Tickets Are Flexible

$20 for individuals 13 and older

$15 for children ages 3 to 12

Children 2 and under free

$15 for zoo members 13 and older

$10 for zoo members ages 3 to 12

Children 2 and under free

Sponsored By

Support Conservation While Promoting Your Business During Lanterns Festival

Tickets Are Flexible

Know Before You Go


Admission Times

Handicap Access


Gift Shop

Tram Service

Frequently Asked Questions

No. It is important to note that our animals need their rest time. Please be respectful of the animals during your visit to the festival and adhere to barriers and closures of habitats.

Beginning August 3 and ending October 29, 2023, the festival is open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, from 7pm to 11pm. Last ticket will be sold at 10pm.ย 

Each ticket for the Illumination for Conservation Lantern Fest costs between $10 to $15 for zoo members and $15 to $20 for non-members. These funds play a crucial role in raising awareness of conservation issues, including wildlife trafficking and habitat loss. We take pride in organizing this event as a fundraiser, and every ticket purchased directly supports these essential conservation initiatives. By attending the festival, you are actively contributing to the protection of wildlife and their natural habitats. Thank you for being part of this meaningful cause and supporting our efforts to make a positive impact on our planet’s biodiversity.

To become a member of the Ross Park Zoo, please visit

The festival is located within the Ross Park Zoo at 60 Morgan Road, Binghamton, NY 13903. Please follow the signs leading to the zoo to avoid confusion with the Discovery Center of the Southern Tier, which is also on the same campus.ย 

Free on-site parking is available for all festival attendees. Handicapped spots near the entrance are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Please be aware that the campus is extensive and hilly, so on busy nights, it may take additional time to reach the zoo entrance.

For guests with mobility issues, you can call ahead to our gift shop at (607) 724-5461 to request a free tram ride. However, please be aware that this service is limited, and to secure your ride, it must be confirmed in advance. Requests are accepted up to 48 hours before the night you plan to attend the festival. Tram rides are subject to availability and based on the level of guest need.

In addition to the 1 mile stunning lantern walk, we have a variety of special theme nights planned including dino nights, senior nights, teacher appreciation night, and more! Check out our event page for more information at

You have the flexibility to use your tickets anytime during the three-month festival. There are no specific date restrictions, allowing you to attend the event at a time that best suits your schedule within the festival’s duration.

Absolutely! You are permitted to bring your own non-alcoholic food and drinks to the event. Additionally, we offer a variety of snacks and beverages, such as water, soda, coffee, and other treats every night in our gift shop, and on Friday and Saturday nights in our concessions stand for your convenience.

Yes, we do offer some options for vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free food in our gift shop and at our concessions stand. However, please note that the selection may be limited, as our primary focus is on providing a variety of snacks to cater to different preferences. If you have specific dietary requirements, we recommend bringing your own food to ensure you have suitable choices during the event.

We have several amenities available for your convenience and safety:

    1. Restrooms: There are two full restrooms equipped with changing tables to accommodate families with young children.
    2. Porta Potties: Additionally, there are four porta potties located throughout the venue for easy access.
    3. First Aid Stations: We have two locations with first aid facilities. One is in the administrative office, and the other is in the gift shop area.
    4. AED (Automated External Defibrillator): Both the administrative office and the gift shop are equipped with AED devices, which can be used in case of a medical emergency.

Ross Park Zoo does not allow pets or animals, with the exception of service animals, on the premises due to safety and health concerns.

The festival is family-friendly, but it does include flashing lights and has hilly terrain. Some of our Sunday theme nights will appeal to special populations and you can check the festival page for dates of the theme nights at

The festival welcomes guests to bring their strollers or wheelchairs if needed. We understand the importance of accommodating individuals with varying mobility needs. While we won’t be offering strollers or wheelchairs for rent, you are more than welcome to bring your own for a comfortable and enjoyable experience at the event.

There are no ATMs on-site; however, the event is not cashless. You have the option to pay for anything using both cash and cards. Please make sure to bring the necessary payment method that suits your preference during the festival.

You have the option to purchase tickets in advance, which offers the convenience of a quicker entry to the festival. Additionally, these tickets are flexible and can be redeemed anytime during the festival, providing you with the flexibility to choose the best date and time that suits your schedule.

There are no additional discounts for seniors, students, or military personnel. However, there are special discounts available on certain theme nights for specific groups like teachers, military personnel, and others. Be sure to check below for more information on these theme nights and the associated discounts for eligible individuals.

Yes, there is a designated area for both lost and found items and getting information at the gift shop. If you need any assistance or have lost something during the festival, you can visit the gift shop, where the staff will be happy to help you with any inquiries or retrieve any lost belongings that have been found.

Yes, certain items are prohibited at the festival to ensure the safety of all attendees. Weapons of any kind, including firearms and knives, are strictly forbidden, and any possession of such items will lead to immediate expulsion from the premises. Moreover, alcohol is strictly prohibited, and under no circumstances are attendees allowed to bring alcoholic beverages to the event. Dedicated on-site security personnel will maintain an unwavering focus on ensuring a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone.

