Boston Lights: A Lantern Experience is a first of its kind light show opening at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston.

A walk through the zoo filled with colorful lanterns sounds like a magical experience — and it’s all for a good cause.

On Aug. 21, the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston (in collaboration with National Grid) will be hosting a one-of-a-kind experience with hundreds of beautiful, large-scale lanterns. Boston Lights: A Lantern Experience is the first of its kind in New England.

Large lantern tunnel made to look like a shark
Credit: Tianyu Arts and Culture/Courtesy of Zoo New England

50 different displays will take over the park’s 72 acres. Many lantern displays are inspired by nature, with gigantic, glowing butterflies, gorillas, ocean creatures, a 26-foot-tall panda, and even a 197-foot-long dragon. One of the best installations also includes a 66-foot-long tunnel that looks like visitors are walking directly into the mouth of a shark.

Paper lantern made too look like a turtle
Credit: Tianyu Arts and Culture/Courtesy of Zoo New England

“We are thrilled to bring this unique experience to Franklin Park Zoo inspired by the beauty of the natural world, incredible wildlife and rich cultural traditions. We look forward to welcoming visitors of all ages as they immerse themselves in the beauty of the lights,” said John Linehan, Zoo New England President and CEO, in a statement.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for visitors to enjoy the Franklin Park Zoo and all it has to offer,” said Marcy Reed, President, National Grid, Massachusetts, in a statement. “The zoo’s programs and exhibits enhance our quality of life and we are pleased to do our part on behalf of the customers and communities we serve.”

But besides being a gorgeous night out, Boston Lights was created to highlight the importance of conserving biodiversity. Each species plays a role in our ecosystem, and the light installation also offers education and information about conservation and habitat preservation. In an effort to be as green as possible, all of the lanterns are illuminated with energy saving LED lights.

The light festival also is taking the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic into account. Tickets for the festival must be bought in advance online and each ticket will be for a specific time in order to cut down on crowds. All guests must follow one-way paths, keep six feet of distance, wear masks, and use hand sanitizer (which will be available throughout the zoo).

Butterfly paper lanterns all grouped together glowing in the night
Credit: Tianyu Arts and Culture/Courtesy of Zoo New England

Boston Lights: A Lantern Experience will debut on Aug. 21 and will be open nightly through Labor Day (Sept. 7). After that, the festival will be open Thursday through Sunday until Nov. 1. The hours are 6:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

For more information or to book a ticket, visit the Franklin Park Zoo website.