A closeup of the Qilin, the Chinese Fortune Animal, with the Chinese Ornaments hanging in the ancient oak trees along Victory Avenue -- near the entrance to the Botanical Garden.
There’s a brand new, one-of-a-kind, must-see experience awaiting you at the Botanical Garden in New Orleans City Park. China Lights has arrived, and it’s guaranteed to dazzle. Previously seen in only a handful of other cities (including Rotterdam, Netherlands), the exhibit’s stop in New Orleans means you’ll be one of the first in the States to experience the majesty of these gorgeous light sculptures first hand.
The exhibit features more than 30 larger-than-life sculptural displays handmade by Chinese artists at Sichuan Tianyu in Zigong, China. The China Lights displays are fabricated out of brightly colored silk slipped over metal forms and lit from within.
China Lights is open now for daytime and nighttime viewing; it remains open Tuesdays through Sundays until May 1, 2016 (so if you’re planning on going to French Quarter Fest or Jazz Fest, you’ve got the perfect after-fest activity — it’s also within walking distance from Jazz Fest). Tickets are available online or in-person at the Tolmas Center at the entrance to the Botanical Garden in City Park. Tickets range for daytime viewing are $12 for adults and $8 for children ages 3 to 12 (kids under 3 are free). For visits after 6 p.m., tickets are $18 for adults and $12 for children ages 3 to 12. Group discounts are available.
Once inside the Botanical Garden, enjoy live entertainment nightly featuring dragon dances and other cultural presentations. The event also features Chinese-inspired cuisine to snack on or create a light meal — sriracha popcorn, dinner combo plates with fried rice and an egg roll, as well as burgers and fries, General’s Chicken Pizza, and two types of only-in-NOLA egg rolls: a Deep Fried S’more Egg Roll and a Muffaletta Egg Roll complete with olive salad filling. Domestic and Chinese beers, wine, and soft drinks are all for sale on the Botanical Garden grounds, too. (And after touring China Lights, you’re perfectly situated to stop by the Morning Call coffee and beignets stand in City Park.)