Wildwood’s annual deep-winter festival celebrates the first full moon of the lunar new year. Held over three magical evenings, guests are transported to far away lands and times as they stroll through the beautifully lit pathways of Wildwood’s gardens. Cultural vistas feature live entertainment, food, drink, games and more throughout the Park’s Butler Arboretum and inside the Lucy Lockett Cabe Festival Theatre. Purchase your WildBucks at any of four locations inside the Park, and enjoy food and beverages at every vista; prices range from $1 to $8. (ATM available inside the Park.)
NEW SHUTTLE LOCATION IN 2017! Shuttles run beginning at 6 pm nightly until 30 minutes past the Festival’s closing. The festival closes at 10 pm on Friday & Saturday, 9 pm on Sunday. Shuttles will run to Wildwood Park for the Arts’ LANTERNS! Festival from Promenade at Chenal (located on Chenal Parkway between Rahling Road and St. Vincent Way). The shuttle stop will be located near Café Brunelle on the southwest side of the mall. Limited parking is also available at Wildwood.
Tickets to the event are available online: $10 for adults, $5 for children age 6 – 12, Admission to LANTERNS! is FREE for children 5 and younger. At noon on each day of the festival, admission for that evening will increase to $12 for adults and $7 for children. Tickets at the gate are $12 for adults and $7 for children. Admission to LANTERNS! for children 5 and younger is FREE.
If you choose to purchase your ticket at the gate, we recommend bringing cash to avoid credit card fees and ticket lines!
Please check back regularly for more LANTERNS! 2017 details!
Greeted by Canadian Mounties, you’ll enjoy Canadian Caraoke and authentic cuisine, from beaver tails to poutine to beverages sure to warm you up inside. While you’re here, be sure to purchase your floating luminary and launch your New Year’s wish across Swan Lake!
Vista Chairs: Kira & Bevan Keating, Bruce Rentz
Vista Volunteer Support: Praeclara & Friends
Our good friends from ACAA always host a lovely party in The Pavilion at Wildwood! From hand-painted fans and traditional demonstrations to authentic cuisine, you’re in for a treat as we celebrate Chinese traditions for the new lunar year. Happy Year of the Rooster!
Vista Chairs: American Chinese Association of Arkansas (ACAA)
Vista Volunteer Support: American Chinese Association of Arkansas
This “kids zone” sponsored by Arkansas Children’s Hospital, hosts the OBU Steel Band, pirates from Pirates of Penzance, moon-gazing with Central Arkansas Astronomical Society (CAAS), and stilt walkers from Arkansas Circus Arts. In addition to island food, the kids will enjoy hot dogs and popcorn.
Vista Volunteer Lead: David Kendrick
Vista Volunteer Support: Episcopal Collegiate School
Oo-la-la! Visit France inside the Lucy Lockett Cabe Festival Theatre for delicious crepes, French onion soup. Don’t forget to share some bubbly and chocolate with your sweetheart! Join us for some jazz piano, then pedal your way through the Tour de France and Monet’s garden on your way to the UK!
Vista Volunteer Lead: Melissa Thoma
You’re in for great entertainment at the UK pub with Kilbourn High Road, a piper or two, and more live entertainment in the Studios at Wildwood. Bangers & mash are on the menu, with delicious Loblolly ice cream to top it all off. The bard will be visiting to dash off a sonnet for you, and with a game of darts, you’re sure to hit your target for a great evening at LANTERNS!
Turkey legs anyone? Be sure and stop by the Old West town of Muscadine for some gold-digging and cornhole after a visit with the Arkansas Dutch Oven Society. Live music is sure to have you doing a jig or two!
Vista Volunteer Lead: Cindy McAfee
Arkansas Circus Arts and fire dancing bring The Moon to new heights this year! Enjoy an array of beverages and grab some snaps in the photo tent. Please note: some tables are reserved, but who wants to stay in one place when you have the whole world to explore?
Do you accept credit cards?
Credit cards are an acceptable form of payment, however, cash is the preferred method of payment for tickets and WILDBucks as it gets you through the gates and into the fun more quickly. Please be prepared to complete a short form and bring a photo id if paying with a credit card.
What do I receive for the price of admission?
Admission to the Park offers guests a full schedule of entertainment options. Food and souvenir items are available for purchase with WILDBucks.
What are WILDBucks?
WILDBucks are Wildwood’s in-park currency. Simply visit one of the 4 WILDBucks stations throughout the Park to exchange your cash or credit card information for WILDBucks. WILDBucks are the only form of payment accepted for food, beverages, and other souvenirs throughout LANTERNS!
One Dollar = One WILDBuck
As a general rule, WILDBucks cannot be refunded – but can be saved and used for purchases at next year’s LANTERNS! Festival.
What are the costs of food and drink in the Park?
Culinary items vary from 2-8 WILDBucks.
Is the festival outdoors?
Several vistas are outdoors and spaced throughout the Park’s arboretum, Asian Woodland Garden and green spaces. Other vistas are inside the Cabe Festival Theatre Complex.
Where is the festival?
Wildwood Park is located at 20919 Denny Road in west Little Rock. Wildwood has two entrances, both on Denny Road. The large main entrance is across from the green Wildwood Park sign at the Park’s main entrance. The smaller entrance is located east of the main entrance.
How does parking work?
Parking is available on Denny Road, across from Wildwood Park. No parking is available inside the gates of the Park on the nights of the festival. A great parking option is available by parking Promenade at Chenal and taking the LANTERNS! trolleys to the Park. Handicapped guests can be dropped off at the gates to the park.
Free shuttles run beginning at 6 pm nightly until 30 minutes past the Festival’s closing. The festival closes at 10 pm on Friday & Saturday, 9 pm on Sunday. Shuttles will run to Wildwood Park for the Arts’ LANTERNS! Festival from Promenade at Chenal (located on Chenal Parkway between Rahling Road and St. Vincent Way). The shuttle stop will be located near Café Brunelle on the southwest side of the mall.
Is there a release of lanterns?
LANTERNS! is anchored by Chinese traditions for celebrating the New Year and is held during the first full moon of the new lunar year. Purchase luminaries, make your wish, and launch them on the waters of Swan Lake.
What if the weather is bad?
We make every attempt to bring the festival to life outdoors, no matter the weather. If it is very cold, very wet, or very windy, we will move the festival inside the Cabe Theatre and celebrate indoors. Since we’ll hold the festival rain or shine, tickets are non-refundable.
What does the LANTERNS! Festival raise funds for?
All funds support the mission of Wildwood Park for the Arts, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, including youth music education, art exhibitions, the botanical gardens and other arts programming.
Will alcohol be served?
Yes. Most vistas serve alcoholic beverages. Every vista also serves non-alcoholic beverages. Caffeine-free options are also available throughout the Park.
What about special dietary needs?
We try to offer something for everyone!
Can I bring my pet?
Usually, we love to have pets visit Wildwood. For the LANTERNS! Festival, though, we ask that pets stay at home.