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Giant Lanterns of China - FAQs

Giant Lanterns of China - FAQs

Giant Lanterns of China

How long will the event last and what is included?

The route is approximately a one mile long loop and will take around an hour and a half to complete. You will see stunning lantern displays throughout the route, some of which are huge impressive structures and some of which as smaller animal lanterns, all beautifully hand-crafted by Chinese artists using traditional techniques. There will also be short performances by Chinese acrobats and artists, all included in the ticket price. Optional extras are the marketplace selling speciality gifts crafted by Chinese artists, as well as Zoo lantern goodies, and food and drink stalls along the route.

Download the event map for information about the route.

When are the acrobatic performances?

The performances take place at 6pm, 7pm and 8pm. They will take place on the stage next to the Temple of Heaven. They will last approximately 20 minutes.

Is food and drink available?

Yes, there's a great variety of hot meals, winter warmer drinks and snacks at outlets along the route. View our magical lantern menu – click here.

Why do I need to choose a time slot?

The event is on each night from 4.30pm – 9pm, but will take around an hour and a half to complete. So we ask that you pick an arrival time (this will appear in the 'Event Information' section of your Eventbrite ticket). Slots are half hourly from 4.30pm with the last available entry time at 7.30pm for a 9pm finish. Guests arriving for the 7.30pm slot are asked to leave by 9pm when the Zoo closes. If you’d like longer than 1.5 hours, please choose an earlier time slot.

Help, I'm running late for the event!

Don't worry! You will gain entry to the event if you have a valid ticket. So don't worry if you've missed your timeslot.

Will I see any animals?

It’s very unlikely you’ll see the animals as at that time of year they’ll mostly be in their indoor enclosures where it’s warm! This event takes in the majesty of the lantern sculptures set in a beautiful horticultural site. If you’d like to see the animals, why not select the daytime revisit ticket type to come along on another day at much reduced rates?

Who is the event suitable for?

The event is suitable for all ages, families, couples and groups alike.

We are a group, can we all come together?

Yes, groups are welcome to come along together. There is good availability per time slot so it is very likely you’ll find a time to book together. There is a 10% discount for adult groups of 10 or more – just select the group ticket option when booking online. Please call us if you’d like to check timeslot availability for larger groups.

Does my under 3 go free?

Yes, children under the age of 3 go free and do not require a ticket.

Where are tickets available?

Tickets can be booked online through Eventbrite, our ticketing partner. We may run offers and promotions through other partners in the lead up to the event. We strongly recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment. Tickets will only be available at the door if there is availability. On the day ticket prices begin 24 hours before the event start time.

What is the daytime re-visit ticket option?

We have options to add on a Zoo daytime admission ticket to your lantern festival visit. This is only available when purchasing a Giant Lanterns entry ticket and cannot be purchased separately. Daytime revisit ticktholders can enter the Zoo on one day from 1 December 2017 to 30 April 2018 (excluding 9 Feb - 19 Feb 2018 and 30 Mar - 15 Apr 2018) by showing their ticket at the Zoo main entrance on their chosen day. They can choose to redeem their daytime visit to the Zoo on the same day as their lantern event ticket, or a different day if they wish. Please note that if attending the Zoo as a day visitor on the same day as your lantern event ticket, you will be required to exit the Zoo at the 4pm closing time and re-queue to enter the Zoo for the event at the time stated on your ticket (this is in order for us to clear the park of day visitors before the events begin). Panda viewing slots can be booked on arrival at the Zoo for their day visit, subject to availability (we’d recommend arriving early to avoid disappointment).

If I buy a Giant Lantern ticket, can I come to the Zoo in the daytime?

No, we’re sorry but your Giant Lantern admission ticket does not give you admission to the Zoo during daytime operating hours. If you’d like to visit the Zoo, there are options to buy a Giant Lantern ticket that includes Zoo entry as above. If you've already bought your lantern ticket, you can upgrade your ticket to include daytime entry at the main Zoo entrance any time on the day of your visit.

Do I need to print out my tickets?

No, we don’t require you to print your tickets. We can scan them from a mobile device.

I don’t have my ticket confirmation, what should I do?

