A Friday night out at the Los Angeles Arboretum is definitely on the to do list this season; especially while you can catch a glimpse of the Magical Lantern Art Festival currently on display until January 12th. Arriving early is ideal, there is free parking, and there’s a flock of very vocal live peacocks enjoying the views. That view specifically is of the 33 foot peacock one sees immediately walking into the garden; the most worked on lantern taking 100 hours of craftsmanship (Note: There are 60 displays of larger-than-life lantern art handcrafted by artisans from Tianyu Arts & Culture, Inc.).
With knowing there is so much to see, I hurry passed a projected koi fish pond while music plays, and further back in the darkness red lanterns become visible. There is a beautiful monkey lantern, and as I head down to explore the depths of this magic forest, I pass through individually decorated lanterns devoted to the animals on the Chinese Calendar. Instinctively I have to take a selfie with the ox!
The rest of the night opens my eyes as I travel under tunnels that glow accompanied by music that transfers guests into new worlds. There are children enjoying the displays as they are set up for guests to interact with, admire, and for the sole purpose of capturing beautiful photos! The Magical Forest really embarks its name, immediately as one walks through the twinkling neon stars, butterflies, and flowers; one feels like a wide eyed child on Christmas morning.
Thank you to the maintenance for keeping the lights sparkling bright throughout the night, and the friendly staff who helped organize the Moonlight Forest. A special thanks is given to Richard Schulof, former CEO of the L.A. Arboretum who had previously traveled to North Carolina, and Virginia to see this spectacular art display- only to return, and share the beautiful Chinese culture back here in Southern California.
Do not miss the chance to interact with eye opening art in the outdoors, and to capture quite a few astonishing photos! Bring the kids, hang out with friends, plan a date night, or even come alone like me, and just lose yourself in the magical beauty of this newer, and very unique experience!
For more information on The Magical Lantern Art Festival, please visit: www.arboretum.org