There is something delightful at the Nashville Zoo everyone can enjoy to help relieve the gloomy days of winter.

Zoolumination, the country’s largest Chinese lantern festival, boasts more than 1,000 brightly lit, authentic, custom-made silk Chinese lanterns displayed throughout the nearly three miles of zoo pathways. And some of the zoo’s animals who enjoy the night life will be on view.

Visitors can expect one-of-a-kind lantern structures exquisitely constructed featuring animals, colorful scenes, picturesque walkways, mythical beasts, and more.

Fantastic, whimsical and larger-than-life lanterns at Zoolumination include dragons, whales, foxes, tigers, an entire Chinese village, and more.

Guests can walk on a pathway underneath a bright blue dragon that spans more than 80 feet in length and see the biggest lantern, which is 50 feet tall.

“Nashville Zoo partnered with Zigong Lantern Group to develop and implement this event,” said Zoo President and CEO Rick Schwartz.

“Approximately 35 Chinese artists, welders and construction staff arrived last summer to help design and construct each lantern. The production process took approximately three months and all lanterns are illuminated by environmentally-friendly LED lights,” Schwartz added.

Most of the zoo’s animals retire for the night before dark. However, Andean bears, Sumatran tigers and flamingos are active until 8:30 p.m. and visitors to Zoolumination also can enjoy viewing these beautiful creatures.

In addition, “Unseen New World” will be open all evening. This exhibit showcases amphibians, reptiles, fish, and fruit bats, as well as an expansive array of freshwater and saltwater fish, turtles, lizards, and snakes from different parts of the world and different climates.

The Nashville Zoo is involved with animal conservation, and visitors will be able to glimpse several creatures in the species survival program, such as alligator snapping turtles, eastern hellbenders and stream-side salamanders.

Specialty food and beverages are provided for purchase throughout Zoolumination pathways and include hot cocoa and cider, beer, margaritas, specialty cocktails, coffee, and soda.

Quills Cafe and Screaming Gibbon Pizza Kitchen will be open and festive sweet treats and classic zoo snacks will be served at concession stands until around 8 p.m. nightly.

Zoolumination will be open from Thursdays through Sundays through February 4. Single-night admission to Zoolumination is $19 for adults and $15 for children (ages 2-12). Members save $2 per single admission ticket. Children under age 2 are not charged a fee. Advanced tickets are required and it is a rain-or-shine event.