Not going to lie, I didn’t know what to expect when my mom asked for us to go to this event. But, I absolutely love going to the zoo, so I knew no matter what it would be a good time. The festival is on until January 16th and I highly recommend checking it out if you get the chance.

We purchased our tickets ahead of time online, as they only have a limited amount of tickets per night. They also space out admission, which helps disperse the crowd. Our admission time was 6:00pm, so we were able to get in a short line before getting into the zoo.

I’ve honestly never seen something like this in my life. From the very start of the zoo entrance there were hand-crafted illuminated lantern displays. Most of them were constructed to be animals, but they were breath taking. What I thought was a cool detail was in front of each lantern display there was a place card that gave details about the particular animal and it’s significance, where it is native to etc.

As you walked through the zoo, you were really immersed in the lanterns. There were walkways made into tunnels, topped with lanterns, lantern creations that also had motion features, tiny creations and huge pieces. It was amazing.

As far as the real animals were concerned, they weren’t out. I wondered before our arrival if the animals would be out as well to view, but it seemed as if they have their habitats closed in so the lights and visitors wouldn’t disrupt their normal schedules.

It took us about 40 minutes to go through the immersive experience. Along the route there was food and drink stations as well as tents selling souvenirs.

One of my favorite sections was located near the playground. They had circular hard plastic swings available that changed colors as you were on them. They also had cube shaped seats that were color changing as well. For the kids they had a section of light up stepping stones. The kids had so much fun hopping from circle to circle.

If you’re local to Central FL, I definitely recommend checking this event out. If it comes to a zoo near you – it’s affordable, fun and social distancing friendly. Check out tickets, HERE.

I will say that I recommend bringing bug spray! I didn’t prepare for the mosquitos that come at dusk. They were definitely out in full force.

Have you been to the Asian Lantern Festival? Which lantern is your favorite?

If you are looking for more things to do within Central Florida, check out a list of my favorites here!


– Heather


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