Put the North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival on your calendar if you are planning a trip to the Triangle area soon. Thousands of lights and lanterns illuminate the night sky during this festival. This year I was really excited to visit the festival with my significant other and friends.

The lanterns shine brightly in Cary, North Carolina, for the sixth time this year. The festival takes place at the Koka Booth Amphitheater beginning on Friday and running until January 9, 2022. Visitors can expect to come from across the state to see the glowing pieces of art, according to Visit Raleigh. The 36 displays include 2,500 lanterns and more than 15,000 LED lights, including the spectacular Chinese Dragon.

Our visit was fairly crowded, though not overly so. The weather was decent, so it wasn’t as freezing as when we went in 2019. Check out that visit here. You can get some hot chocolate (spiked or not) at concessions before you walk around if you love it. We did and it was even more magical.

In addition to the kaleidoscope you can step inside, there is a lotus garden, friendly killer whales, a cherry blossom forest where adorable pandas await you, and a magnificent peacock. My favorite was the giant crab. He was mechanical and watching his claws move was mesmerizing. If you want a sneak preview, check out my photos of my 2021 visit below.

Alexis Zarycki is your average girl with the hopes of leaving an everlasting impact on the world. Follow her on Instagram @official_lexpaige