In Arts & Entertainment

The Terracotta Warriors are in town and they're all aglow.

7 reasons not to miss the new China Lights at Boerner Botanical Gardens

China Lights is back and this time it brought backup.

For its fourth appearance at the Boerner Botanical Gardens in Whitnall Park, China Lights, which opened this weekend and runs until Oct. 20, features a regiment of the Terracotta Warriors, who stand proud behind their horses, glowing from inside.

The mostly new show, called "Treasures of China," 95 percent of which is new, has 41 illuminated lantern displays, which you can enjoy in daylight, but which really come alive under the stars.

And with each passing year, the organization of the event has improved, offering a variety of parking options, including free parking with a free shuttle that makes visiting easy.

Here are seven reasons why you won't want to miss China Lights' "Treasures of China" at the Boerner Botanical Gardens:

1. Well, the lanterns, of course

These glowing displays are evocative and colorful, playfully depicting animals even jellyfish! and Chinese-themed images, including a great one showing a Chinese meal with a rainbow of tea arching from pot to cup. The lights on the bog walk boardwalk are especially cool.

2. Two stages of evening entertainment

From dancers to acrobats to gymnasts and more, the entertainment on the stages is a big draw and much of it especially the jugglers and hand-standers will have you gaping in awe. There's also a parade daily at 6:15 p.m. at the Dragon Stage.

3. Not one, but three giant dragons

One of the returning favorites is the giant dragon, which is flanked by two smaller, but still impressive, colleagues.

4. Dinosaurs!

While there are some dino lanterns, the animatronic dinosaurs upon which children can perch for photos are not to be missed by families with little ones.

5. Pandas

Because, come on, is it China Lights without pandas? (Sorry, pandas are not real)

6. Food

Two food areas offer a variety of snacks and refreshments from stir-frys with lo-mein noodles, crab rangoon, egg rolls and the like, to pretzels, kettle corn and cheese curds.

7. Glow swings

Just outside the exit of the show you'll find a couple sets of glow swings. Go ahead, you know you wanna.

For information on tickets and hours, visit


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