Experience the Zoo in a new light with hundreds of uniquely designed, handmade Chinese lanterns glowing throughout the Zoo! Let the nature, Christmas, and Lunar New Year-themed lanterns illuminate your night as you enjoy this spectacular holiday event.

Event Details

Holiday Spectacular

November 24-26, 30
December 1-3, 7, 9, 10, 14-23, 26-30

Cultural Spectacular

January 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27
February 2, 3, 9

Entry Times:
5:00PM or 7:00PM

For ticket pricing see in the section below!

Sponsored By:


Choose Your Experience

November 24th – December 30th

A Holiday Spectacular


Experience the festivity of the holidays as you experience this colorful event featuring variously themed handmade Chinese lanterns. Guests can get into the holiday spirit as they surround themselves in wonder at our Christmas Wonderland featuring purchasable family photos with Santa that include a custom Fresno Chaffee Zoo border, holiday-inspired food and drinks, live entertainment, live reindeer, and so much more!

January 5th – February 10th

A Cultural Spectacular


Surround yourself in a plethora of color during this experience featuring handmade Chinese lantern displays illuminated throughout the Zoo. Guests can enjoy specially themed areas including nature, Christmas, and Lunar New Year with various lantern designs that will leave you in awe. Delicious food and drinks and live entertainment will also be available.

Early Bird Tours

Join us for an evening Zoo adventure with our IllumiNature Early Bird Tour! Guests will join an Educator for an outdoor tour of the Zoo before the IllumiNature event starts. End your tour with a holiday treat and hot chocolate beverage from the Kudu Café, then enjoy the IllumiNature event!

More Details

  • Length: 1 hour (4pm – 5pm)
  • Maximum Capacity: 10 guests
  • Pricing:
    • Member Adult: $50
    • Member Child: $48
    • Non-Member Adult: $52
    • Non-Member Child: $48
    • Pricing is subject to change.
  • Tickets are required for all guests ages 2 years and older, babies 1 and under are free. Guests under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a paying adult. Tour price includes admission to the IllumiNature event.
  • This tour is non-exclusive therefore you may be joined by other parties.
  • Reservations must be made at least 48 hours in advance. All requests for rescheduling or cancellations must be received in writing by email to at least 72 hours in advance. All sales are final and programs are non-transferable.

IllumiNature 21+

Join us for an adults-only (21+) night of IllumiNature: Holiday Spectacular! This experience features the magic of IllumiNature: Holiday Spectacular PLUS an adults-only night with live music throughout and various Santa spirits stations with fun holiday cocktails (and mocktails) for purchase.


Event Date:
December 8th, 2023

Event Time:
6:00PM to 10:00PM

Non Member Adults (Ages 21+): $22
Member Adults (Ages 21+): $20

Reindeer Are Back

Be enchanted by the Christmas spirit at the Zoo! Reindeer are BACK and we are thrilled for you to experience getting up-close with Santa’s helpers before they embark on their global journey with Saint Nick. Butterscotch and Cookie have made their grand arrival straight from the North Pole and will spend time at IllumiNature with us!

Community Tree

Building Community is a core pillar of our mission at the Zoo. Before you enter the Zoo, be sure to take a moment to enjoy our Community Tree, where you will find a welcome greeting in 58 different languages representing the different cultures and groups that make up our diverse Fresno Community.

Holiday Adopt
Package Special

Happy Holidays from our (growing) herd to yours! This package will include:

  • Elephant Adoption Certificate & Fact Sheet
  • Two 100% Eco-friendly Plushies (one 10.5″ & one 5″)
  • Four General FCZ Admission Tickets
  • One Mystery Vintage Gold-Plated Ornament
  • Adoptee name on Adopt Board for one year

Get yours today

This package is $100 with shipping or $90 without shipping. Offered from November 1st, 2023 until the end of the year (or while supplies last). Purchase in-person at Ticket Booth or over the phone (559) 498-5939