IllumiNights at the Zoo

Now - Jan. 15

HOURS: 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., last entry at 8 p.m.

A red logo for the Chinese Lantern Festival HanArt CultureIllumiNights at the Zoo:
A Chinese Lantern Festival

Atlanta’s newest holiday tradition is back and better than ever.

Zoo Atlanta partners with Hanart Culture to bring this one-of-a-kind light experience back to Atlanta! Vistas of illuminated wildlife and awe-inspiring sights await in a nighttime wonderland celebrating the beauty and wonder of the natural world.  The lighted works of art are more stunning than ever this year, featuring many NEW lanterns and scenes!

General Admission Tickets

Adult (12+) $20.99 – $24.99
Child (3-11) $17.99 – $19.99
Child 2 & Under FREE
Senior (65+) $17.99 – $21.99
Group Tickets* $16.99 – $18.99

Member Tickets

Adult (12+) $16.99 – $20.99
Child (3-11) $14.99 – $16.99
Child 2 & Under FREE

 

 

*Groups of 15 or more receive our discounted group rate. One person must pay for the entire party and the group is required to enter the Zoo together. Refunds cannot be given for guests who do not attend.

Due to limited capacity, we strongly recommend tickets be purchased in advance online. If you have a promo code, please enter it at checkout.

A nighttime lantern wonderland celebrating the beauty of the natural world

Stroll the Zoo after dark to be inspired by more than 80 nature-inspired lanterns depicting some of Earth’s most amazing and charismatic flora and fauna, both real and imagined. 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. 

Know Before You Glow

What to expect on your visit to IllumiNights at the Zoo

The Zoo will look a little different! Most animals go indoors before dark, so they will not be in their habitats during IllumiNights. Visit the lanterns’ real-life counterparts during the day.

Hours are 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. with the last entry at 8 p.m.

Paid parking is available in the Cherokee Avenue parking lot and in the Grant Park Gateway parking facility on Boulevard. During IllumiNights, parking will transfer to a flat rate of $6 as of 5 p.m. and will accept card payments only.

The Endangered Species Carousel will be open during the festival.

Food and Beverage Locations

Warm beverages and tasty treats

Select gift shops and food and beverage locations will be open throughout the Zoo for purchase of festival-inspired items. Explore a variety of dining options throughout the Zoo, whether you’re in the mood for a hearty meal, light snack, or sweet treat.

View the options

IllumiNights Event Map

Explore the map before you visit, or view it on your mobile device once you've arrived!

View map

Thank you to our sponsors

IllumiNights at the Zoo is presented by

Georgia Power logo     

beacon sponsor

PNC logo

luminary sponsor

Kaiser Permanente logo

IllumiNights at the Zoo: FAQs

Is this an animal experience?
The Zoo will look a little different! Most animals go indoors before dark, so they will not be in their habitats during IllumiNights. This experience celebrates the wonders of the natural world as imagined through the lanterns. As most of the animals go into their indoor areas before dark, most will not be in their outdoor habitats during IllumiNights. Enjoy the magic of the lanterns, and if you want to visit their real-life counterparts, we suggest doing so during the day.

What about rain?
This is a rain-or-shine event. The lanterns will glow beautifully no matter the weather. Be sure to bring gear appropriate for rain. A limited number of rain ponchos and other clothing items will be available for purchase at the Zoo Atlanta Trading Company Gift Shop. As safety is our first priority, the Zoo reserves the right to close or cancel the event if weather conditions are assessed to be a safety hazard. In the event of severe weather, check your email for pertinent updates.

If I am visiting the Zoo during the day, will I need to leave and come back in later or can I stay inside the Zoo?
Since IllumiNights is a separate, ticketed event, all daytime Members and guests will be asked to leave the Zoo by 5 p.m. so we can set up for the evening’s activities. You may then reenter using your IllumiNights tickets during your designated reservation time.

Is IllumiNights: A Chinese Lantern Festival a family-friendly event?
The festival is designed for everyone to enjoy - perfect for a family outing, romantic date or corporate get-together.


