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Boston Lights lantern display

Boston Lights: A Lantern Experience

Franklin Park Zoo

August 2 - November 3 (Closed August 24)

6:00 - 10:30 p.m., Aug. 2 – Sept. 30
5:00 – 10:30 p.m., Oct. 1 - Nov. 3

Boston Lights is back, bigger and brighter than ever!

Member Tickets Non-Member Tickets VIP Tickets

This year, we've expanded our footprint by illuminating a new corner of the Zoo exclusively for Boston Lights guests. Prepare to be dazzled as you wander through this forested realm and beyond, surrounded by the magic of all-new lantern displays, immersive walkthroughs, enchanting interactive displays and Instagrammable moments at every turn.

Dive into an underwater paradise, where majestic sea turtles and an awe-inspiring 115-foot octopus await your discovery. Journey through an ocean tunnel surrounded by the boundless beauty of the sea, and ignite a stunning volcanic eruption of light with a simple touch. Journey to India amidst lantern scenes adorned with lotus flowers, an ornate walk-through palace, and animal lanterns including elephants, monkeys and rhinos. Discover traditional Chinese lanterns including the 76-foot "Kun,” an enormous fish brought to life from the pages of Chinese mythology. 

Ticket Information

Ticket Options:

• VIP: New this year, a limited number of VIP tickets are available. With a VIP ticket, you can visit on any evening you choose at any time.

• Plan-Ahead Pricing: You pick the date and time that works best with your schedule and budget. If available, tickets may be sold at the gate. Prices will be higher at the gate, so we recommend buying your tickets online in advance.

• 4-Pack: Attending with friends and family? The 4-pack ticket option offers a discount if you purchase four tickets together.

Ticket Info:

• Tickets are required for children age two and older. Children under age two are free.

• Boston Lights tickets do not include daytime admission to the Zoo. Daytime general admission tickets must be purchased separately.

• All ticket sales are final and cannot be moved to other dates. Please make sure you're able to attend your reserved slot at time of purchase. Tickets are transferable and can be used by someone other than the named guest.

• Last ticket sold at 9:30 p.m.

Member Tickets Non-Member Tickets VIP Tickets

EBT/WIC Tickets

Massachusetts 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.

Online Tickets:

Purchase Boston Lights EBT/WIC Tickets

To receive the EBT/WIC discount, you will need to verify your eligibility prior to purchasing your tickets. You will be prompted to log into or create an account with ID.Me to verify your identity and EBT/WIC affiliation. For help troubleshooting the application, please visit the Help Center.

Gate Tickets: 
If purchasing tickets at the gate, please be ready to present your card at the Admissions booth upon arrival.

College Student Discount

Tuesdays and Wednesdays in September & October:
College students, save $7 on admission to Boston Lights for the lowest price around! Just show your current student ID at the gate. This offer is only valid for tickets purchased at the admissions booth and cannot be combined with other discounts or offers.

Group Discounts

Book a glowing night out with your group and save! Purchase tickets at a discounted rate of $15 per person for groups of 20+ guests. 

  • Tickets are required for children age two and older. Children under age two are free.
  • Payment is due two weeks in advance, and tickets will be mailed to you via USPS.
  • We are unable to accept purchase orders or provide invoices for payment at a later date.
  • Refunds for overpayments will not be issued and cannot be applied toward future trips.
  • Boston Lights is closed on August 24.
Make a Group Reservation


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. 

  • Members must purchase tickets. Boston Lights admission is not included with membership.
  • Guests with general admission need reserved tickets (printed or on phone) to check in.
  • Please make every effort to arrive at the time designated on your ticket.

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 so we can make our final preparations for opening Boston Lights. Guests with Boston Lights tickets can enter through the admissions booth at their ticketed time. 
• August & September: Zoo closes at 5:00 p.m. and Boston Lights opens at 6:00 p.m.
• October: Zoo closes at 4:00 p.m. and Boston Lights opens at 5:00 p.m.

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. 

Do I need to purchase tickets for my children?

Tickets are required for children aged 2 and older. 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.

Are Reciprocal/Military/Teacher discounts available?

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

Are library passes being honored?

No, library passes are not 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

Valet parking is available nightly at the Zebra entrance on a first come, first served basis at $20 per car. Valet parking is available from the start of the event until close.

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?

Many of our animals have access to their outdoor habitats overnight in good weather – you may be lucky to see them if they want to be outside, but they may choose to retire to their indoor spaces in the evening. Night time is sleep time for most critters, so focus your visit on the lanterns! Nature’s neighborhood, Barnyard, Tropical Forest Pavilion, Gorilla Grove and Bird’s World are closed during Boston Lights but you may be able to see camels, prairie dogs, some farm animals, birds and kangaroos.

If you're looking to see all animals and exhibits, please purchase separate daytime admission tickets.

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?

Food is available for purchase at the Farmhouse Cafe and Kalahari Outpost. Map

Can I leave the Zoo and come back in?

There is no re-entry to Boston Lights.

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.

Please note that the Zoo is unable to offer storage for car seats or other equipment at this time.

Private Events

Whether you're planning an event for 10 or 200, Boston Lights is an ideal location to mingle, dine and stroll among exotic custom-made lanterns!

Reserve your event

Contact us at 617-989-0113 or for a quote and more information.

Shining a Light on Biodiversity

Boston Lights illuminates the importance of conserving the incredible biodiversity on our planet. Guests will learn more about our commitment to conservation and ways to participate in wildlife and habitat preservation. Embracing sustainability, all our lanterns shine with energy-saving LED lights.

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.