POWELL, Ohio (WCMH) — A central Ohio holiday tradition, Wildlights is returning to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium this weekend to celebrate its 35th anniversary with millions of LED lights.

Wildlights opens on Friday running through Jan. 7 and is included with regular zoo admission while free for zoo members. General admission costs $29.99, $27.99 for seniors and $25.99 for children ages 3 to 9.

The zoo is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Each day, Wildlights begins at 5 p.m. Zoo members can be the first to experience the holiday tradition on Thursday for Member Night, including food and beverage discounts, and a complimentary cookie with hot chocolate.

This year’s Wildlights includes a series of family-favorite attractions, including the giant animated holiday tree “Sparkling Spruce,” the Rudolph 4D Experience, the Jingle Jam 36 spheres of light illuminating Shores Play Park along with meet and greet experiences with Santa and reindeer. In addition, the zoo is returning the following attractions that were new last year:

  • “Sounds of the Season,” featuring choirs, bands and musical groups from local schools and organizations.
  • The “12 Days of Wildlights” train ride, themed to the zoo’s rendition of the 12 Days of Christmas.
  • A “Jolliest Holiday Craft Beer Celebration,” which offers guests ages 21 and up the opportunity to sample craft beers, ciders and seltzers at locations throughout the park.

Zoo guests wishing to see animals are encouraged to arrive early in the day before the start of Wildlights activities. Some animals may have access outdoors during Wildlights, while others can be found in their indoor habitats, including those in Adventure Cove, Asia Quest and the Shores & Aquarium.

While Wildlights features mesmerizing flashing lights, the zoo advises visitors who may be photosensitive to take necessary precautions during their visit. The Zoo will be closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, as well as for Wildlights on Christmas Eve. Learn more and plan your visit here.