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9:00 am - 5:00 pm


Chinese Lantern Festival closes for the season after January 15

WHAT: The coming nights are Atlanta’s last chances to experience the wonders of IllumiNights: A Chinese Lantern Festival – and to kick off the new year with eye-opening inspirations for saving Earth’s spectacular biodiversity – before the festival closes for the season on January 15, 2023. IllumiNights is presented by Georgia Power, with additional support from Beacon Sponsor PNC and Luminary Sponsor Kaiser Permanente.

Guests of all ages will enjoy an after-dark stroll through a Zoo transformed with the lights of more than 100 lanterns, each handcrafted by Chinese artisans. From a breathtaking entry arch formed by brilliantly lit peacocks, to larger-than-life giant pandas surrounded by cherry blossoms, to whimsical sloths and tropical birds, the lanterns celebrate the splendor of our planet’s biodiversity. Other can’t-miss sights, such as two Chinese dragons and a spectacularly lit phoenix, evoke magnificent creatures of legend.

Magical rides on the Endangered Species Carousel, a S’mores patio, and warm beverages (including adult beverages) add to the experience of a midwinter wonderland.

Because IllumiNights is an after-dark experience, the Zoo’s living population of animals will not be visible during the event. Instead, wildlife takes shape in the form of the lanterns, which are sure to excite and inspire.

In keeping with Zoo Atlanta’s mission of conservation, the Zoo Atlanta Green Team will also be accepting unused holiday lights for recycling during IllumiNights. Guests may deposit non-working or unwanted string lights in the marked receptacle at Zoo Atlanta Admissions on any evening during the remaining run of the event. Recycled string lights will be dismantled and their components used in the manufacture of electronics (copper and other metals) and shoes (plastic).

Hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., with the last entry at 8 p.m. Advance ticket purchases are strongly encouraged.

Visit for tickets and full event details.

Now through Sunday, January 15, 2023                               

 Zoo Atlanta                                
800 Cherokee Avenue, S.E.                 
Atlanta, GA  30315

Rachel Davis, Director of Communications
404.624.2812 – office 
404.309.2238 – cell

Gavin Johnson, Public Relations and Communications Specialist
404.624.5980 – office


About Zoo Atlanta

A proud accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the gold standard for animal care and welfare, Zoo Atlanta has a mission to save wildlife and their habitats through conservation, research, education, and engaging experiences. The Zoo is home to more than 1,000 animals representing more than 200 species from around the world, many of them endangered or critically endangered. Highlights include giant pandas, including Ya Lun and Xi Lun, the only giant panda twins in the U.S.; one of North America’s largest zoological populations of great apes; and a global center of excellence for the care and study of reptiles and amphibians. Recent transformations include the African Savanna, featuring new and expanded habitats for African elephants, giraffes, zebras, ostriches, warthogs, meerkats, and rhinos; Savanna Hall, a state-of-the-art special event destination in the newly restored historic former home of the Atlanta Cyclorama; and the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation Plaza. For more information, visit

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