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Edinburgh Zoo launches city-wide treasure hunt for lucky red tickets

12/01/2018 in Edinburgh Zoo

To kick start the new year, RZSS Edinburgh Zoo has launched a city-wide treasure hunt for mysterious red envelopes hidden in some of the capital’s most iconic locations.  Each envelope contains free tickets to the Zoo’s winter extravaganza, The Giant Lanterns of China, as well as limited exclusive prizes for some lucky winners including their very own handmade silk Chinese lantern.

RZSS Edinburgh Zoo has partnered with some of the city’s most famous brands to hide red envelopes which are synonymous with good luck in Chinese culture. Between Monday 15 January to Sunday 28 January, the Zoo and partners will share clues on social media to help the public find a hidden location for their chance to win. If you just can't wait though and want to get treasure hunting, we've put a few teaser clues at the bottom of this page to help get you started!

Brands set to hide the mysterious red envelopes throughout the city include: BrewDog, Costa at St Andrew Square, Lothian Buses, Central Taxis, Holiday Inn, Eteaket, Edinburgh Airport, John Lewis, Edinburgh Gin, The Camera Obscura, Cineworld, The Gyle Shopping Centre, Multrees Walk and the Zoo’s sister site, Highland Wildlife Park, based near Aviemore. 

Winners will receive tickets for The Giant Lanterns of China event, Scotland’s only Chinese lantern festival. It features a magical trail around the Zoo to explore 34 bespoke installations made of 469 gigantic lanterns including 30 giant pandas, a 19-foot high and 115-foot long Chinese dragon, 20 penguins and 25 flamingos amid incredible illuminating flowers, fauna, insects and Chinese heritage symbols such as signs of the zodiac.

Barbara Smith, CEO of RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, said: “The red envelope treasure hunt is a great way to kick off the new year, igniting the imagination of children and adults alike. We have partnered with some of our favourite Scottish brands and have come up with some very creative clues! The use of red envelopes represents good luck in Chinese culture, which ties in perfectly with The Giant Lanterns of China event inspired by our giant pandas, Tian Tian (Sweetie) and Yang Guang (Sunshine).”

Tickets for The Giant Lanterns of China are priced from £9.50 and available at:

Treasure Hunt Starter Clues:


Day 1 (15 January):
Hop on board and be Otterly amazed by our Giant Lanterns of China promotion with some fantastic prizes up for grabs, we aren’t lion! Red-dy or not, be on the lookout for some of our Giant Lanterns of China envelopes on your travels today!

Day 2 (16 January):
Getting you from A to B Edinburgh’s largest taxi fleet. Jump on board one of their famous black cabs to see if you could win!

Day 3 (17 January):
Looking for a little break from all of the lanterns excitement? Our next envelope location is the place to go! If you are Inn Corstorphine, this hotel is a great place where visitors can rest their head and relax from an exciting city adventure.

Day 4 (18 January):
Where Scotland meets the world, one of the busiest airports in the UK which transports over 12 million passengers per year to amazing destinations from Abu Dhabi to Zurich.

Day 5 (19 January):
Nestled on Rose Street is a hub for the capitals tea lovers. Join the leaf tea experts for your favourite brew and you could win a fantastic prize!

Day 6 (20 January):
At the heart of the city’s historic old town is the location of our next prizes. Opening in 2011, this brew-tiful craft beer oasis and eatery welcomes visitors from the Cow gate.

Day 7 (21 January):
Head to this popular city square in Edinburgh and you could be today’s lucky prize winner. Located at the East end of George Street you can find a lovely little coffee re-treat for the busy shoppers.

Day 8 (22 January):
This wild park near Aviemore has just welcomed the pitter patter of little paws, the first of their kind in over 25 years!

Day 9 (23 January):
Be on the lookout if you are near Leith Street today! Not too far from the giraffes is a famous large department store where our envelopes will be.

Day 10 (24 January):
In Edinburgh’s West End is a dynamic small batch distillers that uses the finest botanicals that captures the ‘spirit’ of Edinburgh.

Day 11 (25 January):
The famous world of trickery and illusions is more than meets the eye with over 5 floors of amazing sights to see! Head to the top of the Royal Mile to find your Illuminating prize…

Day 12 (26 January):
Fountain Park is our next location where you can win a fantastic prize! Why not catch one of the classics in a new immersive experience, the only place to feature 4DX in Scotland.

Day 13 (27 January):
This shopping centre located just outside of the city centre is where you can find 4 of our next prizes. Hop on the tram, passed the Zoo to get to this next location.

Day 14 (28 January):
Take a walk through our next location for a luxury retail experience. Based in the city centre, they have Scotland’s only Harvey Nichols, Nespresso and Louis Vitton


Good luck!

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