Illuminate your weekend with a visit to China Lights at the Boerner Botanical Gardens.
Illuminate your weekend with a visit to China Lights at the Boerner Botanical Gardens.

3 tips for visiting China Lights at Boerner Botanical Gardens

Last weekend I, and seemingly half of Milwaukee headed to see the new China Lights exhibit at the Boerner Botanical Gardens. How could you not want to go after the amazing first look our Molly Snyder provided? 

Have you walked through #Chinalights at @friendsofboerner yet? #beautiful #lights #doit #milwaukee #mke

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It was a gorgeous twinkling night of lights – but a very, very crowded one. I wasn't the only who dealt with huge traffic back-ups, long ticket lines and crowded corners at the gardens. Many on social media talked about the hours they waited to get in with some noting that they never even got into the exhibit. 

But don't worry, Milwaukee – Milwaukee County Parks heard you loud and clear. 

I plan to go back this weekend to take my darling niece and nephew so, to properly prepare, I reached out to Ellen Hayward, president and CEO of Friends of Boerner Botanical Gardens, in hopes of learning a bit more about the changes being incorporated going forward. 

Here's a summary that should help make your visit that much more pleasurable:

1. Parking

Last weekend patrons were unable to park on the lawns due to heavy rain. This weekend the lawns should be open again. However, 92nd Street (the main entrance road) can be slow going. Enter the park off West Forest Home Avenue at Lilac Lane instead. If you're willing to walk a bit, there's street parking around there, too,

2. Take a shuttle

For this weekend, shuttles are now running every 30 minutes from Whitnall Park golf course and additional shuttles have been added. I would try and get to the parking lots here from south of the park. Take one! 

3. Pre-purchase your tickets

Ticket lines can be extremely long. To expedite the process you can order your tickets online (including from your phone) or at any ticket office for China Lights. See the full list of ticket buying locations here. Bobby Tanzilo did this when he visited last weekend and said the process was quick and easy and once completed, he walked right in.

These tips should help you enjoy an illuminated visit to the biggest show that Boerner Botanical Gardens has ever hosted as well as celebrate Asian culture.

See you there! 

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