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Boston Lights: A Lantern Experience

Franklin Park Zoo

July 22 - September 25, 6:00 - 10:30 p.m.

Boston Lights will once again illuminate Franklin Park Zoo with sparkling new lantern additions, plus a few returning favorites!

Experience the wonder of over 55 magnificent displays comprised of hundreds of beautifully crafted lanterns spanning Franklin Park Zoo's 72 acres. Discover luminous scenes from the rainforest, whimsical ocean displays with creatures of the deep, glowing corridors of lotus and bamboo, traditional Asian lanterns and a stunning 66-foot-long rose corridor.

New this year is a colossal 82-foot-long octopus tunnel with blinking eyes and color-changing tentacles, sure to dazzle and delight guests of all ages!


New this year: prices vary per day
Pick the price and day that works best for your schedule and budget. Online advance ticket purchase is required for Boston Lights. To ensure that you can reserve the day, time and price that works best for you, we encourage guests to purchase tickets early. Attending with friends and family? The 4-pack ticket options are a great value!

Non-Member Tickets Member Tickets

Shining a Light on Biodiversity

Boston Lights shines a light on the importance of conserving the incredible biodiversity on our planet. Visitors to Boston Lights will have the opportunity to learn more about our commitment to conservation and ways that they can participate in wildlife and habitat preservation. 


Where is Boston Lights held?

Zoo New England's Boston Lights is held at Franklin Park Zoo, located at One Franklin Park Road, Boston, MA 02121. Directions to Franklin Park Zoo

I can't find my pre-purchased tickets in my email.

Use the "order lookup" function in the menu of our ticketing site for access to your tickets. You will need to provide the email address and phone number used during purchase.

When is the last entry for Boston Lights?

The last entry for Boston Lights ticket buyers is 9:30 p.m. to allow everyone time to enjoy the experience and to exit by 10:30 p.m.

Are reservations required for entry to the Zoo?

Yes, reservations are required for both members and non-members. 

  • General admission and member reservations are limited each day. Once capacity is reached, we will be unable to allow entry to any more guests. Please note: Members must purchase tickets for this event. Boston Lights admission is not included with membership.
  • Guests with general admission will need their reserved tickets (printed or on phone) to check in.
  • Guests must arrive at their reserved time slot to ensure capacity is not exceeded. 
  • If you arrive early for your designated time slot, please wait in your vehicle until 5 minutes before your time slot.

Can I stay in the Zoo for Boston Lights if I have a daytime ticket for the same day?

No. All daytime guests must exit the Zoo at closing time, 5:00 p.m., so that we can make our final preparations for opening Boston Lights. Guests with Boston Lights tickets will be able to enter through the admissions booth at their ticketed time.

Can I buy Boston Lights tickets before my visit?

Yes. Tickets must be reserved online before your visit. You can reserve your tickets for a specific date and time. To make the check-in process as fast and safe as possible, please print your tickets, or have them displayed on your mobile phone before arriving to the Admissions gate. 

Do I need to purchase tickets for my children?

Tickets are required for children over the age of 2. Children under 2 are free.

Will you accept cash as payment?

  • Tickets must be purchased ahead of time online. We accept all major credit and debit cards.
  • If you need to use cash to purchase a ticket, you may purchase tickets at the Zoo in advance of your desired date/time, provided we have availability.
  • Cash will be accepted at all of our concession and gift locations.

Can I apply the price of my Boston Lights tickets to a Zoo New England membership?

No, Boston Lights tickets are not eligible to be applied toward an annual membership.

Can I buy a “Family 4-pack” for four adults?

Yes. A Family 4-pack can be used for any four people aged two or older.

Are EBT/WIC discounts available?

EBT and WIC cardholders receive discounted, $15 admission per ticket for up to four tickets to Boston Lights (does not include general, daytime admission). If there are more than four people aged two or older in your group, they will need to buy a full-price ticket. Please use code PLANET when purchasing tickets to receive this admission price (on your computer, click the purple PROMO CODE box. On mobile phones, hit the Menu button to enter your code.) Please be ready to present your EBT card at the Admissions booth with your tickets upon arrival.  Offer is only valid for Massachusetts residents, and limited quantities are available. If you have any questions, please call 617-989-2076 and our staff will be happy to assist you. Please note: A $1.50 transaction fee applies per ticket.

Are Reciprocal/Military/Teacher discounts available?

Reciprocal/Military/Teacher discounts are not available for Boston Lights. 

Are library passes being honored?

No, library passes will not be honored for Boston Lights. Guests who would like to visit during the day may use library passes. 

What if I make a reservation and I'm unable to attend at the date/time I selected?

All ticket sales are final. Please make sure you are able to attend your reserved slot at time of purchase. Please note, tickets are transferable and can be used by someone other than the named guest.

I bought the wrong tickets/timeslot. Can this be fixed?

All ticket sales are final. Due to capacity limits, we cannot reschedule or refund tickets. Please note, tickets are transferable and can be used by someone other than the named guest.

After I purchase my reservation and enter the Zoo, will my time be limited or restricted?

Each timed reservation group should have more than enough time to see the lanterns and open exhibits. Pathways are one-way to help with guest flow. Please note, Boston Lights closes at 10:30 p.m.

