The NC Chinese Lantern Festival- Winter Fun for all Ages!

NC Chinese Lantern Festival

The NC Chinese Lantern Festival

Looking for something to get you in the holiday spirit in the Triangle area?

Well, be sure to add the NC Chinese Lantern Festival to your list of things to do this winter! The NC Chinese Lantern Festival features a beautiful selection of over 20 lighted LED displays at Koka Booth Amphitheater in Cary, North Carolina.

NC Chinese Lantern Festival in Cary, NC

Last year, we attended on Christmas Eve and it was the perfect way to spend time together as a family celebrating the holiday! They have a variety of cultural performances scheduled as well. When we attended, the performances had already started but we were able to watch the last 15 minutes which we thoroughly enjoyed. We then walked through the amphitheater amongst the colorful displays and festive music. The children had fun running around and posing for pictures with each one. I swear I heard, “Mom, Look at this one!” on repeat. But hey…that’s half the fun!

NC Chinese Lantern Festival

Ticket Information:

  • The NC Chinese Lantern Festival runs Nov. 24, 2017- Jan. 14, 2018 (closed Mondays except for Christmas Day and New Years Day).
  • Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at Koka Booth’s website.
  • Ticket prices are $15 for 18 and older, $10 for ages 3-17, and Free for 2 and under.
  • Parking is free.

The NC Chinese Lantern Festival would be perfect for date night, an outing with the kids, or fun for an entire group!  For us personally, it is a little pricey to make this an annual tradition, but I’d recommend going at least once! I have heard in the past tickets were available on Groupon, in which case, I’d snag those in a hot second.

NC Chinese Lantern Festival


NC Chinese Lantern Festival

If you’re looking for other fun winter or holiday activities in the North Carolina Triangle area check out the shows at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts or DPAC. We also personally love the outdoor skating rink in downtown Raleigh combined with a trip next door for some hot chocolate! Marbles Kid’s Museum always has a few special holiday events as well as Pullen Park. And the Historic Oakwood Candlelight Tour is a perfect way to spend an adult evening out after dinner!

There are Chinese Lantern Festivals all over the world! Have you attended one in the past or have plans to attend one in the future? I’d love to hear about your experience!

Which display is your favorite? Both of my kids agreed the dragon was their favorite display…and trust me, they don’t agree often! Let me know what y’all think!

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NC Chinese Lantern Festival


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  1. My daughter would love this! 🙂 I wish we were close enough to take her. I wonder if there is something around here like that

    1. They have them all over the country at different times…Texas and Pennsylvania I know…worth checking to see if you have one near you!

  2. Oh my goodness this looks like so much fun. If I’m up in North Carolina around these dates I will make sure to check this out. I have always wanted to go to a Chinese lantern Festival and your pictures are so gorgeous I know I have to go to that one.

    1. They are really unique…I know they have them all over the country at different times of year too! Definitely should try to stop by if you’re up this way:)

  3. So pretty! I have done a lot of different holiday light events but nothing like this. It really looks impressive. I am going to have to see if I can find one closer to me. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

  4. This is a great alternative to traditional Christmas light displays. We had an Asian lantern exhibit come through Norfolk last spring and it was a huge hit here.

  5. I can totally see why kids love this. The lion is just awesome. It really seems a bit pricey though, but for a one off I’d totally go there. We were recently in the Lantern festival in Hoi An in Vietnam and I have to say, I absolutely love lanterns <3

    1. We agreed it was a bit pricey which is why we probably won’t go every year…but I’m definitely glad we went once! I would love to see the lantern festival abroad…I think it would be spectacular!

    1. All the displays are really quite beautiful! I wish it was a little less expensive so we could go every single year! If I find a discount, I’m on it! Thanks for reading!

  6. I love unique festivals, especially those with bright, fun colors and patterns. I had no idea that this took place in NC! I lived in Asheville for a few years and I would’ve loved to explore this!

    1. First off…we love Asheville!! Great NC town! And yes! Can you believe this is in NC?? It’s a great way to spend time outdoors and I’d recommend going at least once to anyone! Thanks for reading!

  7. What a fascinating festival. The sky must be lit up in resplendent colours during the festival. The designs of the lanterns are exquisite. You have also provided some very useful information that will stand us in good stead when we plan to attend this festival.

  8. Lantern festivals are so fascinating and colorful. The whole sky and place would be glowing. We wanted to attend this year at Udaipur in India but couldn’t. The NC Chinese Lantern Festival looks great and the shape of Lantern too is equally interesting.Information provided by you in the article will be really helpful.

    1. I think it’s a fun, different and beautiful way to spend time outside whether it’s with family or friends! I’d definitely encourage everyone to try to attend one if they’re nearby! Thanks for reading!

  9. I would love to experience a festival like this! Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to. It seems like such a magical experience – the vibrant colours against the night sky is so stunning!

  10. This looks like so much fun to attend, I wish I was closer so I could attend (not eve in the same continent haha) No matter how old you get or how many times you see them Chinese lanterns just look amazing and so calming as well. You’ve made me jealous with this post haha 😀

  11. We saw similar Chinese lanterns at Montreal’s Botanical Gardens in September. The lanterns are so beautiful and intricately designed. I think there’s supposed to be a similar lantern wonderland in San Diego (where I’m based) for the holiday season, too. What a great activity to take kids to!

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