Park Lantern Festival
Credit: The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
Park Lantern Festival
Credit: The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

Here’s Why We’re Headed to Glow in the Park at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens This Spring

Here’s Everything You Need to Know Before You Go!

Looking to fill your spring calendar with some fun? This spring, The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert will be transformed into a magical lantern festival like no other! From angel wings and animal polaroids to a love bike and giant shark, the zoo’s Glow in the Park event will light up your spring with an enthralling, luminescent adventure. Guests can catch a glimpse of immersive and illuminated lantern animals, take a walk through a Great White shark’s mouth, or simply observe the beaming dreamland that is Glow in the Park.

YouTube video

Park Lantern Festival
Credit: The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

At this nightly event, which runs March 17 through April 30, guests will be dazzled with a spectacular new lineup of handcrafted, larger-than-life lantern displays and plenty of memorable photo ops. Each display is handcrafted and ranges in size, color and shape. Some of the lantern arrangements are also interactive, including an under-the-sea attraction with luminescent leopard sharks, a swimming blue whale, clown fish and glowing jellies. Guests are also encouraged to hop on the “Love Bikes” this year and peddle to illuminate the surrounding heart display!

Credit: The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

If you’re up for experiencing the artistry of Asian culture, this is the place to be! At Glow in the Park, you can walk through the red lantern tunnel, which will transport you to a traditional Chinese lantern festival featuring zodiacs, dragons and more. There will also be plenty of picture stations to capture treasured moments with friends and family.


Erin Scott, one of the many faces behind this whimsical event, says, “Glow in the Park is for everybody. Whether you want to have a date night as a couple or bring the kids, this is a magical experience for all ages.” 

Park Lantern Festival
Credit: The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

In addition to the festival, you’ll also have the chance to observe some of the zoo’s wildlife. The African Safari Trail will be open, so as you stroll the lantern trail, you’ll also have the opportunity to see animals like rhinos, giraffes, cheetahs and more.

Another unique factor of this light festival is where it’s located. Scott describes, “Glow in the Park is enchanting, not only because of its glistening lanterns but also because of the beauty of the desert that encompasses it. With our desert location, the lights shine even brighter, making this festival a awe-inspiring experience.”


Park Lantern Festival
Credit: The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

When the tummies begin to eventually grumble, don’t fret! Glow in the Park offers a curated menu each evening brimming with mouthwatering treats and drinks. The gift shop and food outlet will remain open if you’d like to purchase snacks or souvenirs. As a non-profit organization, events like Glow in the Park support The Living Desert’s excellent animal care, conservation efforts and educational programs, which is just another reason why this festival should be on your spring calendar!

Glow in the Park is officially open to the public 6:30-10 p.m. nightly from March 17 through April 30. The last admission is at 9:00 p.m. Guests can purchase general admission tickets online for $27.95-$29.95, while children from ages 3-12 are $17.95-$19.95 and children under the age of 3 are free. If you decide to go on a weekday rather than the weekend, tickets err on the cheaper side. Advanced reservations are required!

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
47900 Portola Ave
Palm Desert, CA 92260

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Noelle Dahl graduated from Sonoma State University in 2020 with a BA in English. Currently living in Huntington Beach, Noelle spends her days throwing pottery, combing the beach for seashells or planning her next adventure.


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