NC Chinese Lantern Festival

NC Chinese Lantern Festival

North Carolina's Premier Holiday Event Returns to Koka Booth Amphitheatre in November for a 5th Year!

The event will run seven weeks from November 19, 2021, to January 9, 2022, featuring all new displays and enhanced programming!

Any Night Tickets

This Any Night Ticket offers flexibility.

  • Want to give tickets as a gift?
  • Not sure when family will be in town or what your schedule looks like, then this is the ticket for you!
  • Any Night tickets are $25.00 each for ages 3 & older. Kids 2 & under are Free and do not need a ticket.


Twilight Ticket Experience

Twilight Tickets will be offered Thursday-Sunday evenings only beginning at 4:30 p.m.

  • Enjoy the lanterns during the “Golden Hour”, which is 90 minutes prior to opening.
  • This ticket allows you early entry and reduced crowds as you witness the lanterns come to life in the night sky.
  • This opportunity is perfect for those that want a little extra time and more room to move around. The TWILIGHT TICKETS present the perfect backdrop for memory-making photos!


VIP (Very Important Panda) Tours

Reservations are required for VIP Tours as we will limit crowds. Tours will begin at 4:30 p.m. and take place Monday-Wednesday only.

  • For approximately 45 minutes an event Tour Guide will walk you through the festival and share insider information on how this magnificent festival comes to be each season.
  • Learn more about the tiny village where the lanterns are handmade and the rich history and meaning of Lantern Festivals throughout China.


Date Specific Tickets

Date Specific tickets allow you to pick a specific date you want to attend the festival.


Groups of 20 or More

Group rates are for Date Specific tickets only.

  • You must have 20 or more to qualify as a group.
  • Group discounts are offered Sunday – Thursday. 
  • NO discounts will be offered during the blackout period from December 18th, 2021 - January 1st, 2022.

On sale now! Inquiries please email 

Light Up Your Learning

Looking for a fun way to keep students learning? Check out our free NC Chinese Lantern Festival Lesson Plans. From the history of the festival to how these sculptures are crafted, we have four days of lessons and activities created and ready to go for your students grades K-5. Download today!

Face Coverings

Koka Booth Amphitheatre continues to make the safety of our guests and staff our highest priority.  We continuously monitor and update our protocols based on federal, state, and local guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19.  We also take into consideration the safety protocols and procedures requested by our visiting artists, promoters, and crews.   

Masks are not currently required in outdoor settings in Cary but are strongly encouraged in situations where social distancing is difficult to maintain.  Masks will be required when visiting the restroom facilities on-site, in accordance with local mandates for masking in indoor or enclosed spaces, so please bring your masks.    


Clear Bag Policy

Koka Booth Amphitheatre has enhanced its public safety policy to include a clear bag policy. Clear bags are easily searched and significantly reduce faulty bag searches. They also support the Department of Homeland Security's "If You See Something, Say Something" campaign. Our goal is to create a safe experience for all guests and staff.



Re-Entry is not allowed for this event. 


Children 2 & under are free for this event.

Tips on planning your visit

  • We strongly encourage purchasing tickets before the night you choose to attend. 
  • Lines & wait times may be longer to purchase tickets & to enter the festival on Weekends, Holidays & warm weather nights.
  • Please pack as light as possible when attending the festival. 
  • Please review the items allowed & prohibited items prior to your visit. 
  • Patrons will be walking through the venue to observe the light displays, however, there will be limited seating on the crescent deck for those who want to relax and take in the view!
  • Venue food & beverage stands will be open selling holiday treats. 
  • Food Trucks will be on-site Friday & Saturday only.
  • It takes most guests about 45-75 minutes to view all the display

Food & Beverage Policy

For this event, guests are NOT allowed to bring in outside food & beverages (Except factory-sealed bottled water). 

Concessions will be open selling a variety of food and beverages during each event.  

Check back in November for menu offerings.


Items Allowed

To expedite entry into the festival, we recommend packing as light as possible. 

We recommend no bags. However, if bags must be brought in:

  • Please review our Clear Bag Policy listed under "Venue Policies".
  • Clear bags no larger than 12"x12"x9"
  • Small purses or clutches no larger than 4.5" x 6.5" 
  • Parenting bags, Medical Bags, and Camera bags are allowed. 
    • All bags are subject to search.

The Following Items are allowed:

  • Factory sealed bottles of water (2 per person) 
    • No glass/cans/flavored water  
  • Cameras, tripods & selfie sticks
  • Raincoats
  • Ponchos
  • Strollers
  • Scooters & Wheelchairs

Prohibited Items

Prohibited items MUST be returned to the guest's vehicle before entering.  

Please leave the following items at home: 

  • Balloons, Banners & Signs
  • Bikes/skateboards/Inline Skates
  • Blankets, Towels, Mats of any kind or Size
  • Brochures/Stickers/Handouts
  • Carts/Wagons
  • Confetti/Glitter
  • Coolers
  • Drones
  • Fireworks/Sparklers of any kind
  • Food & Beverages
  • Grills & Open Flames (inside or outside the venue)
  • Hula Hoops
  • Illegal Drugs
  • Laser Pointers
  • Lawn Chairs (Chairs of any kind)
  • Pets of any kind (Unless it’s a Service Animal)
  • Reusable Water Bottles (Water fill station will be closed for the winter)
  • Sporting Equipment
  • Tarps & Plastic sheeting
  • Tents/Staking
  • Wagons/Carts
  • Weapons of Any Kind (Include but not limited to knives, guns, tasers, chains, studded/spiked jewelry)


GENERAL PARKING: Parking is free of charge in Amphitheatre-owned lots. 

ACCESSIBLE PARKING: A limited number of accessible parking spaces are available on a first-come-first-served basis with the proper hang tag or license plate.

BUSES: Please contact us at 919-462-2025 ahead of time if your group is arriving on a bus of any size.  We need to be able to plan to accommodate bus drop off, pick-ups & parking if needed.


We are unable to provide wheelchairs for patron use. You may bring in your own wheelchair or scooter to the event. Venue walkways are paved and are wheelchair accessible.

Weather Policy

This event will go on Rain or Shine HOWEVER please visit our website, social media, or call our weather hotline 919-459-8332 in the case of extreme weather conditions and/or slippery road/surface conditions.

Patron safety is our top priority. In the best interest of our guests, we may decide to close on nights we feel walking conditions are unsafe.