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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

Connect With Your Wild Side #onlyzooatl