Shining Bright at the Asian Lantern Festival

The Cleveland Metroparks Asian Lantern Festival landed on my radar when it made its debut in 2018. We’d been too busy doing all the things to attend in both 2018/2019, but with our schedule much lighter this summer, we made it a priority.

Asian Lantern Festival

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Asian Lantern Festival 2020

Having never attended this event before we arrived a little early. Right out of the gate, we were very impressed with the level of mask compliance and the many efforts the zoo made toward providing sanitation stations, etc.

We grabbed a quick bite/drink from local favorites Li Wah / King Wah and then made our way through the displays. It wasn’t fully dark when we made our first pass through the park but this gave us a chance to enjoy some of the animals along with the light displays. When we reached the end of the circuit we stopped to watch the short (15-20 minute) show.

It was now fully dark and we decided to walk through one more time. At full darkness, the vibrancy of the lights really pops!

TIP: If you are only interested in the lights and not the animals or short show, arrive right at nightfall. The lights look the best and it will still give you an hour plus to walk with very few other people around.

Asian Lantern Festival

Several of the displays have movable components! Two of my favorites are shown below – the Venus Flytraps and the Cherry Blossom areas with pandas in the trees. The butterfly tree (shown in the photo above) is another one with lots of color and motion. I could have sat and watched it for hours!

Fast Facts

  • The festival runs Wednesday – Sunday, 6:30-10:30 PM through August 23, 2020. UPDATE: Now extended through September 20, 2020. Reservations are recommended and can be made online ($20/each or $60 for a 4-pack and discounts for zoo members). Event day tickets are available but subject to capacity controls. Masks are required throughout the park.
  • Zoo trams are NOT running during the festival. Wheelchairs and EVCs are available for rental. Advance reservations suggested at 216-661-7603.
  • NEW: August 10/11 and 17/18 (both Monday/Tuesday nights) from 7:00-11:00 PM, the park will be open for a special drive-thru experience! Advanced purchase is required and can be done online. Carload tickets are $60/$54 for zoo members. It’s a great way to have a 100% COVID-safe time.
  • Food and beverage (including alcoholic beverages) are available. Local favorites King Wah and Li Wah have food stands and the beer hut has Asian beers and saki available.
  • A live juggling, dancing, and acrobatic show runs each evening at 6:45, 7:45, 8:45, and 9:45 PM.

Thanks so much for stopping by! For another COVID-safe activity idea, check out this post. As always, I appreciate your support, sharing, likes, and follows. Until next time,

It's the third year of Cleveland's Asian Lantern Festival and I'm so happy we made it a priority to attend! #asianlanternfestival #covidactivities
It's the third year of Cleveland's Asian Lantern Festival and I'm so happy we made it a priority to attend! #asianlanternfestival #covidactivities

Author: Betsy Ramsey

Betsy Ramsey is the author of Natty Gal. Born and raised in Northeast Ohio, she now lives there with her husband and Bichon-Frise, Dolce. A mindful fashion & capsule wardrobe enthusiast, she travels extensively, visiting 56 countries to date. Betsy is committed to helping others live their most fulfilling life!

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