Quirky Ohio: Chinese Lantern Festival

Welcome to #QuirkyOhio, our 2017 blog series highlighting Ohio's odd, unusual and downright wacky experiences, places and events. Follow along as we wind down the year by profiling some of the quirkiest parts of the state! A giant glowing cabbage, a tunnel of bright fish and an enormous, elaborate glowing display of rainbow phoenixes are just a few of the gorgeous and quirky displays you can peep at the traveling spectacle known as the Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival.

Located at the Ohio Expo Center from now through early January, the Chinese Lantern Festival is a treat for central Ohio residents who can once again take in this cultural nighttime phenomenon. It is at points beautiful, cute, bizarre and odd - and definitely worth a visit!

If you go Dates: November 17, 2017 – January 7, 2018Time: Nightly 5:30 – 10 p.m.Tickets: You may either buy tickets in advance online or at the entrance. To avoid ticket lines on more crowded days, it’s recommended to purchase tickets in advance but it is not required. Adults are $15, seniors are $12 and children are $10.Location: Ohio Expo Center & State Fairgrounds

In addition to walking a path filled with hundreds of beautiful glowing lanterns, visitors can also purchase Chinese cultural gifts and items, American and Chinese snacks and food, and an assortment of hot and cold beverages.

There are also cultural performances, including Chinese dancing, but we did not stay for these so I can’t comment on them. Crowds can be intense at times – especially toward the end of the exhibition – so come early for your best chance at walking through without battling long lines.

We loved this exhibit last year, and I was so glad when they announced they were coming back. Photos don’t quite do it justice – and there’s something magical about going for a nighttime walk in chilly weather. Just bundle up and dress warm – and maybe you’ll even be lucky enough to get a sprinkle of snow while you’re visiting!Have you visited the Chinese Lantern Festival? What other quirky spots in Ohio should we visit in the last month of 2017? We look forward to your suggestions below or over on Facebook.