UPDATED on 11/27/2020:
With Centennial Olympic Park still closed indefinitely, it looks like there will NOT be a Chinese Lantern Festival in 2020.
Check out our huge list of places to see Christmas lights, including neighborhoods, private homes, parks, and attractions.
Want to re-live last year’s wonderful festival?
Check out our photo album on Facebook!
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The content below the line is from 2019.
Atlanta’s Chinese Lantern Festival is a different take on a holiday light display. It’s back for 2019 at Centennial Olympic Park, running from November 22, 2019 through January 5, 2020.
An all-new theme is Into the Wild, depicted in 25 large glowing lanterns that represent both sea and land animals — with a focus on endangered species. The lanterns were constructed by artisans in China, and they are AMAZING!
You can see an album of photos we took ourselves on our Facebook page.
Festival hours, ticket prices, and a Groupon deal are below.
The Chinese Lantern Festival is open on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, according to the online calendar.
New to the Festival this year are interactive lanterns that you can touch and experience up close. Play alongside these larger-than-life illuminated lanterns as part of your holiday fun. You’re invited to walk into the belly of a giant whale or stroll across a series of sand-dollar stepping stones that change color as land on each one. (See the photos, below!)
The Festival also features several food trucks, including traditional Chinese dumplings, gyros, chicken, funnel cakes, hot chocolate, and more. There is a bar (spirits only, no beer or wine).
Live performances at 7 p.m., 8 p.m., and 9 p.m. at the Centennial Park amphitheater showcase traditional Chinese dancers and acrobats.
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In addition to the lantern display, you’ll find merchandise booths with Asian-inspired gifts and authentic Asian food. Performances inside the festival include acrobats, dancers, and theatrical events.
The festival takes place at the Southern Company Amphitheater.
The entrance is at near the intersection of Marietta Street and Centennial Olympic Park Dr.
The Festival is open on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, according to the online calendar.
Festival Operating Hours:
- Sunday thru Thursday — 6:00pm to 10:00pm
- Friday and Saturday — 6:00pm to 11:00pm
Ticket info and prices
There is an onsite ticket booth, but you can avoid long lines by purchasing tickets in advance, through Freshtix.
The box office is located at the corner of Centennial Olympic Park Drive and Marietta St.
UPDATE: as of 11/27/19, the online prices were dropped by a dollar to help encourage folks to buy in advance. The new price info has been listed below.
For online tickets, click here — then click on your chosen calendar date.
- Adult admission: $17 (online fee adds $2.39)
- Children age 3 to 12: $13 (online fee adds $2.19)
- Children under 2 and under are free
The festival appears to be open daily — including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day — as there are tickets available for those dates.
Visit the Facebook event page.
The Groupon combo deal with Skyview ATL
Want to take in the views from the top of the city before you enjoy the Lantern Festival?
There’s a Groupon for that!
The Groupon deal is for a combo admission to the Skyview giant Ferris wheel at Centennial Park AND the Lantern Festival. You can also attend Christkindl Market, but that’s always free.
The combo ticket, with Groupon, costs $27. (At regular price, the combo would be $34)
NOTE: When you buy the combo deal, you have to visit Skyview first, to pick up your festival ticket.
Remember, Groupon adds no fees. And you can get up to 8% cashback from Rakuten (formerly Ebates) if you sign up and start a shopping session before you purchase your Groupon.
Cross-promotion with the College Football Hall of Fame
This deal is good through Tuesday, December 31st.
If you’re visiting the Chinese Lantern Festival at Centennial Olympic Park, you’ll be less than a block away from the College Football Hall of Fame. Why not visit the Hall by day, then head over to the festival after dark?
When you show your admission receipt from the Hall of Fame at the Lantern Festival’s box office, you’ll receive a special discounted admission price of $14.
And if you’ve already been to the Chinese Lantern Festival and kept your ticket, you can present it on a later date at the Hall of Fame’s box office to receive 20% off regular price admission.
Remember, this is only valid through New Year’s Eve. Details here.
Double your fun: Check out the Christkindl Market
The Chinese Lantern Festival and Atlanta Christkindl Market together make up an experience being billed as Centennial Park’s International Winter Wonderland. The Christkindl Market is a celebration of German culture — it reproduces a traditional German Christmas market.
The Christkindl Market is FREE to attend. Just bring your wallet for food and shopping.
More info on the Christkindl Market.
Getting there on MARTA
Riding a MARTA train to Centennial Olympic Park is the simplest option. No matter where you live, you can get there without transferring trains, because the park is right on both the North-South (red/gold) Line and the East-West (blue/green) Line.
If you’re taking the Red or Gold line downtown, get off at Peachtree Center Station.
If you’re taking the Blue or Green line downtown, get off at Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) Station.
Both of these rail stations are less than a 10-minute walk from Centennial Olympic Park.
The Atlanta Streetcar also stops next to the park.
We recommend the MARTA on the Go app, because you can view timetables for the trains.
Peachtree Center Station directions
- After getting off the train, follow signs to the John Portman exit (opposite end from the Ellis St. exit)
- Exit the fare gates and look for the Peachtree Street West escalator.
- At street level, turn right on Peachtree Street.
- At the first intersection turn right again (west) to walk down Andrew Young International Blvd. to reach the center of the park near the fountains (see map).
GWCC Station directions
- Follow the signs pointing to State Farm Arena to exit the station.
- Go up the tall escalators and turn right at street level for stairs up to Centennial Olympic Park Drive. (Or turn left for a ramp).
- Walk down Centennial Olympic Park Drive to reach the park (about a block away). State Farm Arena will be on your left.
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