The festival encourages photography and video recording, and attendees are welcome to capture their experiences. In fact, we encourage you to share your photos and videos on social media! Please remember to tag Ross Park Zoo on Instagram and Facebook with @rossparkzoo so that we can share your content with our audience. We hope you have a fantastic time at the festival and enjoy capturing all the wonderful moments!

To stay updated on any changes or updates related to the festival, please visit the official website regularly. The website will be the primary source of information for announcements, schedule changes, special events, and any important updates regarding the festival. Be sure to check the website frequently to ensure you have the latest and most accurate information about the event.

Reciprocal program discounts are exclusively valid for regular zoo admission and do not extend to special events such as our Lantern Festival. However, zoo members do receive discounted pricing and we have designated specific evenings for discounted rates targeting specific attendee groups. Find details about theme nights below.

Special features include:

Dinosaur-themed scavenger hunt through the zoo.

Discount on “dino” merchandise in the gift shop.

Positively prehistoric selfie station!

Celebrate the golden years at Ross Park Zoo! Adults 55 and older will get discounted admission ($15) and 10% OFF on all gift shop merchandise during the event. Hop on our comfy trams for a delightful journey through the zoo, making stops at designated locations to explore the beautiful surroundings. Strike a pose at our captivating photo spot with thoughtfully crafted backdrops and props.ย 

Whether you’re a classroom teacher, administrator, educator, aide, food worker, or part of the non-teaching staff, this event is tailor-made for you! ๐Ÿซ It’s a fantastic chance for anyone working in educational settings to come together and enjoy the highlighted attractions of the lantern festival.

๐Ÿฎ Don’t miss the chance to indulge in delicious Snacks provided by Wegmans, making your evening even more delightful.

๐Ÿฎ And of course, as a token of our appreciation, we’re offering a discounted festival admission price for teachers and educational support staff at the gate at just $15, as well as 10% off merchandise in our gift shop!

๐ŸŽ“๐ŸŒŸ Join us for the BU Student Appreciation Night

๐ŸšŒ To make it convenient for college students, weโ€™ve arranged a Shuttle Service in collaboration with BU. Hop on board and enjoy a hassle-free ride from the university to the zoo, ensuring easy access to the event!

Bus runs: Meet at University Union and catch a bus starting at 6:45 and every half hour until 9:45pm, with return trips from the zoo until 10pm.

Students of all kinds will received discounted admission of $15 and 10% off in the gift shop with a valid student ID.

Special features include:

Wear a “Dino” costume and get in for free!

Dinosaur-themed scavenger hunt through the zoo.

Discount on “dino” merchandise in the gift shop.

Positively prehistoric selfie station!

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Calling all heroes! ๐Ÿš’๐Ÿ‘ฎโ€โ™‚๏ธ Join us on September 10 for Hero Night, a special evening dedicated to honoring our Military First Responders. As a token of our appreciation, you’ll receive discounted admission at just $15 and enjoy a fantastic 10% off in our gift shop! ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ’™ Don’t miss this chance to celebrate and thank our real-life heroes for their incredible service and sacrifices. Thanks to the generous sponsorship by Tioga Downs, we have donated 125 tickets for our real-life heroes.ย 

Celebrate the golden years at Ross Park Zoo!


At 6:30pm and 7:30pm enjoy a concert by the band Blue Velvet!


Adults 55 and old will enjoy $5 off admission and 10% OFF on all gift shop merchandise during the event.


Hop on our comfy trams for a delightful journey through the zoo, making stops at designated locations to explore the beautiful surroundings.ย 

๐ŸŒŸ Help us and the global initiative: Gorillas on the Line to fight loss of gorilla habitat due toย  the mining of minerals for electronic devices.

When you visit the lantern festival on World Gorilla Day, be sure to bring your unwanted small electronic devices like cell phones and tablets to deposit in our collection box for recycling.

You will be rewarded for each device dropped off with a ticket for daytime admission to Ross Park Zoo to see the animals that are sleeping during the hours of the lantern festival.

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It’s a special night to celebrate all of our supporters.ย  Everyone attending the Illumination for Conservation lantern festival on October 1 will enjoy the member admission pricing.ย  Thank you for your support!

Mark your calendars for an incredible Family Fun Night on October 8th, proudly sponsored by IBM! ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿฟ

๐ŸŽจ๐Ÿคฉ Prepare for an artistic adventure with our skilled Caricature Artist!ย  ย Families will be treated to music by our talented DJ while Russ The BIG Guy creates fabulous caricatures of you and your loved ones at the ampitheater. Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to capture cherished memories! ๐Ÿ’–

๐Ÿ”๐Ÿฅค Refuel with delicious refreshments during the festivities!

๐Ÿ’ต๐Ÿ’ฐ Admission is budget-friendly, ranging from $10 to $20! ๐ŸŽŸ๏ธ๐ŸŽŠ

This event promises an abundance of joy, laughter, and unforgettable moments for the whole family. We can’t wait to see you there! ๐Ÿฅณ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽˆ

Students from all schools, B.U., SUNY Broome, SUNY Cortland, high school, what have you, get a discounted $15 admission and 10% discount in the gift shop with a valid student ID.

$10 admission for everyone who dares to dinosaur! Guests in full-out dinosaur costume get into the festival for $10.ย  Discounts on select dinosaur merchandise in the gift shop.

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Tickets Are Flexible