Hartford Water Lantern Festival – A Lighting Event to See


Scroll down to view pricing

Festival highlights

Welcome to the Hartford Water Lantern Festival – a spectacular lighting event that celebrates the spirit of community, love, and hope. Join us for an unforgettable experience of illumination and togetherness.

hartford water lantern main

About the Hartford Water Lantern Festival

The Hartford Water Lantern Festival stands as a beacon of joy and unity, inviting all to partake in an evening brimming with enchantment. It’s a festival that celebrates the essence of community, hope, and affection, drawing families and friends together under the canopy of a starlit sky. The atmosphere in this unmissable event buzzes with anticipation as participants engage in crafting their own lanterns, their laughter mingling with the strains of live music.

As dusk falls, the event transforms into a mesmerizing festival of lights. Lanterns, each carrying a whisper of wishes and dreams, begin their dance on the water’s surface. This moment, where the water becomes a mirror to the heavens above, is the highlight of the night.

The Hartford Water Lantern Festival is more than just an event; it’s a memorable journey. It’s an opportunity to create lasting memories while surrounded by the glow of lanterns and the melody of life. The festival’s magic lies in its simplicity—celebrating the spirit of hope, love, and togetherness, all floating on a gentle water, lighting up the night.

Festival Dates (2024)

The Hartford Water Lantern Festival will illuminate the evening on September 7, 2024. This one-night spectacle promises an unforgettable experience filled with light, fun, and warmth. It’s a not-to-be-missed celebration, setting the stage for an extraordinary night of connection and reflection.

As summer wanes, the lantern festival offers a perfect way to embrace the changing seasons. The event begins at dusk, allowing attendees to bask in the serene beauty of lanterns adrift. Visit Newington, Connecticut, for a night where light and water merge in a breathtaking display.

hartford water lantern 1
An image inspired by the Hartford Water Lantern Festival

Where It’s Located and How to Get There

The Hartford Water Lantern Festival is set to enchant at Mill Pond Park, located at 123 Garfield Street, Newington, Connecticut 06111, United States. This picturesque venue, with its tranquil waters and lush surroundings, provides the perfect backdrop for the festival’s magical evening. Mill Pond Park’s natural beauty enhances the ethereal experience of the lanterns’ glow, creating a mesmerizing setting for attendees.

Mill Pond Park is conveniently situated approximately 15 miles from Bradley International Airport, making it easily accessible for those traveling from afar. 

For visitors arriving by air, there are several transportation options available:

  • Taxi Service: Readily available outside the airport, providing direct and comfortable travel to Mill Pond Park.
  • Ride-Sharing: Services like Uber and Lyft offer convenient and user-friendly options for getting to the festival.
  • Car Rentals: Located at the airport, allowing for more flexible travel plans during your stay.

For those journeying to the festival from other cities by train, here’s a detailed guideline:

  • Arrive at Hartford Union Station: This is the main train station serving Hartford and the surrounding areas.
  • Public Transit: From Hartford Union Station, take the CTtransit bus service towards Newington. The closest bus stop is near Mill Pond Park.
  • Taxi or Ride-Sharing: Alternatively, a taxi or a ride-sharing service can provide direct access to Mill Pond Park from the train station.
  • Biking or Walking: For the more adventurous, consider biking or walking from the station to the park, enjoying the scenic route.

If you liked this festival, you might want to check these other breathtaking lantern festivals as well:

Full Moon Lantern Festival

Water Lantern Festival Utah

Festival Hours

The Hartford Water Lantern Festival invites you to an evening of luminous charm from 4:30 PM to 8:30 PM. As the gates swing open at 4:30, guests are welcomed into a world where food trucks serve up delectable treats, music fills the air, and fun activities abound. This immersive experience offers something for everyone, setting the stage for a memorable night.

