Experience the magic of an Animals Aglow adventure at the Saint Louis Zoo! Over 60 dazzling Chinese lanterns illuminate pathways and showcase wildlife and Chinese culture. Interactive displays, cultural opportunities, and Asian delicacies await!

As the sun sets over the Saint Louis Zoo, a magical transformation begins. Illuminated by the soft glow of over 60 larger-than-life Chinese lanterns, the grounds come alive with vibrant colors and whimsical shapes, ushering in the spectacle known as Animals Aglow.

This first-ever lantern festival at the zoo takes visitors on a journey through a wonderland of light and culture. From towering dragons and dinosaurs to loveable chameleons and elephants and glorious butterflies, each lantern light sculpture is a testament to the artistry of Chinese lantern-making and a celebration of wildlife.

Michael Macek, the Zoo’s director, explains, “It’s a celebration of wildlife, Chinese culture, and the artistry of lantern-making.” It is open now until May 5, Wednesday through Sunday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. 

As visitors stroll along illuminated pathways, they encounter interactive displays like the Moonlight Swings and the Star Stepping Pads, adding an extra layer of enchantment to the experience. Guests can pose with giant glowing animals, wander through the captivating Chinese Dragon Corridor, and immerse themselves in the beauty of traditional Chinese elements brought to life through light.

But Animals Aglow isn’t just about admiring the stunning displays; it’s also an opportunity to learn about biodiversity and conservation efforts. Educators stationed throughout the Zoo share insights on the importance of preserving animal habitats and offer ways for visitors to get involved.

And what’s a festival without delicious treats? Guests can indulge in Asian specialties ranging from chicken and mushroom dumplings to Asian sweet rice with firecracker chicken, ensuring that all senses are satisfied during this luminous adventure.

Traditional handicrafts and merchandise from aluminum braiding to inner bottle paintings, and Chinese lanterns, of course, will be displayed at Tianyu’s tent, in the center of the Zoo.  Panda dolls, backpacks, scarves, keychains, and more will be there, too.

For ticket information and a sneak peek video, click here. Note that no animal buildings will be open and animals won’t be viewable during this event.


All photos courtesy of Saint Louis Zoo

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