About Hey Michigan

Whether you're a local looking for new adventures or a visitor planning your next trip to Michigan, we're here to help you discover all that this vibrant state has to offer.

Shine On! Grand Rapids Lantern Festival Brightens Spring Nights in 2024

John Ball Zoo Lantern Festival Grand Rapids

Lantern Festival Back at John Ball Zoo

Get ready to light up your spring evenings at the John Ball Zoo Lantern Festival! Back by popular demand in Grand Rapids, Michigan, from April 10 through June 16, 2024, this festival is not your run-of-the-mill zoo event.

Rather, it’s a dazzling adventure that transforms the zoo into a spectacular night-time wonderland that is worth the drive, even if you live hours away.

lantern festival peacock
animated peacock lantern opens and closes at the GR Lantern Festival

If you go, you’ll be strolling through a mile-long path lined with over 50 stunning, hand-crafted Chinese lanterns, each glowing in the dark to create a magical atmosphere that hits the spot for a whimsical date night or fun family outing.

This year, they’ve got all-new amazing lantern designs —even if you went last year, you haven’t seen anything like this!

Grand Rapids Lantern Festival 2024
wooden boardwalk decorated with flower lanterns

A Look at the Lantern Festival

From the moment the sun sets, the zoo comes alive with vibrant colors and intricate displays.

Wander through a dragon tunnel, marvel at swan lanterns reflected in the water, and walk under-the-sea with glowing aquatic creatures overhead.

JBZ Lantern Festival shark Tunnel
walk through the belly of shark in the shark tunnel

And, there’s more to do than just look at the pretty lanterns.

Get interactive with light-up playgrounds, dance beside the disco lights, or try out the installations that beckon you to participate by responding to your movement.

Grand Rapids Lantern Festival 2024 pathway
pandas and bamboo lanterns line a path at John Ball Zoo

Bring your appetite too, because there’s plenty of delicious food to try, from standard zoo favorites to themed treats that add an extra sprinkle of yum to your night.

Tickets are on sale now, with special early access for zoo members. Don’t miss out on what has become Grand Rapids’ most enchanting spring event.

Add a little sparkle to your springtime—get over to GR and make some glowing memories at the John Ball Zoo Lantern Festival. Be sure to buy your tickets in advance —they sold out last year!

Magical dance party gr lantern festival

Watch on Instagram

GR Lantern Festival on Instagram

Melody VanderWeide

INFJ. Mom of 3. Idea chaser-People believer-Inspiration seeker. Together we make GR amazing – Let’s go!

Set your sails

Experience Grand Rapids