Anybody who loves light displays and lives in, or plans to be in, the Nashville area this holiday season needs to make plans to visit the Nashville Zoo.
After a record-breaking turnout of more than 150,000 visitors last year, the Nashville Zoo’s Zoolumination will return this year in what is billed as a “bigger and brighter” Chinese lantern display, Nashville Zoo told TravelAwaits in a statement. Zoolumination, reported to be the country’s largest Chinese lantern celebration, will run from November 17, 2023, through February 4, 2024.
“Nashville Zoo will glow with more than 1,000 authentic, custom-made silk Chinese lanterns displayed throughout the nearly 3 miles of zoo pathways,” a spokesperson told TravelAwaits. “Visitors can expect one-of-a-kind lantern structures exquisitely constructed featuring fantastical beasts, picturesque walkways, Chinese folklore, dragons, creatures, and more.”
To make the event even more special, Chinese acrobats and entertainers will perform nightly at 6:00, 7:00, and 8:00 p.m.
Plus, you can even see some of the animals during the display.
“Most of our animals go to bed before dark,” Nashville Zoo explains. “However, Andean bear, Sumatran tiger, and flamingos can stay up until 8:30 pm.”
Finally, as a special bonus, you’ll even be able to visit the Zoo’s North Pole Village, and meet Santa, from November 24–December 24.
Why The Lanterns Are Special
Nashville Zoo is partnering with Zigong Lantern Group for Zoolumination. That group — which has a manufacturing hub in Zigong, China, also known as “Lantern City” — has held lantern festivals in 30 cities and more than 16 countries, Nashville Zoo explains.
“Chinese artists, welders, and construction staff from Zigong Lantern Group will help in the design and construction of each lantern in the back of the Zoo property. The production process will take approximately three months,” Nashville Zoo explains. “The lanterns, illuminated by environmentally friendly LED lights, will be placed in public viewing areas throughout the Zoo upon completion and will remain in place until the end of the event.”
Know So You Can Go
Nashville Zoo management recommends purchasing tickets in advance due to Zoolumination’s popularity. Those tickets will start being sold on Wednesday, September 16.
Zoolumination will run from 5 p.m–9 p.m. weeknights from November 17 through January 7, and Thursdays through Sundays from January 11 through February 4.
Single-night tickets to Zoolumination on weeknights are $23 for adults and $19 for children (ages 2–12). Single-night tickets on weekends, Friday to Sunday, are $26 for adults and $22 for children.
You can find all the details including a countdown timer showing when tickets will go on sale at Nashville Zoo Zoolumination.
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