the zoo.  For an amazing experience, you’ll want to take time to check out Rockin’ Lighted Spectacular, it is a wall of animated lights set to music.  The Holly Jolly Hillside can be viewed from below near Komodo Kingdom and the Carousel. It is a hill filled with animal outlines – you’ll find many animal shaped light displays throughout the zoo. This hillside is actually synchronized to music all through the night, so be sure to stop and watch from below, or up on top from Grizzly Ridge.

This is the view from Grizzly Ridge, near the aviary. I love how you can see the zoo and the Akron city lights beyond! It’s gorgeous!

Grizzly Ridge is decked out as a classic holiday town with all the buildings and windows outlined like you’d see in your neighborhood. It is also a great spot to take a photo with this giant!

Speaking of photos,  there are plenty of spots to take photos as a family as well as with Santa and characters.  The Snow Queen, Snow Princess, and Snowman will be visiting daily from 6-8pm – think FROZEN! And Santa will be waiting for a visit in Santa Land. Santa Land is next to Komodo Kingdom and draped with lights as you wait in line! It is a really beautiful set up. Bring your own camera or you can purchase professional photos with Santa too!! He’s a jolly Santa!

My family loves our Christmas tradition of going to the Akron Zoo for Wild Lights. We look forward to it every year. Experience it once and it’ll become a Christmas tradition for your family too!

Tickets for Wild Lights at Akron Zoo Dates

Wild Lights dates:

Dec 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30th from 5-7pm.

Purchase tickets for Wild Nights at the Akron Zoo on the Akron Zoo website or at the Akron Zoo’s box office.

Akron Zoo members: Adults $12, Children $9

Non-Akron Zoo members: Adults $16, Children (ages 2-14) $12.

Children under 2 are free but require a ticket.

Parking/shuttle fees are $3 per vehicle.

Registration is required, and tickets include admission to Wild Lights.

Akron Zoo
500 Edgewood Avenue
Akron, Ohio

500 Edgewood Avenue, Akron, Ohio

The Akron Zoo is open 361 days a year. Winter hours are 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and admission is $8 per person. Zoo is open for general admission 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Wild Lights dates.Children under two are free and parking is $3. For more information visit or call (330) 375-2550.


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Founder and Lead Blogger at Akron Ohio Moms
Cindy is the top Akron Blogger with her own take on awesome brands for families, where to vacation for families, a beat on local activities and family fun, a knack for getting moms to share , and a house that is always 2 weeks away from a complete remodel!
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