You should have received an email from Eventbrite directly after booking with your ticket information. If you have not received this, have a look in your junk email folder. You can also log into Eventbrite to find your ticket details. If you’re still having difficulties, email [email protected] listing the date you booked, the name and email address you used to book and a contact telephone number, and we will be happy to help.

Will the event go ahead in bad weather?

If it’s raining or snowing the event will still go ahead. We would only cancel the event if the weather is deemed unsafe due to high winds or extreme conditions. See below re cancellation.

What happens if my event is cancelled?

RZSS Edinburgh Zoo may need to cancel an event if it is deemed unsafe to attendees, for example, in high winds. If we decide to cancel an event, attendees will be notified by email with as much notice as possible. An email will be sent to the email address used to book the tickets. It is the responsibility of the attendees to check their emails before arriving at the event to check for any updates, and to make sure email addresses are correctly entered when booking tickets. In the event of a cancellation, attendees will be given the opportunity to transfer their ticket(s) to a different equivalent date (subject to availability) and must get in touch with the events team within the given timeframe. If attendees have not been in touch within the given timeframe, or no suitable alternative date can be found, a full refund will be issued.

What should I wear?

Please be aware that this is an outdoor winter event so please dress appropriately.

Is this event wheelchair and buggy accessible?

Yes, the route is designed so that wheelchairs and buggies can get around. However, please be aware that Edinburgh Zoo is on a hill. There will not be a mobility vehicle in operation at these events as the route encompasses some smaller pathways not accessible by vehicle.

Can I change the date of our ticket?

Tickets are always non-refundable.

Eventbrite ticketholders only can transfer their Lantern Festival tickets to another date, subject to availability, up until 72 hours before the date on their ticket through Eventbrite. No transfers will be allowed after this date. Ticketholders will be charged the price difference if tickets on the date they are transferring to are more expensive. For instructions on how to change your ticket date, click here.

Tickets are non-exchangeable and non-transferable after this time period.

No refunds or exchanges will be issued for event bookings should you no longer be able to attend.

I'm a member, do I get a discount?

There are members discounts available for dates in the first two weeks of the event. Please visit the member's portal to get access to the discount code. Email [email protected] for information about the portal.

I require a carer to attend the event with me, what should I do?

We have complimentary carer tickets available. Please purchase your event tickets online first, and then contact [email protected] to issue a carer ticket. We require you to purchase a ticket and send us proof of your purchase before we issue a carer ticket.

I have luggage, where can I leave it?

We have a small number of lockers at the Zoo where you can leave bags – these cost £2 for a small locker and £4 for a large locker. There is no deposit and customers can pay by card or cash at the Information Desk. We don’t have facilities to take large suitcases.

  • The larger grey lockers are 45cm deep, 80cm high, 40cm wide
  • The smaller red lockers are 45cm deep, 41cm high, 41cm wide

Are there cash machines on site?

No there are no cash machines on site. Some of the restaurants and kiosks take card payments, but please bring cash with you to avoid any disappointment.

Do I have to pay for car parking?

No, car parking is free. Please be aware that during busy nights, the car park might get busy.

Can I bring a dog to this events 

Dogs are not permitted to the events. Only fully trained and accredited assistance dogs who are assisting a visitor are permitted to enter the Zoo.

I’d like to buy a ticket as a gift, is that ok?

Yes absolutely, if the purchaser isn’t the same as the person attending, that’s ok. We will be scanning tickets when people arrive at the Zoo – so as long as they have a valid ticket they will get entry. The only thing to bear in mind is that any updates about the event will be sent to the email address of the purchaser.

Can I use Zoo gift vouchers or ASVA passes for this event?

Unfortunately gift vouchers and ASVA passes are not valid for this event.

How much are tickets?

Please see ticket prices below. Please note that all tickets are subject to a booking fee in addition to the prices listed below.

Ticket type

Full price (walk up)

Online advance

Lantern plus zoo re-visit









Family (2+2)




Groups of 10 or more adults can get a 10% discount on the online advance tickets. For travel trade bookings, please contact Callum on [email protected].

We may run ticketing promotions or discount offers in the lead up to the event through our own channels or with wider partners.

RZSS members, please contact [email protected] for information on members offers and events.


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