Enchanting in the sunlight and magical in the moonlight. It’s the Huntsville Botanical Garden’s biggest exhibit to date, and we think kids & families will love everything about it! Boasting more than 1,000 illuminated lantern displays of wildlife from around the world, “The Wild” Chinese Lantern Festival offers a stunning visual exhibition of art and culture.
You can call them lanterns but make no mistake – these are not handheld, candlelit lamps. Some of them are 23 feet tall! Cheetahs, jellyfish, lions, panda bears, majestic cranes, and even dinosaurs from five different regions of the world creates a stunning display of art, tradition, and culture during the nine-week exhibition.
Impressive Both Night & Day!
Not only will these displays be magical in the moonlight, but also enchanting in the sunlight, making this festival enjoyable any time of the day. In addition to the spectacular lanterns, the festival will feature food, live Kung Fu shows, and shadow play. You can also explore and shop in the craft marketplace where authentic Chinese jewelry, artifacts, dough figurines, and a variety of Chinese art can be purchased.
The gorgeous & whimsical lanterns light up the night Wednesday – Sunday from 5:30 PM – 9:30 PM during the festival.
Monday – Saturday: 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Sunday: 11:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Wednesday – Sunday Only
Gates open at 5:30 PM with last admission taken at 9:00 PM
Other Festival Activities
Huntsville Botanical Garden is also hosting lots of educational programs for all ages to enhance “The Wild” experience and to honor the Chinese culture. Guests can select from a variety of daytime programs such as Feng Shui designs, Tai Chi, the art of shadow puppetry, DIY Chinese lanterns, Chinese water color, and more!
- Live Kung Fu performances at 6 PM and 7:45 PM, Wednesday – Sunday (weather permitting)
- Chinese shadow puppetry performances at 7 PM and 8:45 PM, Wednesday – Sunday
- Chinese Marketplace featuring authentic Chinese folk arts and crafts
- “The Wild” Chinese Family Breakfast, March 30
- Chinese Lunch and Qipao Fashion Show, April 2
- Clap for Classics in the Garden, April 5 (Then explore “The Wild”!)
Chinese Lantern Festival Parent Pro-Tips
Budget enough time to see everything.
Typically most people will take 1.5 to 2 hours to see the lanterns, check out the marketplace, and catch a kung fu show. The Chinese Lantern path is 1 mile long.
HBG paths are a mix of compacted gravel and paved areas. There are one or two hills, but strollers, wagons, and wheelchairs venture those paths on a daily basis.
Members are still free during the day.
Garden Members may view the Chinese Lantern Festival as part of their free daily Garden admission during daily Garden hours.
More food is available at night!
There will be grub and goodies available at the new Dogwood Café, plus food trucks on some nights. Refreshments (including adult beverages) will also be available at the Garden at night.
“The Wild” Chinese Lantern Festival at HBG
When: March 20 – May 21, 2019 | Gates open at 5:30 p.m. with last admission taken at 9:00 p.m.
Where: Huntsville Botanical Garden (map)
Cost: $15 – $25 – Garden members get an additional $5 off each ticket. Purchase tickets in advance online & save time!
Pro-Tip! Non-Peak Nights: March 20-31 and Wednesday and Thursday nights through May 2 are discounted $3.
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