The LanternAsia light display, at Norfolk Botanical Garden, is a celebration of Asia and a nighttime wonderland for the whole family to explore! It only runs until May 13, so buy your tickets today!Two years ago, Tianyu Arts & Culture, a China-based company specializing in Chinese light shows and cultural performances, came to transform Norfolk Botanical Garden. After the three-week shutdown required to set up shop, the LanternAsia light display more than made up for any profit lost from daily visitors during that time. According to The Virginian-Pilot, the cost of setting up the exhibit was fully underwritten by sponsorships, so it generated more than $1.3 million in ticket sales and 2,000 new dues-paying garden members. More than 100,000 people came to the exhibit in 2016, an astronomical number which is expected to increase this year. Of the 35 light displays, expect to see a massive dragon, pagodas, 12-foot Chinese arches, pandas, birds, elephants and tigers, hundreds of lanterns, and of course, flowers, including a Venus Flytrap display done exclusively for Norfolk Botanical Garden. Also in honor of Coastal Virginia, several underwater scenes have been added this year. [gallery type="rectangular" ids="7676,7675,7674,7673,7672,7670,7669"] Also new this year, performances by Chinese dancers will take place Monday--Thursday at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. and Friday--Sunday at 6:30, 7:30, and 8:30 p.m. Tickets for the event include two options. There's a self-guided walking tour every day/night of the week, which costs $20 for adults and $10 for kids aged 3-17 years. The price includes admission from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday--Thursday and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday--Sunday. The other option is only available Monday through Wednesday, and it's a tram tour of the light display. Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for kids and includes admission to LanternAsia and a narrated tram tour, where guests will learn about the rich history of the lantern tradition and the unique construction of the LanternAsia light display. Participants are then welcome to explore the display on their own after the scheduled tram tour. Tram tours start promptly at 7:30 p.m.
Can't Make It to LanternAsia But Still Want to Visit?[caption id="attachment_7683" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Courtesy Flickr[/caption] The Norfolk Botanical Garden is a pretty amazing place with 175 acres of more than 60 distinctive themed gardens, 95 species of birds, and 30 kinds of butterflies. Their newest garden is World of Wonders – A Children’s Adventure Garden, which is a three-acre garden where kids explore the connections between plants, international culture, and the environment. The interactive areas are a kid's dream playland. There are log cabins, frog bogs, an Australian outback, South American rainforest, African grassland, and lots of other biomes to explore. At the Dirt Factory, kids can dig, climb, learn about bugs, plant seeds, and well, play in the dirt! The World of Wonders garden even includes a splash park with fountains, bubblers, foggers, and jet sprays to help kids learn about oceans and other major waterways on Earth.
[caption id="attachment_7684" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Courtesy Flickr[/caption] Other amazing gardens and landscapes include an enchanted forest, a butterfly garden, a wildflower meadow, a Japanese garden, hummingbird garden, cutting garden, sculpture garden, and beautiful bridges, gazebos, benches, and overlooks. Admission to the Norfolk Botanical Garden (when special events like LanternAsia aren't happening) is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and military members, and $10 for kids (3-18 years). [gallery type="rectangular" ids="7682,7681,7680,7679,7678,7677"] For a comprehensive description of the gardens to see all Norfolk Botanical Garden has to offer, click here. Are you going to check out LanternAsia? Planning a visit to the garden this summer? Tell us all about it!