By DON FOWLER Roger Williams Park Zoo Executive Director Dr. Jeremy Goodman has teamed with Hanart Culture to bring the Asian Lantern Spectacular - and it is truly spectacular - to the zoo. On the heels of the drive-thru Pumpkin Spectacular and Christmas
Roger Williams Park Zoo Executive Director Dr. Jeremy Goodman has teamed with Hanart Culture to bring the Asian Lantern Spectacular – and it is truly spectacular – to the zoo.
On the heels of the drive-thru Pumpkin Spectacular and Christmas displays, Goodman has outdone himself with a walk-through exhibit of over 50 displays that take you from the zoo entrance to every corner of the property.
The “lanterns” are in the form of every animal imaginable, surrounded by colorful flowers and other brightly colored silk forms, all hand-painted and bigger than life.
Not only are you treated to the exhibits, you can enjoy all of the regular inhabitants of the zoo. The zoo staff has cleverly placed the animal lanterns next to their live counterparts. For example, the zoo’s new flamingo exhibit space is shared by an array of balloon flamingos.
You will also have an opportunity to purchase Asian food (don’t worry, there is still popcorn and ice cream for the kids), plus listen to Asian-style entertainment.
Tickets may only be purchased online at rwpzoo.org/lantern. The cost is $25 for adults and $23 for children age 2 to 12. Children 1 and under are admitted free of charge.
While tickets are sold for specific times, Wednesday through Sunday from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m., you may stay as long as you wish. The zoo closes at 10 p.m.
You can easily spend two hours to see everything. Bring your camera, comfortable walking shoes and a jacket.
If you start in daylight, it will probably be dark by the time you finish, giving you a chance to see the exhibits from both perspectives.
There are interactive exhibits for the kids, and many signs to remind you not to touch the delicate but weather-durable lanterns.
This multicultural display couldn’t come at a better time, with concerns over our relationships with our friends of Asian heritage, plus the need to get out of the house and enjoy some outdoor entertainment.
The Asian Lantern Spectacular is without a doubt the best show in town and the perfect way to celebrate spring and summer.
Wear your masks, socially distance, and enjoy this wonderful opportunity.
I plan to go back later in the season and enjoy it again.