Illuminights: A Chinese Lantern Festival

November 16, 2023-January 14, 2024 at Zoo Atlanta

IllumiNights Cheetah 1
Photo credit: Zoo Atlanta
The brightest event of the holiday season is back at Zoo Atlanta

Atlanta’s cherished holiday tradition is back, showcasing vistas of brilliantly illuminated wildlife and captivating sights that celebrate the wonders of nature. This year, we’re introducing new lanterns and experiences, transforming the Zoo into a nighttime wonderland.

Looking for things to do in Atlanta this holiday season? This holiday lights event is your answer. 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. There are lanterns around every corner of the Zoo this holiday season.

IllumiNights Kraken

Warm up with hot cocoa (signature holiday spirits available for ages 21 and up!). Make merry with a marshmallow roast by the fire. And around every corner, find photo ops sure to sparkle on your social.

While most animals go indoors for the night, a select few species who typically spend time in their habitats after dark may be visible. These may include giant pandas (indoor dayroom habitats), Chilean flamingos, and Huacaya alpacas.

Illuminights Lantern Zebra

Member Preview Nights (Nov. 16-19)

As a thank you for being such an important part of Zoo Atlanta’s mission, we are providing our Members with an exclusive opportunity to experience IllumiNights at the Zoo before we open our gates to the general public. During these four nights, Members will secure our biggest discount of the season!


Each of the more than 100 lanterns is painstakingly crafted and hand-painted by Chinese artisans, representing thousands of hours of work, and each features environmentally friendly LED lights. Join us and be a part of this Atlanta holiday lights phenomenon this holiday season!

IllumiNights Snakes

IllumiNights Seascape

Illuminights 2022 Lanterns ZA 2T0A2639

IllumiNights Dragon

IllumiNights Lantern Pegasus

Duck 1

IllumiNights Cheetah 2