LumiNature is a light show you just have to see to believe

Courtesy of Philadelphia Zoo

At the Philadelphia Zoo, this time of year is perhaps the brightest. 

LumiNature, a giant-sized holiday extravaganza, will transform the entire zoo into a dazzling winter wonderland through lights. Throughout their journey around the park, visitors will experience the lit-up displays, music, sounds and surprises while also checking out some of the wild inhabitants that call the zoo home. 

Georgi Anastasov Photography

As a release states, LumiNature will feature 14 illuminated experience zones that will feature themed displays, newly-enhanced installations and hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights. Highlights will include a 100-foot aquarium tunnel, enormous jellyfish, a brand new octopus tree, a 21-foot tall brilliant colored snake, hundreds of illuminated penguins, giant cat eyes glowing in the dark of night, a 22-foot Butterfly Tree, a new Wilderness Express Train and a 25-foot tree made entirely of lit flamingo lawn ornaments.

“We are really excited to bring LumiNature back to the Zoo and to our great region,” said Philadelphia Zoo’s Chief Marketing & Experience Officer Amy Shearer in a statement. “We have made amazing embellishments, added more areas to enjoy, draped tons and tons of lights, included more sights and sounds, and created a truly joyous multimedia experience. LumiNature is the most unique and memorable holiday light show in the region. We are proud to present something that families won’t be able to experience anywhere else. Philadelphia Zoo lights up starting November 18th! We can’t wait to see everyone this holiday season.”

When this light extravaganza first premiered in 2019, it drew tens of thousands of visitors and represented the first evening and holiday program in the Philadelphia Zoo’s long history. This full-scale nighttime holiday light show and extravaganza takes over the entire footprint of the Philadelphia Zoo after hours, and a light show of this size and scale is available nowhere else in the country. 

Georgi Anastasov Photograpy

While making your way through, you can step into different wonderland settings. This includes a backdrop of sparkling light-filled trees where kids can take a trip around Impala Fountain on the Wilderness Express Train at the Whistle-Stop Wonder; an underseas adventure through an aquarium tunnel filled with stunning lights; gigantic ultraviolet coral rock reef and enormous jellyfish with Tis the SEAson; a Penguin Royale where guests can walk the red-carpet alongside hundreds of glowing penguins; an oversized, Earth- shaped 3D screen showing programmed lights, music, sound effects and color at the Arctic Passage and much more. 

With over a million lights and 10 miles of power cord, there is something around every corner for every age. On top of the displays, Kaleidoscope Crossing, LumiNature‘s outdoor food and beverage park, also offers a comfy place to enjoy a warm adult beverage, hot cocoa or a delicious sweet treat, while basking in a sea of twinkling multicolor lights, evergreen trees and carousel rides.

LumiNature  is supported by Chase. Shearer said, “LumiNature is made possible by the generous support of key donors excited to bring this one-of-a-kind spectacular to our region. We are thrilled to present LumiNature with support from Chase. This experience combines the joy of animals, nature and the holiday season in a unique and innovative way. Add in light performers, awesome retail, seasonal fare, hot chocolate and ever-delicious adult beverages to spark the holiday spirit in everyone.”

Society Hill Films

LumiNature is a nighttime experience, with timed entrance tickets available every half hour from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults (12+) and $20 for kids (2-11). Tickets go on sale Friday at 10:00 a.m. For tickets and membership information, visit