BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — When day turns into evening, residents of Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo grow sleepy, ready to go inside for some rest.

“The red pandas are my favorite,” said Diane Tolla of Darien.

But then night hits, and new animals emerge while the popular park transforms.

“Once the lights come on, it takes on a life of its own,” said Senior Animal Husbandry Specialist at the zoo, J.T. Warner.

This is the Glow Wild Lantern Festival, a new endeavor for the zoo, one that’s pleasing fall revelers of all ages.

“It’s big and colorful, I really like it,” said Crystal Vargas of Stratford.

“Very positive so far, everyone’s loving it. It’s is quite spectacular,” said Warner.

The main path through the zoo is lined with luminous characters. The Under the Sea area features fish, a crustacean, and a big crab that moves and emits bubbles!

“It’s like glow-in-the-dark animals,” said Diana Lerman of Weston.

Visitors can see bears, penguins, giraffes, and tigers. And the creativity doesn’t stop there, because you can also check out the mythological creatures.

The traditional Chinese Dragon is the largest lit structure at the zoo, measuring about 90 feet long by 20 feet tall!

“My favorites are the carnivorous plants. We have some Audrey IIs from Little Shop of Horrors,” noted Warner.

The beautiful, illuminated tunnel and interactive exhibits provide a new way to enjoy this beloved destination.

“It’s a night event, the animals aren’t out but you can come here and support the zoo and help celebrate our centennial because we just turned 100 years old this year,” Warner explained.

The stunning sight, which is running Thursdays through Sundays at the zoo through November 27, is transporting visitors into a vibrant, imaginative world.

“This is very different, very different and it is very magical like you’re in a fantasy land,” said Tolla. “This is wonderful, really, really wonderful. I love it.”

The best time to see the spectacle is around 7 p.m.

It’s best to buy tickets online in advance. Plus, strollers and wheelchairs are available to rent.

Click here for more information.