The Chinese Lantern Festival is back at Franklin Square for the third year in a row — this time running for a full eight weeks. Featuring over 1,500 silk, steel and light creations across 28 different displays, it’s the perfect night out for the whole family. From taking in the beauty of the lanterns to enjoying a range of cultural performances (including face changing), here are four reasons why you should pay a visit to the Chinese Lantern Festival for 2018.
1. The Lanterns
The expertly crafted lanterns by Chinese artisans are the stars of the Chinese Lantern Festival, lighting up the night with 15,000 LED lights. New additions this year are a walk-through Great White Shark Tunnel and the world premiere of The Fairy Tree, but old favorites like the 200-foot Dragon and those adorable pandas are back! Be sure to keep your phone charged so you can capture the magic for your Insta.
2. The Performances
Don’t leave the Chinese Lantern Festival without visiting the main stage, where performers will be dazzling the crowd every night. Highlights include face-changing (where performers swap out different masks quicker than you can blink!), plate-spinning (acrobats do all sorts of stunts while spinning multiple plates on 3-foot bamboo poles), contortionists and more.
3. The Food
Taking in so much art can definitely make a person hungry, and luckily, attendees at the Chinese Lantern Festival have plenty of yummy options right on the festival grounds. For comfort food galore, Square Burger has a menu of burgers, chicken fingers and milkshakes (the cake shake is an otherworldly experience). Great Lawn Grill will serve up Asian cuisine, with items like chicken satay, Korean meatball, beef bao and mochi ice cream. For more eclectic offerings, visit the Snack Shack at the Shark, for Italian meatballs in marinara, steamed veggie dumplings and more.
4. The Drinks
You can also sip as you stroll at the Chinese Lantern Festival. Dragon Beer Garden by Cooperage will be serving up an array of beer, wine and specialty cocktails for adult visitors. Drafts include Yuengling, Leinenkugel, Shandy, Kirin, Sapporo, Downeast Original Cider and Goose Island IPA. Cocktails include the Lantern Lemonade (Lemon Vodka, Lemonade, Green Tea), Barrel Aged Buddha (Barrel Aged Gin, Campari, Sweet Vermouth, Salt, Orange Zest) and Year of the Mule (Rye Whiskey, Ginger Beer, Lemonade).