Events & Programs


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Light in the Forest FAQs

Registration Questions

Do I need to preregister?  Yes, we are asking all guests to preregister. We expect this event to sell out most nights, and we want to assure your spot.

Why do I need to register for a specific time? Due to Covid-19 spacing restrictions, we have a limited number of tickets per time slot. This is for the safety of you, our staff, and our volunteers. Having a timed ticket makes for a faster entrance and assures convenient parking.

What if I can’t come during my registered time slot? We ask that all guests arrive during their registered time slot. If you are a little early or late, we will do our best to accommodate you, but it isn’t guaranteed.

Can I trade my ticket for a different night? Unfortunately, no, we can’t make exchanges for different evenings. Once you reserve tickets, we are unable to resell unused tickets. As a nonprofit, we are not able to refund or transfer unused tickets to a different night. We welcome you to “gift” the tickets to someone who could use them!

What if it rains or there is a snowstorm? Can I get a refund or use my ticket for a different night? If Cincinnati Nature Center must cancel the event due to inclement weather, you’ll receive a full refund. We will post all cancellations to this event on our website by 3 pm on the day of the event. Please check our website for any cancellations before attending. However, if the event is still happening, we cannot offer refunds or exchanges to a different night.

Do I need to show my receipt when I arrive? No, we will have the names of those who registered and the number of people they registered; but it may help speed up check-in.

What if another person wants to join me but doesn’t have a ticket? If we have space, we will accept payment at the gate for additional guests in your car. But we cannot guarantee a ticket for your additional guest. We advise you purchase a ticket online ahead of time before you arrive with an additional unregistered guest.

Can my group come in more than one car? We ask that your group all come together, however, if you are unable, please notify the person checking you in that there are additional guests arriving separately.

Can I get a refund? Unfortunately, we are unable to give a refund unless Cincinnati Nature Center must cancel the event due to inclement weather or other reasons.

Can I give my ticket away? Yes, you’re welcome to give your ticket to someone else. However, please have them show your receipt or say your name when they drive through the gate.

Do I have to pay for my two-year-old? No! Two and under are free!

Do I pay for a child ticket for my 15-year-old child? Yes! Unlike our normal admission prices, anyone 17 and under is considered a child for this event. 

Why do members get a discount? Members are our loyal supporters and receive discounts to a variety of programs including summer camp. If you become a member now, you too can receive this discount!

Can I apply the admission fee that I paid for Light in the Forest to a membership? No, unfortunately not. Special event tickets cannot be applied toward the cost of a membership. Only general admission can be applied toward a membership.

Are there any coupons? Yes, we have a Valpak coupon code that you can use when you register online. It is for nonmembers only and does not apply to member pricing.

Are there group rates? Unfortunately, not for this event.

Are there any special discounts for seniors, students, military officers? Unfortunately, not for this event.

Do you allow buses? If you wish to bring a bus, please schedule it two weeks in advance by calling 513-831-1711.

At the Event

Is there a parking fee? No, parking is free.

How long is the trail? The trail is one mile and mostly flat.

Is there a specific starting point? No, you’ll be guided onto the trails by a parking attendant. No matter where you park, you’ll be near the trail and can get on. The event route is a circular, one-way path.

Will I receive a map or program? Yes, upon entry, you’ll receive a map. Please bring it with you on the trail.

How long will I be outside? Most of the trail is outside. It traverses around the Rowe Visitor Center, Krippendorf Lodge, and Abner Hollow Cabin, where you can warm up a bit.

How long should I count on being there? The entire trail should take about an hour to complete. We recommend a slow pace to take in the sights and sounds of this special evening. Be inspired by the forest glow, listen to the live music, warm by the bonfire, and enjoy holiday shopping!

What should I wear? Dress for the weather. You’ll be outside most of the time. The trails can be muddy, so wear appropriate footwear/boots.

Is the trail handicap accessible? It is with help, as there is a slight hill and the trail is not 100% even. It is not a paved surface.

Is it stroller accessible? Yes.

Are pets (dogs) allowed? Service dogs are welcome. But we ask that you leave your pet at home during this event.

Is food available?  No, due to Covid-19 safety precautions, there won’t be food or drinks available.

Are there restrooms available? Yes, there are three restroom facilities along the trail.

Is there a handicapped-accessible restroom? Yes, there is one along the trail near the Nature PlayScape.

Are there additional costs once I’m there? Besides unique holiday shopping at The Nature Shop, there are no additional costs.

Do I need to bring a flashlight? Flashlights are not necessary. You’re welcome to bring one, but we ask that you refrain from shining it on the trail or on guests.

Will there be shuttles? No, due to the time ticketing, we will have enough parking.

Will the Visitor Center be open? Yes, and it will feature music, The Winter Wonders Charley Harper art exhibit, and plenty of unique holiday gifts at The Nature Shop!

Are there any special offers? Yes, The Nature Shop will be offering a 10% discount on all items at the event. Members will receive an additional 10% off on top of their 10% discount!

Will there be photo opportunities? Yes! Along the trail there will be a variety of opportunities and a photo station.

COVID-19 Safety Precautions

  • Timed ticketing to limit amount of people on the trails.
  • All adults and children Kindergarten age and up must wear masks.
  • Please do not attend if you’re not feeling well and/or showing signs of COVID-19.
  • No food or drink will be served.
  • The trail follows one direction to limit the amount of people you’ll pass.
  • All staff will wear masks and minimal contact check-in measures are in place.
  • Social distancing measures are encouraged.
  • Limits for people walking together: Only gatherings of 10 or fewer are permitted.
  • Limits for people inside each building. Capacity depends on the building but will be restricted to 50% of full capacity.
  • Strict cleaning protocols of our facilities, including restrooms, in compliance with Ohio Department of Health operating best practices.