If you missed the stunning display of the Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival last year, you don’t want to miss it again this year! Now called Dragon Lights Columbus – the celebration of Chinese Culture returns to the Ohio Expo Center from November 23, 2018 – January 6, 2019. This tradition is unlike anything else in Columbus, and you’ll want to experience it year after year! Everyone who visits will leave impressed – it truly is great for all ages.
The magical display features ALL NEW larger-than-life illuminated displays crafted by Chinese artisans from Zigong, Sichuan, China’s cultural capital for the ancient art of lantern-making. You’ll encounter spinning, color-changing, and walk-through displays that during your stroll along the path.
In addition to lanterns, nightly performances, and handmade Chinese crafts, the event will also offer food and beverages. There will be a variety of Chinese and traditional fair food, as well as assorted beverages. Handicraft demonstration this year includes name painting, crystal engraving and aluminum weaving.
All lantern displays are outdoor, while nightly performances, food vendors and culture experience programs will be indoor in the Donahey Ag/Hort Building. Make sure you catch a show with traditional Chinese acts featured include: amazing acrobats and contortionist acts, Chinese face-changing, folk dancing, and plate spinning. The shows will thrill and entertain all ages.
New this year is the Panda Theatre. Surrounded by panda lantern displays, visitors can watch real live pandas through real-time cameras in the one and only panda base in the world – Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. Every Tuesday and Wednesday, selected Chinese movies with English subtitles will be played at Panda Theater as well. Panda Theater is included in the festival admission. You’ll also have a blast in the Time Travel Booth, also included with admission. Visitors can try on costumes from different dynasties and share your pictures on social media.
- Sunday-Thursday: 6:30 PM & 8:00PM
- Friday & Saturday: 6:30PM, 8:00 PM, & 9:00 PM
Tickets purchased online before Nov. 23 can receive a $3.00 off discount (per ticket) with the code: “ZAONIAO” (early bird in Chinese Pinyin).
- $17 for adults, $12 for youth 16 and under, free for children 5 and under
- $14 for veterans and active military (id required) and seniors ages 65+
- $50 for a family 4 pack (2 adults, 2 children)
- Parking is $6, cash only
Now through January 3, bring the family for the holiday happy hour where family 4-pack tickets are only $45 between 5:30-6:30 (box office only.)
New Years Eve Special!
As part of its New Year’s Eve celebration Dragon Lights Columbus will kick off 2019 by offering FREE admission to the first 19 guests and will host a countdown at 8 pm for kids with a HUGE Panda piñata full of candy and new year wishes. Live, indoor performances are offered nightly. Don’t forget about the Family Four Pack special at the box office between 5:30-6:30 mentioned above!
Want to win tickets? We’re giving away a Free Family 4 Pack for Dragon Lights to be redeemed by December 1! Contest ends on November 15 at 11:59 pm. Winner will be contacted by email and have 24 hours to respond. Winner must be an email subscriber for our daily newsletter. Enter via Rafflecopter widget below. You can earn an additional entry by leaving a comment about what your Thanksgiving weekend plans are – OR your favorite holiday dish – on our Facebook post.
Dragon Lights is open Tuesday thru Sunday – 5:30 PM to 10:00PM. Closed on Monday EXCEPT FOR December 24th and December 31st 2018. This event is wheelchair and stroller-friendly on a paved path, and is a memorable experience for all ages.
Natural Resources Park
717 East 17th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43211
- Subscribe to Columbus on the Cheap's email list
- Free and cheap events this weekend in Columbus
- Your Guide to Christmas and Holiday Events in Columbus
- Over 40 Holiday Art and Craft Festivals
- Turkey Trots and Holiday Races
- Christmas Tree Farms and Lots in Columbus
- Christmas Theater and Concerts in Columbus
- Photos with Santa
- Locations of Mailboxes for Letters to Santa
- Community Tree Lightings and Holiday Celebrations in Columbus
- Holiday Train Rides in Ohio: Santa Trains and Polar Express
- Free and Cheap Activities for Winter Break in Columbus
- Columbus Happy Hours
[…] This great tradition is unlike any other in Central Ohio. 34 Chinese lantern displays transform the Columbus Expo Center. In addition to its jaw-dropping outdoor visuals, the festivals hosts regular performances in the Donahey Ag/Hort Building. For more information on pricing and times, read here. […]