Zoolumination has arrived at the Nashville Zoo. Zoolumination is the country’s largest Chinese lantern festival featuring colorful scenes of more than 1,000 custom-made silk lanterns. This Chinese lantern festival in Nashville is open 5 – 9 pm nightly until January 8th and then Thursday through Sunday until the exhibit ends on February 4, 2023.

zoolumination nashville zoo holiday fun

We went the other night to check it all out for everyone. It is so beautiful. It is a bigger display than the last time — in fact, double as many lanterns compared to 2019 and some as tall as 50 ft and as long as 150 ft! I was so surprised. My favorites were the dragon and the cute snowmen family. Make sure to follow the path and/or the map so you do not miss any areas. Especially the new path that takes you where the dinosaurs were this past summer. They have so many cute lanterns on that path. It was a favorite area for us. My son loved the tiger display. My daughter loved the Santa Village area.

Santa was not there the night we attended, but he will visit each night to Dec. 24. There was a nice picture area for Santa, and you purchase the pictures nearby at a tent. There are drink and snack tents throughout the zoo that sell hot chocolate (I hear you can even get it spiked), coffee, and other drinks. They had funnel cakes, fried Oreos, popcorn, and other yummy snacks for sale as well. A few of the dining options are open, check the website for information of which ones if you are looking for more of a meal.

zoolumination chinese lantern festival nashvilleOther information you might like to know before you go. A few animals are out part of the night. We saw the tiger, bear, and flamingos. We also saw goats being walked around on leashes to be petted. The animals are not out till closing, so if you want to see them make sure to pay attention to what time they go in at night. That information is on the website. It is over a large part of the zoo so be prepared to walk and dress for whatever weather is happening that day. The event is rain or shine. We were really glad for gloves the night we went; it was pretty chilly. Go to the Nashville Zoo website for all the information about timed entry, tickets, and so forth. There are many options to choose from. My family chose to do the Platinum Pass that allows us to visit unlimited times during the exhibit.

I highly recommend if you like lights and cool displays – and maybe looking for something a little different this holiday season – that you attend the Zoolumination Chinese Lantern Festival in Nashville. The pictures I took do not do it justice. The creativity and work that goes into each Chinese lantern is just mind blowing. The mythical creature theme is fun for all ages. It is great photo taking if you have teens looking for fun places to go and to take pictures. It is a nice stroll through beautiful lighted art. I hope your family will make a visit to Zoolumination while it is at the Nashville Zoo.