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The 2022 Festival of Illumination is now closed.

The Festival of Illumination is a must-see experience for guests of all ages, New England's largest and one-of-a-kind premier lantern showcase!  


Guests will be immersed in the magical world of impressive and “larger than life” illumination exhibits, showcasing the incredible artistry of handcrafted Chinese Lanterns!   This years’ theme “Once Upon a Time”, an epic journey of forgotten stories, featuring Myths, Legends and Fairytales from around the globe.  In addition to the breathtaking lantern exhibits, guests will experience live entertainment including Chinese Acrobats, Asian Night Market, interactive Exhibits, Specialty Foods and more.  September 1st through to December 31st, 2022.

Winter Wonderland and the Festival of Illumination read more

Beginning on Saturday, November 12th and running through to December 31st, the Winter Wonderland Holiday Lights and the Festival of Illumination come together at Southwick’s Zoo to create an extraordinary and memorable holiday experience for guests of all ages.    


"Illuminations were so beautiful, congratulations on a job so well done. We went last night and everybody was in awe.”  Darin K.

"It was amazing and so beautiful!!  We had the best time and want to visit again soon!”   Stephanie M.

"We loved it. Had a great time with kids from 1 to 23 years old.”   Pamela D.

Such a joyful experience! The artistry was nothing I'd seen before!  Beautiful!    Crystal R.


The Festival of Illumination and Winter Wonderland is an evening event beginning at 5:30pm ( 4:30pm post daylight savings) Wednesday through Sunday, now to December 31st.  

Admission can be purchased in advance online ($27 per guest) or at the gate ($32 per guest).

Winter Wonderland and the Festival of Illumination visitors can stop by the Purple Peacock Gift Shop for holiday shopping, in addition to the many beautiful gift ideas, look for the special weekly and daily promotions. Free in-store gift wrapping is offered.  


Galliford's Restaurant and Tavern, located at Southwick's Zoo, will be open during the event offering delicious holiday themed specials.  Reservations are strongly recommended. 


The Chinese Lantern Festival is a centuries-old tradition, celebrated beginning in 206 B.C. featuring spectacular illuminated displays from history and mythology; the displays are incredibly detailed and intricately constructed, with some lanterns as large as 60 feet tall and 300 feet in length.


Here at Southwick’s Zoo, the Festival of Illumination fully engages in maintaining the charm of the century-old traditions, while integrating modern technologies and craftsmanship, resulting in a most unique and amazing display, rich in cultural and artistic expression.

We are honored to be working with the Zigong Lantern Group® to bring you the Festival of Illumination at Southwick's Zoo, Mendon, Massachusetts.

The Zigong Lantern Group® is the world's largest lantern manufacturer, and their breath-taking displays have been featured in locations worldwide including the Dublin Zoo, RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, UK's Longleat House, Nashville Zoo and the Magnolia Plantation, South Carolina. 

Zigong Lantern Group®, was formed in the United States as the international branch to bring the Chinese Lantern Festival overseas.  Zigong Lantern Group® are the original pioneers who brought this cultural lantern exhibition into the North American and other overseas markets. 

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