Zoo Atlanta brings back Chinese Lantern Festival for the holidays

Create new and exciting traditions this holiday season with Zoo Atlanta’s returning IllumiNights at the Zoo: A Chinese Lantern Festival.

Presented by Georgia Power, the Zoo will transform after dark into a stunning visual celebration of the natural world with more than 80 hand-painted lanterns placed throughout the park.

The lanterns depict a variety of creatures, some you’ll find at the Zoo and others you won’t, including lions, elephants, flowers, birds, reptiles, a 23-foot-tall jellyfish and a 100-foot-long Chinese dragon. Each lantern is illuminated by environmentally-friendly LED lights.

The event, a mile-long stroll filled with festive things to do, will feature food and snacks at several locations. Flamingo Plaza is the place to be for snacks and treats, while the African Savannah area has Dippin Dots’. The The Ford African Rain Forest is home to the Ooz Food Truck & Sweetwater Beer Garden, a place full of pot stickers, egg rolls, rice bowls, kids meals and both hot and cold drinks. Stop by the Sips and S’mores Station at the Grand Patio for a special holiday treat.

“Whether you’re making memories with family, looking to impress on a date night, or enjoying a night out with friends, your holidays glow in the splendors of nature. Enjoy a mile-long stroll of stunning contemplation of the wildlife of our planet and creatures of our imagination, from luminous leopards to a towering fiery phoenix,” according to the event’s website. “There are lanterns around every corner of the Zoo this holiday season.”

There are also things to do at Zoo Atlanta entirely unique to IllumiNights, including a kid-friendly holiday adventure at the VR Theater. Elf Power is an opportunity for children to join Santa’s elves on a virtual reality journey that will see them fly with reindeer and help deliver the magic of the holidays.

The Zoo will remain open for regular hours, with the festival running nightly from now through Jan. 14, except on certain blackout dates.

Tickets can be bought here.

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