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Wildlife will soon light the night at IllumiNights

Installation is well underway on the more than 80 lanterns that will be part of the all-new IllumiNights at the Zoo: A Chinese Lantern Festival, opening to the public on Monday, November 22, 2021.

Zoo Atlanta has partnered with Hanart Culture to bring this new experience to Atlanta. After dark, guests will explore the Zoo, transformed – full of awe-inspiring vistas highlighting the wonder, beauty, and diversity of the natural world – from the savanna to the sea to the skies, and from the depths of the rainforest to the lights of the Arctic Circle.

The lanterns, some up to 20 feet tall, are hand-made and hand-painted, representing thousands of hours of work. In keeping with Zoo Atlanta’s commitment to sustainability, each lantern also features environmentally-friendly LED lights.

As this is an after-dark event, with very few exceptions, animals will not be out during IllumiNights. Instead, wildlife will light the night in the form of the lanterns as they showcase the extraordinary splendors of nature.

The Endangered Species Carousel will be open during IllumiNights. Select gift shops and food and beverage locations will also be open for purchase of festival-inspired items.

The event will be open from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. each night during its run, which will continue through Sunday, January 16, 2022. Advance timed reservations are strongly recommended and are available now at Zoo Atlanta Members will enjoy exclusive access to Member-only reservations during the IllumiNights Member Preview, November 18 through November 21.

IllumiNights is presented by Georgia Power, with additional support from Beacon Sponsor PNC. Learn more at


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 new 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 new Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation Plaza. For more information, visit

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