What if I am late for my reserved time slot?

Capacity within time slots is limited. We ask that all guests make every effort to arrive on time. 

Are you open if it's raining?
Yes! All tickets are rain-or-shine, and we don't offer refunds, rainchecks or rescheduling. We encourage you to dress accordingly, or check out our gift shop for rain gear during your visit. In the event of severe weather, updates will be made here on our website and on social media.

If the Zoo has an emergency closure due to severe weather or other unforeseen circumstances, ticket holders for that evening will be immediately refunded and contacted at the e-mail address used to make the ticket purchase. Please allow 3-5 business days for your refund to be reflected in your account. If you have any questions, you can reach us at

Is parking available?

Yes. Parking is free, and there are lots located near both entrances to the Zoo. View Franklin Park Zoo map

Are both entrances open?

Yes, both the Zebra and Giraffe entrances are available. View Franklin Park Zoo map

How long does it take to walk through Boston Lights?

The one-way, 1.4-mile loop through the Zoo takes approximately 60 - 90 minutes to enjoy. Please note that Boston Lights closes at 10:30 p.m.

Will I see any animals at Boston Lights?

Some animals including zebras, wildebeest, camels and kangaroos, will be on exhibit until a half hour before sunset. The Children’s Zoo will not be open during Boston Lights, although you may be able to see the prairie dogs and the red pandas from the main walkway. While many of our animals have access to their outdoor exhibits in good weather, they may choose to retire to their indoor exhibit spaces in the evening.

Will the playground and play structures be open?

No, the playground and play structures will not be open during Boston Lights.

Will the indoor buildings be open?

No, the indoor Tropical Forest Pavilion, Gorilla Grove, Bird’s World and the barnyard will not be open during Boston Lights. Guests can enjoy these spaces during a daytime visit. 

Will the bathrooms be open?

Yes, bathrooms will be open.

Will food be available for purchase?

The Giddy-Up Grill will have food available for purchase.

Am I required to wear a facial covering?

At this time, we are not requiring masks to visit the Zoo. Please note, we are following local, state and CDC guidelines, and therefore these policies are subject to change based upon their guidance. Health & Safety updates will be posted on our website, so please be sure to check here before your visit.

Will I have to wait in line to enter the Zoo?

If you arrive early for your designated time slot, please wait in your vehicle until 5 minutes before your time slot. 

Can I leave the Zoo and come back in?

In order to safely operate within our capacity restrictions there will be no re-entry.

Can I bring in food?

Yes, you are welcome to bring in your own food.

Are coolers allowed in the Zoo?

No, coolers are not allowed in the Zoo at this time.

Will strollers or wheelchair be available for rental?

Yes, strollers and wheelchairs are available to rent. To reserve a wheelchair, please contact us at 617-989-2076, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wheelchair reservations should be made at least a day in advance.

Can I fly a drone in the Zoo?

For the safety of our animals, drones are not allowed on Zoo grounds.

Can I bring my pet?

Pets are not allowed on Zoo grounds to protect the health and safety of our animals and your pets. Fully trained service dogs trained to perform specific tasks are allowed. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, a service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person's disability.

Can I take photographs?

While guests are welcome to take photos of the lantern displays, please be mindful of visitors around you and do not block the pathways. Please do not bring camera equipment that requires extensive set-up time and/or will block pathways and space for other guests, or disrupt the pathway flow. Drones are not permitted on Zoo grounds without prior permission from Zoo New England.

Can I smoke in the Zoo?

Smoking within our Zoo is prohibited. Check with the Admissions booth for the closest permissible location.

Can I use a Rideshare service to get to/from Boston Lights?

Yes! All rideshares (ex. Uber and Lyft) have a designated drop-off and pick-up location in front of the Zebra Entrance at Franklin Park Zoo. Please note that beginning at 10:00 p.m., Thursday-Sunday, rideshare drivers will not be able to access Circuit Drive and will need to exit via Blue Hill Avenue.

Host your event at Boston Lights

Boston Lights offers an unforgettable venue that's guaranteed to brighten up any event! Where else can you and your guests mingle, dine and stroll among exotic custom-made lanterns? Whether you're planning an event for 10 or 200, Boston Lights is an ideal location for a memorable experience or special occasion.

Reserve your event

Contact us at 617-989-2009 or for a quote and more information.

Lantern Creation

We worked with Tianyu Arts & Culture, Inc. on creating these larger-than-life displays at Boston Lights. Each and every lantern involves a labor of love (and skill!) to create. Artisans and skilled professionals work as a team to design full-scale displays, sew and glue colorful fabrics, hand-paint intricate details on each lantern, model and assemble steel frames for each lantern's structure, install thousands of LED light bulbs, and more.

Color a Lantern!

art"In Chinese culture, different colors represent different meanings, and the color choices in some of our lantern displays conforms to these traditions. For example, the color red is a symbol of good fortune and happiness, the color yellow represents power and prosperity, and green stands for eco-friendliness and harmony."

What color combinations would you use to create your own lanterns? Visit the Tianyu website to color your own angel's wings, Asian dragon, and more!
Source: Tianyu Arts & Culture, Inc. 

Highlights from Boston Lights 2021