MXO ‘The Arts Unplugged’: The Asian Lantern Festival At Metroparks Zoo, This Nighttime Zoo Extravaganza Is Lit!

Asian Lantern Festival at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on July 19, 2018. (Kyle Lanzer/Cleveland Metroparks), Posted June 24th 2019

To borrow an industry term, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is “wild.”

With 183 acres of indoor and outdoor exhibits, along with more than 3,000 animals representing over 600 species, the Zoo is a point of pride for all in The Land.

This place is amazing for trips with the family during the daylight hours, but the real magic happens when the sun goes down and you get down with all your favorite furry, feathered or scaled friends at night. There’s nothing like a nighttime event at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, and none more beautiful than the Asian Lantern Festival.

Light up the Night

The 2018 festival broke U.S. and international attendance records for a lighting event of its kind, drawing in over 150,000. The Zoo has outdone themselves again this year with 40 all-new, large-scale illuminated displays featuring hundreds of individual lanterns and including a walk-through 100-foot-long shark tunnel, a super adorbs 30-foot-tall giant panda, numerous Chinese pagodas and much more.

If all the glowing gloriousness wasn’t enough, there’s even more festival fun on tap:

  • Hourly live performances featuring foot jugglers, contortionists and martial artists
  • Interactive experience zones
  • Asian craft market
  • Culturally inspired cuisine featuring local partners Li Wah, King Wah and Thai Thai

Follow the Glow

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s Asian Lantern Festival, presented by Cleveland Clinic Children’s, runs Thursday through Sunday evenings, 6:30 p.m.–10 p.m., from June 20–July 28.

Advance Tickets: $18.50 for non-members ($15.50 for zoo members) or $50 for a 4-pack.

Same Day Tickets: $20.50 each or $60 for a 4-pack.

Children under 2 are admitted for free. Single night tickets and a family four-pack are on sale now at

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