Be Astounded! See the New Grand Rapids Lantern Festival at John Ball Zoo – April, May, June 2023

Grand Rapids Lantern Festival Water Lily Tunnel

New Lantern Festival in Grand Rapids for 2023!

Be transported to a realm of magic and creativity at the new Grand Rapids Lantern Festival!

New things to do in the spring, like the new Grand Rapids Lantern Festival, don’t often show up on the West Michigan landscape. When they do, we notice.

Grand Rapids Lantern Festival Tigers

This new lantern festival is at John Ball Zoo from April 19 through Sunday, June 11, 2023. It’s like nothing our area has seen before, featuring interactive displays, fun activities, and endless enchantment.

And now, tickets are available.

What to Expect at the Grand Rapids Lantern Festival

Get ready for a breathtaking experience for all ages.

John Ball Zoo has teamed up with Tianyu Arts & Culture, Inc. to bring this festival to Grand Rapids, making our city the first and only place you can see these incredible works of art in Michigan.

Grand Rapids Lantern Festival Walkway
Chinese Lantern Festival Display by Tianyu Arts & Culture

As the largest Chinese lantern festival producer in North America, they were the first company to bring authentic Chinese Lantern traditions to the U.S. and Europe.

Grand Rapids Lantern Festival Zoo Entrance
Entrance to John Ball Zoo Lantern Festival

Today, they use innovative dynamic projections and ground displays to bring everything the light touches to life.

“We’re so excited to bring this incredible experience to John Ball Zoo for people of all ages,” said Darci Napolillo, promotions and events manager at John Ball Zoo.

“The lantern festival will feature amazing handcrafted Asian lantern displays that will illuminate the Zoo and tell the intersecting story of wildlife and Asian culture.”

John Ball Zoo Grand Rapids Lantern Festival

John Ball Zoo is the first and only place in Michigan to feature the lanterns, some of which are interactive and feature light-up swings or blowing bubbles.

interactive elements Grand Rapids Lantern Festival

The festival also features themed foods and beverages, special merchandise and live entertainment from local cultural groups.

A Unique Lantern Festival for Grand Rapids

The Grand Rapids Lantern Festival will feature 55 handcrafted Asian-themed lantern displays on a mile-long path through the zoo.

Grand Rapids Lantern Festival flowers

Constructed from metal frames and covered in fabric the lanterns are lit from inside, making them glow.

Special features like the luminescent tunnel of wisteria invite you to marvel at your surroundings.

Grand Rapids Lantern Festival Wisteria Tunnel

Wisteria Tunnel at Grand Rapids Lantern Festival

Shaped as animals, the lanterns will illuminate the Zoo in the evenings and tell the intersecting story of wildlife and Asian culture.

Grand Rapids Lantern Festival Giraffes John Ball Zoo

Every lantern festival is unique, with new themes, lighting techniques, and more customized for each location.

Grand Rapids Lantern Festival John Ball Zoo

A Look Inside the 2023 John Ball Zoo Lantern Festival

Interactive elements, like this human kaleidoscope lantern, add to the event’s magical charm.

Grand Rapids Lantern Festival Kaleidescope
And the roaming Chinese Dragon performers interact with guests and put on impromptu shows throughout the evening.
Grand Rapids Lantern Festival Performance

This really is an event every age group can enjoy.

Ticket Prices

Tickets have been released and are now available for purchase online.

Individual general admission tickets are $22 or $19 for members.

A 4-pack admission ticket bundle is also available for $66, essentially making it a “buy 3, get one free” deal.

 Children under age 2 can get in for free. 

Grand Rapids Lantern Festival Checkout example

Zoo members will receive a discount on their ticket purchases.

Dates & Details for Grand Rapids Lantern Festival

The lantern festival runs April 19 – June 11, 2023 at John Ball Zoo (1300 W. Fulton St, Grand Rapids, MI 49504)

It will be open Wednesdays through Sundays each week from 7 – 11 pm.

Timed tickets are available in half hour increments starting at 7 pm.

Grand Rapids Lantern Festival Timed Entry

To book your tickets, simply select the date you’d like to attend the Grand Rapids Lantern Festival from the zoo’s website.

Then, select your preferred 30-minute timed entry slot.

Event Tickets

Will You Attend the Grand Rapids Lantern Festival?

Let us know in the comments if you plan to go to this amazing new Grand Rapids event!

Grand Rapids Lantern Festival Flamingo Feather Tunnel
Photo from previous Lantern Festival

More Photos from the Grand Rapids Lantern Festival

Grand Rapids Lantern Festival GLowing wings
lanterns grand rapids

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