Friday, November 8, 2019

Wild Winter Lights

Can’t get enough holiday lights? Would a million of them be enough?

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo says its new Wild Winter Lights event will have more than a million lights. This is not your typical holiday light display. Wild Winter Lights will offer more than a dozen interactive zones, each with its own twist on holiday festivities. My favorite, for its name alone, is the A-Roar-A Borealis, the zoo’s version of the Northern Lights.

Wild Winter Lights opens Nov. 22 and runs through Jan. 5. In November, it’s being held on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only. It will expand in December to include Thursdays and a couple of Mondays. Hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on each date.

Besides admission to Wild Winter Lights, tickets include free rides on Circle of Wildlife Carousel, showings of “The Polar Express” in the 4-D Theater, a light show on Waterfowl Lake and a visit with Santa. Tickets do not include admission to the zoo.

Buying tickets in advance is recommended. The prices are cheaper and tickets might not be available at the box office on the date you want to attend the event. Advance tickets for Wild Winter Lights are $15.50 per person for zoo members and $18.50 per person for others. Box office tickets are $20.50 per person. All children under 2 are admitted free. 

You can save even more by buying a four pack of advance tickets for $50. Box office four packs are $60. The four pack is the best option for most people, but do the math before you buy tickets.

Four people splitting the cost of the $50 four pack would pay $12.50 each and four splitting the cost of the $60 four pack would pay $15 each.

But take a family of four with one child under 2 and an older child. A $50 four pack is the best deal even though the younger child would be admitted free. Three individual tickets at $18.50 apiece would total $55.50. 

That same family would pay $60 for a box office four pack or $61.50 for three individual tickets. That’s not as much of a discount, but a buck’s a buck, right? Or in this case, a buck fifty.

However, a family of four with two children under 2 would be better off buying two individual tickets, either in advance for a total of $37 or at the box office for a total of $41. A single parent with three children under the age of 2 is probably too exhausted to attend Wild Winter Lights at any price.

Those scenarios assume the families are not zoo members. Members also save money by getting advance tickets, but the amount depends on their membership level.


  1. Thanks for the info! Looks like a fun event! :)

  2. I was just at the zoo on Monday and saw all of the decorations going up! Thanks for explaining the different scenarios for pricing. That will be very helpful if we decide to get tickets.

    1. Hope you are able to go. CLE on the Cheap is all about having fun without spending a lot of money!


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