If there’s one activity to put on your must-do list sometime over the next week and a half, it’s The REACH Winter Lanterns at the Kennedy Center. In celebration of the Lunar New Year, the grounds overlooking the Potomac will glow with beautiful illuminations — around 100 lanterns, all of them crafted by Chinese artisans, made up of 10,000 LED lights. It’s breathtaking and delightful all at once, with luminescent scenes of cute, dazzling creatures and pretty flora. And it’s all free for the public to enjoy.
Stroll along the paths to view the Coral Reef, Panda Grove, Mushroom Forest, Flower Path, Butterfly Garden, and Flamingo Lagoon, all of them featuring a variety of animal and plant shaped lanterns.
And on select dates, Winter Lanterns Plus will offer extra activities. Featuring China from Thursday – Sunday, January 27-30, guests can take photos with Tiger and Panda characters, write letters to the National Zoo’s pandas, make wishes for 2022, and enjoy refreshments. And February 3-6 will have Korea-inspired activities, including photo ops with Korean mascots, a traditional costume display, and wish-making for 2022. Freebies and refreshments for sale will be available both weekends, too. There are tables on the Plaza with heat lamps, where you can enjoy them.
The closest, most convenient parking is in the Kennedy Center garage — it’s a flat rate of $25. There is also parking at the Watergate garage, which is just across the street, for about $15/two hours. There is street parking nearby, but it’s always tough to get a spot in that area. (And when you consider the event is free, paying a bit for parking isn’t so bad.) The closest Metro station is Foggy Bottom on the Orange/Blue line.
Make a plan to go, and in the meantime, view more scenes from the fantastic exhibition!
The REACH Winter Lanterns
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom DC
When: January 27 – February 6, 5:30-9:30pm