HOLIDAYS: Astra Lumina light show coming to West Seattle

As we move into the season of long dark nights, we have news of a light show coming to West Seattle for the holiday season. The website for the Seattle Chinese Garden, which is on the north end of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus on Puget Ridge, points to the site for Astra Lumina, a traveling light show described as an hour-long “enchanted night walk” along a “celestial pathway of lustrous light, cosmic visions, and astral song” comprising a “multisensory immersive experience for all ages.” It’s been to 19 other places, including Los Angeles, for which this promotional clip was prepared:

This is expected to be a regional attraction, December 8-31, running Thursdays-Sundays, 5 pm-10 pm (Saturdays until 1 pm), then seven nights a week December 14-31. Admission, according to the Astra Lumina website, will be $41 for ages 13 and up, $35 seniors 65+, $31 kids 4-12, group discounts available, plus paid parking if you drive. Lots of info on this page (scroll down and you’ll find an FAQ link).

29 Replies to "HOLIDAYS: Astra Lumina light show coming to West Seattle"

  • Anna November 6, 2023 (12:07 pm)

    As much as I would love too, that is WAY out of reach for my family. Basically $200(!) bucks.

  • Jay November 6, 2023 (12:13 pm)

    Taking over a public park for a month for a show that only the most affluent among us can afford. Very tacky and disappointing to see from SCC and the Chinese Garden. We drive to Bellevue every year for the Garden D’Lights in the Botanical Garden. $8 per person 11 and up, $5 many nights. $82 for a couple, $113 for a couple with a 4 year old is just obnoxiously priced. And the free lot for the park will be converted to paid.

    • WSB November 6, 2023 (2:29 pm)

      The Garden is not a public park (though it’s open to the public most days), nor does South Seattle College operate it. From its FAQ page:

      Who owns the Seattle Chinese Garden?

      The Seattle Chinese Garden Society is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization responsible for the creation and operation of the Garden. Our mission to enrich the quality of life in the Pacific Northwest, by providing a beautiful “coming together space” in Sichuan style, will strengthen the region’s global community and citizenship.

      • Jay November 6, 2023 (2:56 pm)

        Not public in terms of ownership, but it is a public park. They get a tax break under the Open Space Taxation Act in exchange for operating it as a public park with cultural and public benefits, which marks down the taxes from their optimal use to zero. The people of Seattle pay their taxes in exchange for being able to use it as a public park. So it’s in a sort of dual-state where it is privately owned while also being a public park. I got this info from the KC parcel viewer, look at the fields “Present Use” and “Taxable Total.” They are allowed to run events like this, but I’m still not totally off-base calling it a tacky use of the space.

        • LostinMigration November 6, 2023 (4:29 pm)

          These type light shows in ‘nature,’ as well as the (popular) year-round twinkly white Christmas style lighting new to the Junction, the wild popularity of outdoor light displays from October to New Year and availability of inexpensive residential LED flood lights, all contribute to light pollution like never before.

          What’s a poor night bird to do?

          • Raye November 6, 2023 (5:15 pm)

            I watched about three minutes of the video experience, then I got bored. So, in addition to creating more light pollution, this fake “experience” looks boring and faux New Age. I don’t think I’d go even if it was free. To really appreciate the night sky, drive out to Rattlesnake Lake on a clear night. If you live in West Seattle, step outside; you can still see numerous REAL stars and planets, weather permitting.

        • Jethro Marx November 6, 2023 (8:27 pm)

          The garden benefits the community in many ways that justify reduced tax burden compared to “optimal use” which really means the use with the highest potential profit. This event may not be your cup of tea but acting like they are somehow stealing money from taxpayers is, in my opinion, very much the definition of totally off-base. Would you describe residents who are eligible for reduced taxation (or exemption from such burden) due to low levels of taxable income or some other situation as having “the people of Seattle pay their taxes”? I’m not affiliated with them but I do like the Lion Dances and diverse plants they bring to our part of Seattle.

          • Jay November 7, 2023 (9:51 am)

            You’re reading a lot into my comment that’s not there.

    • Mrs. Myrtle November 6, 2023 (7:46 pm)

      My family of 4 lives in West Seattle. We have never been to the Chinese gardens. We WILL be attending this because it seems like a fun family experience. Now 4 more people will have gone to the Chinese gardens that certainly wouldn’t have ever gone it for wasn’t for this event. 

