The Art of Lights is a new Chinese-style lantern festival at the Cloverdale fairgrounds in Surrey from mid-December until February 10th 2019.
2019 Surrey Lantern Festival
The Art of Lights is an outdoor lantern festival featuring a large selection of Chinese lantern displays.
At the Surrey Lantern Festival there is a scaled replica of Beijing’s famous “Temple of Heaven.” There is also an “Under Sea World” and a “‘Living Dinosaur Kingdom.”
From the pictures we’ve seen it looks impressive.
When and Where
The Art of Lights lantern festival takes place between 4:00 and 10:00 pm between December 14th 2018 and February 10th 2019. It’s held at the Cloverdale Millennium Amphitheatre Park in Surrey at 17726 62th Avenue.
For the first part of the season the event was open daily. As of mid-January 2019, however, it appears that the attraction is only open on weekends.
What to Expect
Expect to see a selection of bright and beautiful Chinese lantern displays at the festival. There are also a couple of food trucks and vendors.
The Surrey event is similar to Vancouver’s Chinese Lantern Festival from last year (which was going to return to the PNE from February to March in 2019, but has since been cancelled). It’s also similar in some ways to the Lanterns in the Garden event at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden from February 2018 too.
There are also similarities between the Art of Lights and Langley’s Glow Christmas event which ran until early January 2019 and is one of Metro Vancouver’s most popular Christmas attractions. Both have illuminated replicas of world-famous places, and both have glowing swings and cool lights to step on. The Surrey event is much more of a Chinese-style though, and Glow Christmas is all indoors.
If you have seen any or all of the above three other events, you’ll know more or less what to expect this winter at Surrey’s Cloverdale Millennium Amphitheatre Park.
Below are the prices for the Art of Lights event at the beginning of 2019.
- Adults (ages 13 to 64) – $22.95 in advance or $25 at the gate
- Seniors – $14.95 in advance or $16 at the gate
- Children (ages 3-12) – $14.95 in advance or $16 at the gate
Season passes are also available for $39.95 online in advance or $42 at the gate. Groups of 5 people get a special discount and can pay just $79.95 online or $83 at the gate.
(Note: For tickets purchased online there are additional service fees.)
UPDATE: As of mid-January 2019 admission prices have been discounted. Adults are $17.99, seniors and kids are $7.99, and groups of four are $47.99.
Reviews and Visitor Comments
We at Vancouver’s Best Places have not yet been to the Art of Lights event. (We’re still waiting to hear back regarding our request for media access.) We have checked out the online reviews for the event though and see that they’ve gotten 2.3 out of 5 stars from Groupon customers (as of the second week of January 2019).
Art of Lights apparently had lots of challenges with their launch. It was supposed to open in the early fall but that got delayed and they didn’t finally open until the middle of December. We’re guessing problems related to that likely impacted their online ratings.
Comments from reviewers on Groupon include the following:
- “The light displays were neat to see up close and the kids really enjoyed the glow swings. I am glad that I was able to get a discounted ticket through Groupon” (4 stars – by Jeneen R.)
- “Amazing light displays” (5 stars by Carole B.)
- “Good family activity. They fixed the path issue with some path boards. Nice light displays and not super busy making it more enjoyable to see. I would recommend!” (4 stars by Cassie A. on December 31)
- “Display is bit sparse and the lack of other vendors really took me back… I guess they did go through a lot!! When you visit you should expect more of art display than a festival! Really ideal for families with small children but equip yourselves with rain boots” (3 stars by Yuna C. on December 25)
- “The lanterns were nice but wish there was a bit more to look at and do” (2 stars by Laura F. on December 22)
- You’re done walking around in less than an hour” (3 stars by Ranjit O.)
Tips and Advice
Below are some tips and suggestions to help you make the most out of your Art of Lights experience.
TIP #1: The event has been offering discounted $15 admission tickets online. Hopefully they still are by the time you go. (Apparently there are only 200 offered per day.)
TIP #2: Dress warmly and wear boots or other good footwear. If it has been raining recently there might be puddles and muddy areas.
TIP #3: Parking at the venue is free.
TIP #4: Watch your step on the walkways.
Other articles you might be interested in include the following:
- Vancouver’s December, January and February Calendars
- Chinese New Year in the Lower Mainland
- Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival
- Vancouver Festivals and Events
- Vancouver Christmas Events & Attractions
- Vancouver for Children