Get ready to celebrate at a breathtaking new addition to Atlanta’s holiday traditions. The all-new IllumiNights at the Zoo: A Chinese Lantern Festival opens to the public on November 22, 2021, and will be open through January 16, 2022.
In spring 2021, Zoo Atlanta announced plans to partner with Hanart Culture on presenting the experience, which will invite guests into a nighttime wonderland celebrating the beauty of the natural world. Awe-inspiring vistas will feature more than 80 larger-than-life lanterns – some up to 20 feet tall – based on animals and other elements of nature.
Each lantern is made and hand-painted by Chinese artisans, therefore representing thousands of hours of work. In keeping with Zoo Atlanta’s commitment to sustainability, each lantern also features environmentally-friendly LED lights.
This will be an awesome, family-friendly event.
WHAT TO EXPECT
The route for IllumiNights is wheelchair and stroller friendly, and should take about an hour to walk through. But don’t touch! The lanterns are meant to be seen, but not handled.
For those wondering if the lanterns’ real life counterparts will be out at this event — the answer is no. Most animals go indoors before dark, so they won’t be in their habitats during IllumiNights. Only the lantern-versions will be out for your enjoyment.
Now, let’s talk about tickets! IllumiNights is a separate ticketed event, and advanced reservations are highly recommended. This is a family-friendly event, but it’s also perfect for a date night too! It’s definitely meant for everyone to enjoy.
As with General Admission zoo tickets, children under 2 are free at this event. Everyone 3 and up must have a ticket.
Food and beverages will be available for purchase, and the carousel will be running during IllumiNights.
At Zoo Atlanta, masks are optional at the outdoor locations, but are required at indoor locations for everyone 2 and up.
Tickets went on sale on September 15 at zooatlanta.org/illuminights. The event will be open from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., with the last entry at 8:30 p.m. Some blackout dates apply, including Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
There are perks for Zoo Atlanta members! In addition to receiving an exclusive discount, Zoo Atlanta Members will also have access to a Member-only preview of the event from November 18 through November 21.
WHERE TO STAY FOR THE CHINESE LANTERN FESTIVAL
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