  • Michael Waldo November 6, 2023 (12:24 pm)

    That seems like a hefty price to take a family.I wish them luck. I know I won’t pay $41.I can cruise around and see lovely Christmas displays all around for free.

  • Kyle November 6, 2023 (12:26 pm)

    Hard to tell on their website, is it free for under 4? Or under 4 not allowed?

  • sbre November 6, 2023 (1:22 pm)

    Here’s a link to a video of the experience to help decide if its worth the expense…

  • Erik November 6, 2023 (1:36 pm)

    Yea the price is definitely too high for me. Looks cool. I’d spend about $20 for an hour long experience though. I usually go to WildLanterns at the Zoo each year. It has way more than this one and it costs less.

  • Anne November 6, 2023 (2:03 pm)

    Costs more than Zoo Lights & Garden d’ Lights. But definitely unique-hope it does well.

  • Mike November 6, 2023 (2:22 pm)

    Too expensive.

  • jc November 6, 2023 (2:42 pm)

    Woah….that’s LA pricing!!

  • Steph November 6, 2023 (3:09 pm)

    I saw a similar exhibit at Descanso Gardens in LA last winter and it was incredible! So excited to have this in our own back yard!

    • Scarlett November 7, 2023 (12:15 pm)

      Have enjoyed the Descanso Gardens exhibit as well, especially the fireflies in the trees. 

  • Sillygoose November 6, 2023 (3:13 pm)

    We bought our tickets in September super excited to attend!!

  • Apotheosis November 6, 2023 (3:44 pm)

    Great to have something like this hosted in West Seattle – excited to check it out!

  • Neighbor Lady November 6, 2023 (4:47 pm)

    That price is a bit shocking ($41 per adult plus $16 for parking?!). Is this a fundraiser for something?

    • Maybee November 7, 2023 (1:44 am)

      Yes, this garden is always free. Depending what time you come, ssc has free street parking

  • KT November 6, 2023 (5:10 pm)

    The funds the nonprofit will receive from the vendor for using their site will bo doubt help this nonprofit maintain the garden and keep it open the rest of the year, for free, for all of us to continue to enjoy.  

  • Ron M November 6, 2023 (5:19 pm)

    Those are astronomical ticket prices for an hour long walk. I was excited for this but that’s just silly.

  • TMorgan November 6, 2023 (6:22 pm)

    I need to point out a very cool outcome for entry fee to this event: A permanent fifteen year in the works park with more trails to offer of high quality to enjoy and benefit from. Concerts, Festivals and Teaching programs also support the venue setting.The idea surprised me, too, with consideration of culture … please consider:As a volunteer, I do garden chores at The Chinese Garden. It’s a beautiful treasure of a Park…this is one part of six hundred acres of tradition forest of the Duwamish Watershed of West Seattle.  The technological additional garden features could be documented artfully.  Interactive cross generational and intercultural innovation. It’s cool to see the helpful trail work to allow for accessibility improvements.  It’s a great way to prove the river cleaning must be finished… for the fish efforts of the local youth communities.Thanks for considering visiting, or even volunteering, at the garden or any of our local parkways, or river clean up.  It’s a money and health cost saver – the Chinese Garden!!(I remember concerts for the same cost ratio at The Paramount Theatre…)

    • Craig November 7, 2023 (9:43 am)

      Thanks TM, for your volunteerism and for acknowledging the evolving treasure that is the Chinese Gardens.   Having walked through the gardens several times over the past few months, I’ve seen the new trails for this event expanded to the north into the undeveloped space overrun with blackberries.  Looking forward to  the event and to watching the long term plan come together! 

  • Tess Morgan November 6, 2023 (6:27 pm)

  • Eric November 6, 2023 (7:52 pm)

    This is gonna be amazing, almost already sold out so just don’t go if you don’t want to. Can’t wait. Not rich, make minimum wage but still better than any crappy movie that will be out in December.

  • Mariem November 6, 2023 (11:02 pm)

    Did I miss it- but how much will the 501c3 get from the proceeds? That’s a very important detail. Either way many people are unable to afford $30 pp.  

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