The highlight of the evening begins at 7:00 PM, when attendees are invited to design their own lanterns, adding a personal touch to the festival of lights. As the clock strikes 7:30, the lantern launch commences, transforming the water into a glowing tapestry until the event’s close at 8:30 PM. This magical hour is a time for reflection, connection, and awe, marking the perfect end to an enchanting evening.

hartford water lantern 2
An image inspired by the breathtaking Hartford Water Lantern Festival

How Much Does It Cost to See the Hartford Water Lantern Festival

Experience the magic of the Hartford Water Lantern Festival with tickets tailored for every attendee. Adult tickets start at $35.99 for early birds booking by August 30, 2024, offering an affordable gateway to a night of wonder. Prices escalate to $45.99 for those purchasing late until September 6, and to $55.99 for day-of purchases on September 7, encouraging early reservations.

Special rates are available for younger guests, with youth tickets priced at $12.45 for ages 8 to 14. Children under 7 can join the festivities free of charge, making it an inclusive event for families, although the complimentary tickets do not include a lantern kit. This pricing structure ensures that the festival is accessible to all, promising a community-centric celebration under the stars.

Weather and What to Wear

The Hartford Water Lantern Festival in Newington, Connecticut, enjoys the mild and inviting weather typical of early September. During this time, attendees can expect daytime temperatures to hover around the mid-70s°F (around 24°C), with evenings cooling down to the lower 60s°F (around 16°C). 

This comfortable climate provides the perfect backdrop for the festival’s evening activities, allowing guests to fully immerse themselves in the experience without the discomfort of extreme temperatures.

For a comfortable festival experience, visitors are recommended to dress accordingly:

  • Light Layers: A breathable long-sleeve shirt paired with a light jacket or sweater allows for adaptability to the evening’s cooler temperatures.
  • Comfortable Footwear: Opt for shoes suitable for walking and standing, as you’ll likely explore various parts of the festival.
  • Water-Resistant Clothing: A light rain jacket or poncho can come in handy, ensuring that a surprise drizzle doesn’t dampen the spirit of the festival.
  • Accessories: Consider bringing a hat or a scarf for added warmth as the evening progresses, and don’t forget a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the event.

Where to Sleep – Hotels Nearby

For those attending the Hartford Water Lantern Festival and looking for comfortable accommodations nearby, here’s a selection of hotels to ensure a restful stay:

Courtyard by Marriott Hartford Cromwell:

  • Location: 4 Sebethe Dr, Cromwell, CT 06416, United States
  • Description: This 3-star hotel offers a comfortable and convenient stay with modern amenities and easy access to the surrounding areas of Hartford and Newington.
  • Amenities:
    • Indoor pool for year-round relaxation and leisure
    • Complimentary Wi-Fi to keep you connected during your stay
    • On-site restaurant serving a variety of delicious meals and beverages

Courtyard by Marriott Hartford Farmington:

  • Location: 1583 SE Rd, Farmington, CT 06032, United States
  • Description: This 3-star hotel blends comfort with sophistication, perfect for those seeking a bit more luxury.
  • Amenities:
    • Indoor pool for a leisurely swim
    • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
    • On-site restaurant serving delicious meals
    • Bar for evening relaxation

Red Roof Inn Hartford – New Britain:

  • Location: 65 Columbus Blvd, New Britain, CT 06051, United States
  • Description: A budget-friendly 2-star hotel that doesn’t compromise on essential amenities.
  • Amenities:
    • Free Wi-Fi to keep you connected
    • Pet-friendly, so your furry friends are welcome
    • Complimentary parking for guests
    • Fitness center for staying active

Where to Eat – Restaurants Nearby

Discover the flavors of Newington with these dining options, perfect for refueling after a day at the Hartford Water Lantern Festival:

Puerto Vallarta Newington:

  • Location: 2385 Berlin Turnpike, Newington, CT 06111, United States
  • Description: A vibrant Mexican restaurant known for its lively atmosphere and authentic flavors.
  • Foods Served:
    • Happy hour specials and vegan dishes
    • Signature dishes include classic burritos, rice with chicken, and Mexican shrimp

Wood-n-Tap – Newington:

  • Location: 3375 Berlin Turnpike, Newington, CT 06111, United States
  • Description: A spacious, family-friendly spot offering a selection of craft beers, American comfort food, and sports broadcasting.
  • Foods Served:
    • Bourbon salmon for a touch of sophistication
    • Tender beef short rib, slow-cooked to perfection
    • Classic French onion soup, a hearty starter

