Something BIG is Coming

This November the Virginia Zoo will welcome 28 new animals – the inflatable kind – in an exciting winter exhibition called “ZooLumination”. During the day, visitors can look up at a trio of towering 30-foot-tall giraffes and stare into the open mouth of a five-foot-tall crocodile. At night, guests will journey on Zoo grounds by car for the first-ever Zoo drive-thru. Watch the inflatable animal sculptures come to life with light in a spectacular visual experience and hear their compelling conservation audio story in this magical display.

Sloth inflatable animal sculpture

“This will be a captivating experience that furthers our mission by educating people about saving wildlife in a new and fascinating way,” said Greg Bockheim, Executive Director of the Virginia Zoo. “Zoolumination also compliments the other tremendous winter attractions the area has to offer, bringing even more attention to our great region,” Bockheim added.

Red panda inflatable animal sculpture
The inflatable animal sculptures range in size from 6 to 30′ tall. The above red panda towers at 25′ tall and nearly 30′ long.
Seahorse inflatable sculpture with female standing next to it

In its debut year, the route will be divided into themes that mimic the Zoo’s largest exhibits – Africa, Asia and World of Reptiles. There will also be a special section that highlights local wildlife, like the monarch butterfly, seahorses and blue crabs that can be found in the Lafayette River and borders the Virginia Zoo. The inflatable sculptures are being customed designed for the Virginia Zoo by Landmark Creations, an award-winning Minnesota-based manufacturer of event displays and stage productions for top performers in the nation.

Zoolumination opens on November 19, 2021 and concludes on January 9, 2022. Daytime hours will be 10 am to 4 pm, the nighttime drive-thru will be open daily at 5 pm.​ Tickets go on sale on October 8 to the public. Or become a Virginia Zoo member for early bird tickets and special discounts. Interested in sponsoring this event? Visit for more information.