The Stunning Chinese Lantern Festival in Huntsville

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The Stunning Chinese Lantern Festival in Huntsville is one of the biggest exhibits ever done at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens. You don’t want to miss it before it closes on May 19. These pictures just can’t even begin to show you the brilliant colors of each animal, flower, or lantern. As the saying goes, “You’ve got to see it to believe it”.

The Gardens were beautiful with many spring flowers, especially the Azaelas in bloom but you couldn’t miss all of the lanterns worked into the landscape. There’s always something going on or new to see no matter what time of year you visit.

I have tried to show you how the lanterns really come to life after the sun goes down with a few comparison shots.

The Huntsville Botanical Gardens is the perfect location for this festival as you wonder down the winding paths and opulent flower gardens, the displays just seem to be complimented by their surroundings. With many of the lanterns being animals, they seem to be roaming throughout the grasslands.

Since we had never been to the Huntsville Botanical Gardens, we took time to explore it during the daylight hours also. With this, not only did we see the how the lanterns were displayed, but also the amazing plants and programs offered.

Even before entering the garden area, you got a peak at what to expect.

It was also interesting to see the differences in the lanterns during the day, then how they are so brilliant after dark.

When arriving back near dusk, the switch had already been thrown and all the displays were lit up.

The first display appeared as a float of fanciful Japanese lanterns and art, adrift on a small pond as you first enter the gardens. The brilliance of this could also be caught in the reflection from the water.

The farther we walked, the darker it became, and then the displays really came to life. We saw giraffes, hippos, turtles, birds, zebras, lions, tigers, and bears – oh my. The colors were quite vivid and bright, and stood out in colorful contrast to the night sky.

I hope you enjoy my photos showing the contrast between the lanterns from daylight to dark.

As luck would have it, we visited on the perfect night. It was cool, cloudy, threatening rain, and the Gardens were not crowded for a Friday night.

It is hard to say a favorite, but these peacocks are at the top of the list.

The Pavilion Area was another spectacular area, even more so after dark.

Who knew bugs could be so pretty?

Even a snail.

You knew there would be butterflies.

There’s so many things to see while walking through, it’s worth it to do twice so you don’t miss anything.  

This is a very family and kid friendly Gardens.  You will hear more about the Children’s Garden in the next post.




If you’ve never visited Huntsville, now would be the perfect time to go and not only see the Chinese Lantern Festival but many other attractions this gem of a city has to offer.

After May 19, it hasn’t been announced the next location so make plans to visit now.

As we said goodbye, one last display.

This is just a small sampling of the more than a thousand lanterns you will see.  According to them, Enchanting in the sunlight and magical in the moonlight.

For ticket information, hours and more on the Huntsville Botanical Gardens, visit their website for all of this

There are also activities such as a live Kung Fu performances, a puppetry show and marketplace for all of your enjoyment.

A note, daytime hours seven days a week, but evening hours are ONLY Wednesday – Sunday so make your plans accordingly.

Pinterest is always a great place to save travel plans

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I’ve included affiliate links to Amazon for you to find some products easier.  I may receive a small commission, but the price is the same for you.  It just helps my blog out.

Happy Travels, 


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