Light Up Your Holiday Festivities



Photography provided by Cincinnati Zoo

The Cincinnati Zoo’s 33rd annual PNC Festival of Lights – complete with 2 million twinkling lights – is the perfect venue for a wild time. Whether you’re thinking about a staff holiday party or the perfect gift to send your customers, the PNC Festival of Lights is an unforgettable choice.

From adults only, high-end functions to family friendly soirees, or passes your guests can use to visit on their own time, the Cincinnati Zoo’s group sales team has you covered. They’ll help you with a customized solution that will help you cross this to-do off your list.

“Our clients love how easy it is to plan an event with us” says Susan McGee, director of sales and catering for the Zoo. “Our sales team represents more than 70 years of combined experiences. We are all seasoned professionals that can help with every detail. Instead of providing just cookie cutter experiences, we are truly able to customize an event specific to your needs. We talk through budgets, talk about your expectations – do you want a lot of time with clients or employees, or just want them to go out and enjoy time with their family? We can customize every part of your event.”

Want animals to stop by your party? No problem. Want gingerbread characters to make an appearance? They can do that, too. Plus, the essential elements of your event – the event spaces, food and customer service  – are all incredible.

From Peacock Pavilion to Treetops or Safari Lodge, there’s a space for all event sizes. Packages include a private facility from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. and plenty of food options. Holiday luncheons are available as well.

“We get rave reviews from our clients about how great our food is,” says McGee. “We have on-site catering and they create amazing menus for our guests.”

Whether you’re opting for an elegant dinner or a warm-up package with hot chocolate and desserts, your guests will be well cared for. During the PNC Festival of Lights, says McGee, guests will often “take a drink, walk around and enjoy the lights and then come back to warm up in the private facility and enjoy camaraderie with coworkers.”

But beyond the nuts and bolts of an event, the Cincinnati Zoo can provide something other venues can’t – not only the backdrop and experience of the Zoo, but also an association with holiday joy, family togetherness and celebration. 

“With today’s typically hectic lifestyles, electronics overload and 24-7 media, many people feel deprived of family time,” says McGee. “The holidays are a special time and invoke such good feelings, warmth and a sense of family. Together with the tradition that the PNC Festival of Lights brings, having an event with us or giving passes to the Cincinnati Zoo helps you give your team and clients something special.”

McGee says clients often remember coming to the PNC Festival of Lights as children. “There’s a lot of longevity in the program – it’s one of the longest-running and most-visited holiday events. It’s quite a tradition for families – the lights, the Madcap puppet show, the characters from snowmen to Santa Claus. People come to events here and build memories.”

While events are a great way to get your team or clients together (on their own or with families) – sending Cincinnati Zoo tickets as gifts to clients or for your staff is another popular option. “We provide great discounts for companies to give tickets to employees or clients. This makes a great gift option and provides flexibility to attend anytime during the event season,” says McGee. “You can purchase and distribute directly to families and even add a Wild Card to give them spending money. This is a versatile means of giving your guests something special they can enjoy at their own pace.” Companies can even sign up for discounted tickets year round as an employee benefit and it costs them nothing.

Are the holidays a busy time for your team? The Cincinnati Zoo also offers a family-friendly  New Year’s Eve celebration, plus there are other seasonal events like HallZOOween, Zoo Blooms, Zoo Babies and more.

“Having an event at the Cincinnati Zoo – whatever time of year – is a very unique experience,” says Susan McGee, director of Sales and Catering for the Zoo. “There is nothing in the city or in the region that truly matches the experience we provide to our guests. At the same time you’re having these events or investing in tickets to provide to your employees or clients, you’re actually supporting your local community, a great jewel in our area, the Cincinnati Zoo. It’s a great way to provide something very special to your employees and clients but also to give back to a non-profit and support conservation, wild life and green initiatives.” 

So, when the Cincinnati Zoo lights up this winter season, head over for a bright event.

For more information about hosting an event at the Cincinnati Zoo or purchasing group tickets, call 513.487.3481, e-mail groupsales@cincinnatizoo.org or visit www.cincinnatizoo.org/groups.