Will there be food and beverage available for purchase?
Yes, select concessions locations will be available throughout the Zoo, offering festival-inspired snacks and meals. View the menus and locations to plan your visit.


Who can I contact with general questions about this festival?
You may contact us at 404.624.5937.

Can I rent a stroller during the festival?
Yes, our rentals are located in Flamingo Plaza, at the Safari Outfitters retail location. We have single and double strollers available to rent. Single strollers are $11 plus tax and double strollers are $13 plus tax. You must show a valid photo ID.
 
Can I rent a wheelchair or electric scooter during the festival?
Yes, our rentals are in Flamingo Plaza, at the Safari Outfitters retail location. You must show a valid photo ID.

Pricing:

    • Manual Wheelchair: $14 plus tax (photo ID required)
    • Electric Scooter: $33 plus tax (driver’s license required; minimum age to rent is 18)

What rides and attractions are open during the festival?
The Endangered Species Carousel will be open during the festival, weather permitting. 

Where can I park?
Paid parking is available in the Cherokee Avenue parking lot and in the Grant Park Gateway parking facility on Boulevard. During IllumiNights, parking will transfer to a flat rate of $6 as of 5 p.m. and will accept card payments only. Lots are patrolled, but please leave valuable items at home or secure them out of view.

Can I touch the lanterns?
No. Most of the lanterns are hand-crafted and are meant to be viewed, not handled. Please, do not touch, climb, cross, or lean on the lanterns or barriers around them. We will have some lanterns without barriers that will allow guests to approach more closely.

 How long is the route for the IllumiNights: A Chinese Lantern Festival?
The route is a wheelchair-friendly path and takes around one hour to walk through.

 Will we be lighting and releasing lanterns at the festival?
No. The lanterns are illuminated with LED bulbs and will stay firmly on the ground.

 Can I take photographs?
Yes! You are welcome to take photos and we’d love to see them! Share your fun photos on our social media channels by tagging Zoo Atlanta and using hashtag #OnlyZooATL. Please be considerate of other guests; do not block pathways or the views of others while waiting for that perfect shot.

Are the lanterns epileptic-friendly?
Some lantern displays feature flashing lights and may trigger seizures for people with photosensitive epilepsy.

May I get a refund or exchange my ticket for another date if something comes up?
Sorry, we cannot exchange or refund tickets for this event.

 The date I want is sold out. Can I buy tickets at the Zoo ticket windows, on the day of the event?
Due to limited capacity, we strongly recommend tickets be purchased in advance online.  If tickets are sold out, they will not be available for purchase at the front gate the day of the event.

I purchased a daytime ticket to visit the Zoo. May I use it for IllumiNights: a Chinese Lantern Festival instead?
IllumiNights: A Chinese Lantern Festival is a separate, ticketed event. Daytime Zoo admission does not provide entry to the festival.

Are Zoo Atlanta Members required to purchase tickets?
Members must purchase their tickets through the Zoo Atlanta website and will receive a discount. Members who have recently purchased a new Membership or have recently renewed an existing Membership should contact Member Services at 404.624.5662 or membership@zooatlanta.org for assistance.

Do children 2 and under get in free like regular Zoo admission?
Yes, children 2 and under are free. Ages 3 and up require a full-price ticket.

Do I need to print my tickets if I purchase online?
Not necessarily. Some phones (for example, those with cracked or broken screens) and saved PDF versions of the tickets present scanning challenges. Please, do not screen capture your tickets as they will not scan.

I purchased a ticket online, but I did not receive a confirmation email/ticket. What do I do?
An email confirming your purchase should arrive within 15 minutes of payment. In order to receive your tickets, you may need to add “websales@zooatlanta.org” to your safe list. Please check your Junk/Spam folders.  If you entered an invalid or misspelled email during your purchase, the payment would appear on your credit card, but your tickets will not be delivered. Please email comments@zooatlanta.org with the name the tickets were purchased under, the correct email address, and the last four digits of the credit card used to make the purchase. We will resend your tickets.

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