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.

“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.

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 November 19, 2021 and concludes 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 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.

About the Virginia Zoo

The Virginia Zoo, located in Norfolk, Virginia, is home to more than 700 exceptional animals representing over 150 fascinating species. Founded in 1901 and residing on 53 beautifully landscaped acres, the Virginia Zoo has demonstrated a commitment to saving and protecting the world’s wildlife by inspiring a passion for nature and taking conservation action at home and around the world. The Virginia Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is recognized as a global leader in education, recreation, science, wildlife conservation, and animal care and welfare. For more than a century, the Zoo has connected adults, families and school children with the natural world and its wildlife. To learn more, visit

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