Things to Do

Light In the Forest

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Light in the Forest FAQs

Registration Questions

Do I need to preregister?

Yes, all guests must pre-register to assure a timed ticket. We expect this event to sell out, and we want to assure your spot at the event.

Why do I need to register for a specific time?

Due to space 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.

What if it rains or there is a snowstorm? Can I get a refund?

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.

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! Children 2 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?

Yes, groups of 12 or more people may enjoy a group rate. Please contact registrar@cincynature.org for more information.

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?

Our expanded trail for this year is 1.15 miles 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.

Do I have to do the whole trail? 

Although the route is a winding, one-way path, there are options to make the trail shorter if you cannot walk the entire route. Our staff members are available at the event to help you. 

Will I receive a map or program?

There will be a digital map available through our Mobile Guide. There will be a QR code for you to scan with your phone onsite, and that will take you directly to the map. 

How long will I be outside?

Most of the trail is outside. It loops around the Rowe Visitor Center and 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 live music, warm by the bonfire, delight in children’s activities, 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. 

How will this year be different than other years? 

We have enhanced the experience with an expanded trail featuring five new light installations and added children’s activities!

What children’s activities are available?

We have added an interactive light installation designed for children (and adults who still have a child-like sense of wonder). An entertaining scavenger hunt will also be available on our Mobile Guide. Children’s activities are included in the ticket price!

 

Who are the featured light artists?

We are presenting new installations by regional light artists: 

  • Golden Brown 

  • Kemper Sauce Studios 

  • MDC Design/Backbeat Motion (a collaboration) 

  • Owens & Crawley 

  • Polymath 

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?

For the safety of all guests, we ask that you leave your pet at home during this event. However, service dogs are welcome and must be clearly identified. 

What COVID-19 measures are in place?

Cincinnati Nature Center will run this event using consideration of recommendations made by the CDC and local health agencies. Safety precautions will include: 

  • Timed ticketing to limit people on the trails. 

  • Limits for people walking together; only gatherings of 12 or fewer are permitted on the trail. 

  • Limits for people inside each building. Capacity depends on the building. 

  • Please do not attend if you’re not feeling well and/or showing signs of COVID-19.  

The status or format of this program may change based on COVID-19 conditions at the time of the event. In the event Cincinnati Nature Center cancels, full refunds will be issued. 

Are beverages or food available?

Drinking fountains will be on at the Visitor Center for those who wish to fill their water bottles. A truck offering hot beverages (coffee and cocoa) for purchase may be available outside of Krippendorf Lodge, but this is not guaranteed for all nights and hours of the event. Please place trash from beverage purchases in designated trash receptacles located throughout the event. No food will be available for purchase. 

Are there restrooms available?

There are three restroom facilities available along the trail, including a handicapped-accessible restroom.

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 and drink purchases, 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 timed 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 is offering a 10% discount on all items at the event. Members will receive an additional 10% off on top of their 10% membership discount!

Will there be photo opportunities?

Yes! Along the trail, there will be a variety of opportunities to take personal photos. Please remain on the trail and be sure to allow room for others to pass by you.

COVID-19 Safety Precautions

Cincinnati Nature Center will run this event using consideration of recommendations made by the CDC and local health agencies. Safety precautions will include: 

  • Timed ticketing to limit people on the trails. 

  • Limits for people walking together; only gatherings of 12 or fewer are permitted on the trail. 

  • Limits for people inside each building. Capacity depends on the building. 

  • Please do not attend if you’re not feeling well and/or showing signs of COVID-19. 

The status or format of this program may change based on COVID-19 conditions at the time of the event. In the event Cincinnati Nature Center cancels, full refunds will be issued.