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October 12, 2023

LumiNature holiday light display returns to the Philadelphia Zoo in November

More than a million twinkling lights are used to create the annual holiday exhibit

Holiday Family-Friendly
LumiNature Philadelphia Zoo Provided Image/Georgi Anastasov

LumiNature, the Philadelphia Zoo's annual holiday light display, returns on Nov. 17 with new light zones, a sparkling waterfall and live performers.

The Philadelphia Zoo again will transform into an illuminated winter wonderland each night this holiday season, filling the zoo with twinkling light displays and decorations. 

LumiNature returns Friday, Nov. 17 through Saturday, Jan. 6. The exhibit uses more than a million lights and multimedia displays to create big cats, penguins, butterflies, peacocks and more.

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New this year will be Shimmer River, where you can bask in the glow of a sparkling waterfall made with 20,000 lights and wander through through a 100-foot-long tunnel with another 4,000 lights creating the illusion of growing vines and blooming flowers. Be on the lookout for an orange orangutan swinging on a vine, a yellow jaguar ready to pounce, a pink elephant going for a swim and a 15-foot-tall blue gorilla wearing a glowing lei.  

Also new this year, local artists have painted paper lanterns that will shine under the canopy of LumiNature Lane. 

Among the returning favorites are the Penguin Prismatic show, featuring a 40-foot tall glowing penguin with 40,000 lights and a display dedicated to the history of Philadelphia. There again will be a flamingo-themed exhibit that glows pink and aquamarine from 150,000 lights leading along the path to the zoo's 25-foot-tall glowing pink flamingo tree, which is constructed from 1,500 illuminated lawn flamingos, and an ocean-themed exhibit showing off more than a dozen glowing jellyfish and a sea turtle.

Santa will be onsite for photos on three nights — Dec. 1, 8 and 15 from 5 to 8 p.m. — inside the zoo's treehouse. This add-on is free for zoo members and other guests can take selfies for $10. 

There will be hot chocolate or apple cider for sale, along with soft pretzels and winter-themed beer.

Timed tickets for LumiNature at the Philadelphia Zoo are on sale now, which check-ins beginning at 5 p.m. on most evenings. Tickets are $25-$28 for adults and $20-$23 for children.


Friday, Nov. 17 to Saturday, Jan. 6
5 to 10 p.m. | Tickets $25-$28 for adults, $20-$23 for kids
Philadelphia Zoo
3400 W. Girard Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19104