If we had to pick a favorite neighborhood in New Orleans, of course it would be the French Quarter. We love being in the center of all the action and the historic feel of the Quarter’s vibrant architecture. With so much to do in the French Quarter, it’s easy to forget there are other ways to explore the city. China Lights, an exhibit coming to the City Park Botanical Garden in Mid-City is the perfect excuse to leave the French Quarter — the exhibit is on a world tour and features incredible lighted displays like a 192-foot-long dragon covered in silk. Just remember to come back for dinner and drinks at our favorite restaurant, Latitude 29!

A 192-foot dragon is part of the amazing China Lights exhibit in New Orleans. (Photo via remossi.nl)

A 192-foot dragon is part of the amazing China Lights exhibit in New Orleans. (Photo via remossi.nl)

China Lights at City Park: Get All the Details!


From Feb. 23 through May 1, 2016, China Lights takes over the City Park Botanical Garden. Because the displays are all lighted, the exhibit is available for viewing at night only, from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. (closed Mondays)


City Park Botanical Gardens


This incredible exhibit has toured the world, most recently making a stop in Rotterdam, Netherlands, before heading down South for its stint in New Orleans.


General admission tickets for China Lights are $18 for adults; $12 for children ages 3-12; and free for children younger than age 3

What You’ll See:

China Lights taps into China’s ancient history and traditions of bright colors, unique architecture, and silken objects. The huge structures were created by a team of 100 artisans and technicians who worked together to bring these lighted displays to life. At the outdoor exhibit, you’ll see displays like a four-story pagoda tower, a giant silk dragon, icons from the Chinese zodiac calendar (2016 is the year of the monkey!), and much more. Take note of the welcome gates as you enter the exhibit — they’re inspired by the ancient Tang Dynasty that ruled over China from 618 – 907 A.D.

How to Get There:

City Park is an easy streetcar ride away from our hotel. You’ll simply walk up to Canal Street and take the streetcar marked City Park/Museums – it’s $1.25 per ride, or you can buy an all-day Jazzy Pass for $3. The last stop drops you off in front of the New Orleans Museum of Art, and the China Lights exhibit is right next door.