Zoo Atlanta is all aglow with the highly anticipated return of IllumiNights: A Chinese Lantern Festival, which opened earlier this week.
Zoo Atlanta has partnered with Hanart Culture to bring the experience back to Atlanta, with an abundance of new lanterns and stunning scenes celebrating the splendors of nature. IllumiNights is presented by Georgia Power, with additional support from Beacon Sponsor PNC and Luminary Sponsor Kaiser Permanente.
Greeted by breathtaking arches formed by brilliantly lit peacocks, guests will enjoy an inspiring stroll throughout a nighttime Zoo filled with vistas of more than 100 nature-inspired lanterns, each hand-crafted by Chinese artisans. Those who attended the event in its debut year in 2021 can expect a fresh and magical experience highlighting the wonders of our planet’s magnificent flora and fauna. Highlights include a spectacular giant phoenix; a scene of larger-than-life pandas surrounded by vibrant cherry blossoms; a twisting python; great apes; a cheetah perched in a tree; an ocean world; and much more. Many of the lanterns feature special effects such as animals moving or flowers opening and closing. In keeping with Zoo Atlanta’s mission of conservation, each lantern is lit with environmentally friendly LED lights.
Visitors will also enjoy rides on the Endangered Species Carousel; festival-inspired food and beverage (including over-21 hot beverages) and retail items available for purchase; and a S’mores station.
The festival will run nightly through January 15, 2023. Hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., with the last entry at 8 p.m.
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 inspire guests of all ages.
Advance ticket purchases are strongly encouraged. Get tickets and full details at zooatlanta.org/illuminights.