LuminoCity Festival of Lights in New York!
LuminoCity Festival of Lights in New York, the holiday lights art park, shines a bright light on the celebratory season. This month-long, immersive wonderland of lights offers 16 acres of light and art installations. There’s also some holiday shopping, an outdoor mini play area, food vendors, and performances. It is a unique holiday lights spectacular that is sure to mesmerize kids of all ages.
Enter LuminoCity and take self-guided paths through the themed worlds of Winter Fantasy (an arctic wonderland), Wild Adventure (rainforests, jungles, and land before time), and Sweet Dream (holiday cheer, desserts, and daydreams). This visual spectacular features over 23 sets of larger than life light art displays created by Chinese light artisans. It is a feast for the eyes! There are interactive elements that kids of all ages will enjoy (like slides, a horse and carriage, and tunnels) and photo ops are even marked along the way. There are foot paths to walk on but you will want to veer off the path, so we recommend wearing snow boots or old sneakers since the grounds are quite muddy when exploring.
Prepare to feel transported to the themed worlds. Everyone around us seemed to be in awe of the massive bright and beautiful light displays. We started at the Winter Fantasy and wanted to move into the shimmery castle — it was our absolute favorite. It even had a slide for the kids to go down through the castle! We walked through an icicle tunnel and past a Pegasus, polar bears, penguins, snowflakes, frozen fun, and encountered a horse-drawn carriage. The kids hopped inside for the requisite photo opp and smiled from ear to ear.
The Sweet Dream was hands-down our favorite, sweet spot on the journey. There were larger than life lollipops to walk through, light up candy discs to jump on, a candy forest complete with a giant Christmas tree of sweets (the kids wished they could pick!), spinning candies and sweets, and even a delicious donut tunnel. The Wild Adventure was full of life-size dinosaurs, a majestic waterfall, wild animals, roaring dinos alongside a volcano, and even a T-Rex with a little dinosaur dangling out of its mouth. The T-Rex visual coupled with roaring sounds did intimidate some little ones but they forgot about it quickly once redirected.
We were told that families can follow along with Lumi, the magical lightbulb, as he takes you on his journey of light and love through the festival and kids can pick up a passport and collect all of Lumi’s stamps as you move through the festival for a special gift to take home. We didn’t see this or somehow missed it at the festival but it sounded like great fun!
Our visit to LuminoCity was on a Friday evening and we were informed that visitors started to line up at 3:00 pm for the 4:00 pm opening but that the best time to come is at 5:30 pm. They said the line moves very smoothly and it did for us. We spent a little more than an hour there; when we left around 7:00 pm a friend in line told us she had been waiting for an hour and it ultimately took nearly an hour and a half for entry. Since then, timed ticketed entry has been added but be prepared for general admission wait times. It can also be quite cold as the light displays are all outdoors, so bundle up accordingly. We wore layers, snow boots, and brought hand warmers (and hand warmers were for sale at the festival). For some, it may be worth investing in VIP tickets. VIPs have express check in to skip ahead of the general admission line, plus you get a free goodie bag with merch, a dino ride, and a drink and snack.
There’s also an indoor tent, Lumi’s Power Station, with a mini holiday market, entertainment, and options to eat, drink and shop. Food trucks are onsite but vary greatly by the day. LuminoCity is also offering themed nights and workshops that include custom lanterns, printmaking, bracelet weaving, figurine making, and more.
We loved the brilliant visuals and interactive components and felt it was an enchanting experience. It’s a wonderland of lights!
General Admission tickets cost $38 at the door and online with discounts for students, seniors, and children. There is a LuminoCity Shuttle from Manhattan and you can also access the festival via subway 456 to the M35 bus. There is also nearby parking if traveling by car.
For more information, visit luminocityfestival.com