The Grand Rapids Lantern Festival at John Ball Zoo is bigger and better than ever! The mesmerizing experience is well worth the drive and staying up past bedtime.

John Ball Zoo is a gem and during the Lantern Festival it glows. The lantern festival features handcrafted Asian lantern displays that illuminate a pathway through the entire zoo, telling the intersecting story of wildlife and Asian culture. Throughout the walk you can stop to get photos with displays (including Chinese Zodiac sign, lily pads chairs, angel wings and more), stop for bubble fun, sneak off to the illuminated play area and more.

This was one of our favorite 2023 activities and it’s even better this year. We took a night trip for the experience leaving around 6:30pm and arriving around 9pm. This experience is best enjoyed after dark, plan your visit now to enjoy earlier nightfall. We stayed for 2.5 hours and everyone had a blast, making memories that will last a lifetime.

The Lantern Festival runs Wednesdays thru Sundays from 7:30pm to 11:30pm thru June 16th. Individual tickets are $22 per person or $66 for a Festival 4 Pass. Get tickets here.