Chili’s Grill & Bar:

  • Location: 3017 Berlin Turnpike and Pascone Pl, Newington, CT 06111, United States
  • Description: This family-friendly chain is known for its classic Tex-Mex and American dishes served in a cozy Southwestern-style atmosphere.
  • Foods Served:
    • Brisket quesadillas, a smoky and savory treat
    • Classic nachos, piled high with toppings
    • Boneless wings, available in a variety of flavors

More Things to Do In the Area

Explore beyond the Hartford Water Lantern Festival with these additional attractions in Newington, offering a glimpse into the area’s natural beauty and rich history:

Mill Pond Park:

  • Location: 123 Garfield St, Newington, CT 06111, United States (also the festival’s location)
  • Description: Mill Pond Park is not just the venue for the lantern festival; it’s a year-round destination with sprawling green spaces, walking trails, and recreational facilities.
  • Activities to Explore:
    • Enjoy scenic walks around the pond
    • Picnicking in designated areas
    • Utilize the sports courts and playgrounds for leisure

Kellogg-Eddy House & Museum:

  • Location: 679 Willard Ave, Newington, CT 06111, United States
  • Description: This historic house offers a window into the 18th-century lifestyle, showcasing period furnishings and artifacts.
  • Activities to Explore:
    • Guided tours of the house and grounds
    • Educational programs about local history
    • Special events and exhibitions

Kelsey House:

  • Location: 1702 Main St, Newington, CT 06111, United States
  • Description: The Enoch Kelsey House is a well-preserved historic house museum, offering insights into colonial architecture and early American life.
  • Activities to Explore:
    • Explore the historic architecture and interiors
    • Learn about the daily life of early Newington settlers
    • Participate in historical reenactments and demonstrations

An Illuminating Conclusion: Wrapping Up Your Unforgettable Experience at the Hartford Water Lantern Festival

The Hartford Water Lantern Festival in Newington, Connecticut, offers a unique blend of cultural celebration, communal joy, and serene beauty. Set against the picturesque backdrop of Mill Pond Park, this event invites participants to reflect, connect, and create lasting memories under the glow of lantern-lit waters. 

With a variety of activities, from lantern designing to enjoying live music and food, there’s something for everyone. Don’t miss this enchanting evening, where light and water come together in a spectacular display of unity and hope.


Is there parking available at the Hartford Water Lantern Festival?

Yes, parking is available at Mill Pond Park for festival attendees. However, spaces may be limited, so it’s advisable to arrive early or consider alternative transportation options.

Can I bring my own lantern to the festival?

While personal lanterns add to the experience, the festival provides specially designed lanterns that are included with your ticket purchase to ensure safety and environmental compliance.

Is the Hartford Water Lantern Festival pet-friendly?

Yes, the festival welcomes pets, but they must be kept on a leash at all times. Please be considerate of other guests and clean up after your pet.

Are there any food options available at the festival?

Yes, the festival features a variety of food trucks offering a range of culinary delights. Visitors can enjoy a selection of local and international cuisines.

Is smoking allowed at the festival?

Smoking, including e-cigarettes, is not permitted within the festival grounds to ensure a comfortable and safe environment for all attendees.

What should I do if it rains on the day of the festival?

The Hartford Water Lantern Festival is a rain-or-shine event. In case of inclement weather, check the festival’s official website or social media channels for updates and potential safety instructions.

Are there restroom facilities available at the festival?

Yes, there are restroom facilities available on-site for festival attendees’ convenience. These are typically located near the main event areas.

Can I bring my own food and drinks to the festival?

Guests are welcome to bring their own food and non-alcoholic beverages to the festival. However, glass containers and alcohol are strictly prohibited to ensure safety and compliance with local regulations.

hartford water lantern 3
An image inspired from the Hartford Water Lantern Festival




Recently Added Lights Festivals

Lights Festival Las Vegas

Lights Festival Las Vegas

Las Vegas is considered to be the Entertainment Capital of the World. One of the entertaining things you can do in Las Vegas is to witness the Christmas light show.

Read More »
Skip to content