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August 09, 2022

Where Every Family Matters

Nashville Zoo to Host Largest Lantern Festival in U.S.

"Zoolumination: A Chinese Festival of Lights" will literally make the zoo glow with more than 500 giant lanterns Nov. 15 - Feb. 2. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, Sept. 4

The fall and winter season at Nashville Zoo is going to be brighter than ever this year, offering an illuminating wonderland sure to dazzle everyone in your family. Zoolumination: A Chinese Festival of Lights is the country's biggest lantern festival, and it will light up the Nashville Zoo paths and green spaces for 63 nights from Nov. 15, 2019 – Feb. 2, 2020.


Zoolumination, a partnership between Nashville Zoo and Zigong Lantern Group, will span 60 acres of the zoo's property. Visitors will take in more than 500 hand-crafted displays at every twist and turn of the property. The custom-designed lanterns will feature an array of animals, holiday scenes and a signature 200-foot dragon.

The Chinese artists have recreated zoo animals in great detail and actual size, including elephants, rhinos, giraffes, tigers and dozens of other creatures. You'll encounter themed animal and flower set-ups along with towering traditional Chinese lantern scenes.

The event also features North Pole Village, which is a life-size recreation of the village where Santa and his elves live. The village comprises multiple two-story buildings made entirely of lanterns, a life-size train, holiday trees, light displays and music.

In addition, kids can visit Santa nightly until Monday, Dec. 23, and local bands and choirs will play traditional Christmas music on select nights.

Furthermore, the zoo's 110-foot tall zipline and the carousel will offer night-time experiences.

Zoolumination includes nightly performances by Chinese acrobats and entertainers from Zigong, China. Traditional Chinese artists will be on site with handmade items for sale, including stone carvings and fan paintings. The zoo will have Chinese menu items throughout the property, and there will be special holiday menu items at North Pole Village.


Zoolumination will run nightly from 5 – 9 p.m., closing on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

Tickets are $19 adults and teens, $14 ages 2 – 12, free ages 23 months and younger. Zoo members receive a $2 discount. A Platinum Pass is available for $29 adults and teens, $19 ages 2 – 12 — it grants you unlimited visits throughout the duration of the event. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, Aug. 28 for zoo members, and the general public can purchase tickets starting Wednesday, Sept. 4. To purchase Zoolumination tickets, click HERE.

Nashville Zoo is located at 3777 Nolensville Road, Nashville. Call 615-833-1534 or visit

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