A menagerie of illuminated Chinese lanterns depicting mythical dragons, colorful pandas and more will populate part of the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ annual ZOOLights experience beginning Nov. 19.
Called one of the largest Asian lantern events in the country this winter, the Colors of the Wild lantern display will be presented by Community First Credit Union.
The holiday-themed ZOOLights will include more than 70 scenes constructed of custom-made silk Chinese lanterns, produced in partnership with Tianyu Arts & Culture.
“The event sets out to reveal the power of creativity, the beauty of wildlife and wild places, and the joy of coming together to celebrate diverse cultures,” a zoo statement says. “As daylight fades, the delicate glow takes on life as animals and plants. Visitors can expect one-of-a-kind lantern installations intricately constructed featuring fauna and flora, picturesque pathways, traditional Chinese mythologies, interactive displays and more.”
ZOOLights will begin Nov. 19 and run on select nights through February. From Dec. 14 to 24, then again from Dec. 26 to 31, Colors of the Wild will run every night with themed entertainment, visits from Santa Claus and other events.
This nighttime event starts at 5:30 p.m. on those days and ends at 9:30 p.m.
Tickets must be bought online. They start at $20 for zoo members and $25 for non-members. Combination tickets start at $35 and include same-day access to the zoo starting at 3 p.m. Children ages 2 and under are admitted free.