Don’t miss the beautiful IllumiNights at Zoo Atlanta this holiday season

IllumiNights at the Zoo: A Chinese Lantern Festival
Zoo Atlanta

Zoo Atlanta is taking the zoo-going experience to the next level this holiday season with IllumiNights at the Zoo: A Chinese Lantern Festival — now open!

In its second year, this visually stunning light and lantern show will transform Zoo Atlanta after dark into an enchanting visual wonderland of the natural world. With more than 80 hand-painted lanterns placed throughout the park, you’ll see lions, elephants, flowers, birds, reptiles, some lifesize and some larger than life — all lit up by environmentally-friendly LED lights! Last year’s IllumiNights featured a 23-foot-tall jellyfish and a 100-foot-long Chinese dragon.

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“We are thrilled to bring this special opportunity back to Atlanta for another year. IllumiNights is completely unlike any other holiday experience in our city,” Raymond B. King, President and CEO of Zoo Atlanta, said in a press release. “The holiday season always brings us cause for reflection on that which is nearest and dearest to us. At Zoo Atlanta, we present the wonders of the wild — in stunning lights and works of art that will capture the imaginations of all ages.”

The festival, in partnership with Hanart Culture, also features a selection of food and beverage stands throughout the Zoo and rides on the Endangered Species Carousel.

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“One of the things that really drew us to [the lantern project] is its ability to match our mission in terms of being able to showcase wildlife and biodiversity, and being able to showcase that in a different way is something that is really fun for us,” Jennifer Smith, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships & Initiatives at Zoo Atlanta, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2021.

The zoo will remain open to the public during its regular hours throughout the holiday season, with IllumiNights beginning each night at 5:30 p.m. through Jan. 15, 2023. Tickets are on sale now!

More information about IllumiNights at the Zoo: A Chinese Lantern Festival can be found at

Zoo Atlanta

Location: East Atlanta - 800 Cherokee Ave SE; Website:

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