Tunes and Blooms at the Cincinnati Zoo (with our tips!)

It’s April in Cincinnati and that means it’s time for Tunes and Blooms at The Cincinnati Zoo!

Tunes and Blooms at the Cincinnati Zoo means tulips in bloom! In the back you'll see the reptile house.

The Cincinnati Zoo hosts their Tunes and Blooms event every Thursday night in April (weather permitting).  Each week features live bands set amongst the incredibly gorgeous spring blossoms at the Zoo. 

It’s the perfect way to enjoy an evening out, admiring their gorgeous spring flowers and listening to some great local bands.

tulips in bloom for Tunes and Blooms

The local bands at vary each week but they always “rock the house”.  The event draws a great mix of people – young families, singles, married folks, etc. And it makes a great date night too!

The Tunes and Blooms bands for 2024 are:

  • April 4: The Tillers and Pickin’ Pear
  • April 11: My Brother’s Keeper and Elementree
  • April 18: Highly Likely and Nicole Polara
  • April 25: Moonshine Drive and Cecil Jackson & Dry Ridge
band playing on the stage at the Cincinnati Zoo's Tunes and Blooms event
Whiskey Bent Valley Boys playing at Tunes and Blooms

The zoo sells food and drinks BUT you can also bring in our own food too. You can pack supper / snacks and bring it in with you. Need to grab a bite there? Last year we bought a pulled pork BBQ sandwich that was excellent and I’ve heard their pretzels are amazing!

Take the kids! There were lots of little ones dancing in front of the stage while the band played. There’s plenty to see around the open parts of the zoo. The train was running while we were there too! It’s a very family friendly event.

You are not permitted to bring in any alcohol but they do have beer available for purchase. Bags will be inspected at the turnstiles before you enter the zoo.

Bring a chair and/or blanket if you’re going to stay for the evening. There’s plenty of space to set up camp to enjoy the bands.

people seated along the walls at Tunes and Blooms

The entire zoo is not open for Tunes and Blooms but you will be able to walk around and see some the animals.

The music starts at 6pm but you can get into the zoo starting at 5pm.

Pack your sunglasses or a hat on a sunny day. The sun goes down right above the stage. If you’re seated and facing the band you’re going to have the sun shining right at you… which feels really good in April by the way!

yellow tulips in bloom along the walk at the Cincinnati Zoo

Think ahead and plan to take a few pictures. The zoo is gorgeous and the blooms provide a great backdrop for a spring photo shoot! We saw many families seated along the brick paths with the tulips surrounding them. So pretty!

This event is weather dependent. If you’re wondering if the bands will be playing, be sure to check out the Zoo’s Facebook page or click the schedule link below.

people looking at the map at the Cincinnati Zoo

Download the Echoes app and listen to the Zoo Blooms Self Guided Tour as you stroll the grounds. Cincinnati Zoo’s Director of Horticulture, Steve Foltz, points out the best of the best including more than 100,000 tulips that provide every color you can imagine!

Find your way around the zoo with their new interactive mobile map. It includes a map of the zoo and you’ll find a handy set of options along the bottom of the screen. In addition to “Map”, “Info” will give you lots of FAQ type information (such as bathroom locations), and “Today” will give you zoo events that are happening today.

Admission to the Cincinnati Zoo is free every Thursday in April (starting at 5pm) for Tunes and Blooms. 

Parking is $10 (current as of Feb., 2024). 

Tunes and Blooms is at the Cincinnati Zoo, located at 3400 Vine Street.
You can visit the Zoo’s site for the complete Tunes and Blooms schedule.

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About the Author
Bridgett Raffenberg
My name is Bridgett Raffenberg and I am the creator of 365Cincinnati. I've been uncovering and sharing all of the best things to do in Cincinnati since 2010. I enjoy exploring new spots, discovering local events, and meeting the people who call Cincinnati home!