Each year, the night sky comes alive with the soft glow of thousands of lanterns at the Poconos Lantern Festival. It’s one of the most impressive events of the year, and for good reason. Unlike the annual lantern festivals that take place in many Asian countries, you don’t have to fly thousands of miles to enjoy the festivities! Everything you need to know about the Poconos Lantern Festival is right here.
Don’t miss out on the other fantastic events and festivals in the Poconos! Request access to our free Pocono Mountains Vacation Guide for instant access to top recommendations on what to do during your trip.
Everything You Need to Know About the Poconos Lantern Festival
The magical Poconos Lantern Festival is a touring lantern festival called Night Lights: Sky Lantern Festival. Truly an awe-inspiring experience, people who have gone in past years speak of the event with an air of wonder. There’s something indescribably beautiful about the sight of countless glowing lanterns floating into the air as they light the sky.
It creates an atmosphere that goes beyond the warm glow that the airborne lights emanate, something that is reflected by the stated mission and goal of the lantern festival. These are “to illuminate the human spirit,” and “to leave a positive impact.” It’s as if the steady smoldering warmth of the lantern light spreads outward and lights up more than the night sky.
What to Expect at the Lantern Festival
The Pocono Raceway hosts this spectacular event on a weekend in September each year, giving you two chances to experience the magic. Each day kicks off with a celebration with games, food, and live music. There’s also a stage show and other carnival-like activities. Upon entry, you will receive a lantern to light later.
As the sun begins to go down, grab a blanket or a chair, your lantern, and your camera, and get comfortable before the main event. About an hour after sunset, thousands of lanterns will gently rise into the dark sky, causing it to twinkle with an orange radiance. As the lanterns soar up, they give dimension to the incredible vastness of the sky. This marvelous spectacle is sure to take your breath away. The beauty of the sky can also be incredibly romantic making the event perfect for your couples getaway!
Things to Keep in Mind
All ages are welcome at the Poconos Lantern Festival, but you must be 13 or older to light a lantern. Kids six and under are free, and everyone else must have a ticket. Pets are not allowed due to safety concerns, though service animals are permitted.
Each ticket includes entry into the event, one biodegradable sky lantern, a lighter to light your lantern’s fuel cell, and a marker for crafting your message to the skies. A ticket is required for each person entering the event even if you don’t wish to launch a lantern.
Outside lanterns are not allowed because the lanterns you receive are specifically designed with safety and sustainability in mind. They’re 100 percent biodegradable and flame retardant.
Tickets for this extraordinary event tend to sell out, so be sure to get yours in advance!
Can’t get enough of the illuminated night sky at the Pocono Lantern Festival? Take in more incredible views of the night sky with stargazing in Pennsylvania!
Stay at Mountaintop Lodge at Lake Naomi
Mountaintop Lodge at Lake Naomi is the ideal place to mull over the enchanting evening. We’re less than 10 minutes from the Pocono Raceway, and our setting by the tranquil Lake Naomi amidst fragrant pine trees will sustain the quiet sense of awe you’ll feel after attending the Poconos Lantern Festival.
Adding our “I Love You” Every Day Of The Year Package to your stay, the perfect way to surprise that special person in your life and show just how much they mean to you! The two of you will be treated to a vase with a beautiful six rose floral arrangement; a bottle of chilled white wine, red wine, or sparkling cider; two souvenir Mountaintop Lodge ceramic coffee mugs; and gourmet truffles and chocolate-covered strawberries from a local chocolate shop. Head back home feeling refreshed and reconnected with your sweetheart.