San Jose Water Lantern Festival – A Must-See Lighting Event

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Welcome to the San Jose Water Lantern Festival and join us as we explore an illuminating journey of peace, love, and harmony.

San Jose water lantern main
Festival highlights

About the San Jose Water Lantern Festival

The San Jose Water Lantern Festival is a mesmerizing gathering that draws thousands together in a celebration of life and light. It is a spectacular event that celebrates the spirit of community, love, peace, and hope, symbolized by a traditional water lantern.

Each lantern launched onto the water brings a warm glow, casting reflections that dance across the surface. The sight is a breathtaking vision, transforming the night into a canvas of moving light and emotion.

Aside from the breathtaking floating lanterns, the festival also features food trucks, live music, and other fun-filled activities, making the San Jose Water Lantern Festival truly an unforgettable celebration that everyone must experience.

Festival Dates (2024)

Mark your calendars as the San Jose Water Lantern Festival is set to illuminate the summer nights from June 21 to 23, 2024. It is the perfect time to gather under the stars and share a luminous evening with families and friends.

As the longest days of the year brighten our lives, this festival adds its own special glow to the start of summer. 

Over the course of three enchanting evenings, you can experience the magic as dusk falls and the lanterns light up. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to be a part of a mesmerizing display of light, hope, and unity.

San Jose water lantern 1
An image inspired by the captivating San Jose Water Lantern Festival

Where It’s Located and How to Get There

Set against the scenic backdrop of Almaden Lake Park at 6099 Winfield Blvd, San Jose, California, USA, the San Jose Water Lantern Festival offers a picturesque setting for a night of sparkling lights and reflections. 

This charming park provides the perfect venue for families and friends to gather, celebrate, and create memories surrounded by nature and gentle waters. 

With ample space for attendees to spread out and enjoy the festivities, Almaden Lake Park enhances the festival’s ambiance, making it an ideal location for this luminous event.

The nearest airport to the festival location is Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport

Visitors have several convenient options to reach Almaden Lake Park from the airport:

  • Taxi: A quick and direct route, taking approximately 20-25 minutes.
  • Rideshare (Uber/Lyft): Easily available at the airport with designated pickup spots.
  • Public Transit: Take the VTA bus line 60 from the airport to the Santa Clara Transit Center, then switch to line 64A or 64B, which will drop you off near Almaden Lake Park.

For those coming from other cities by train, here are detailed guidelines:

  • From San Francisco: Take a Caltrain from the San Francisco Caltrain Station to the Diridon Station in San Jose. From there, you can catch the VTA bus line 64A directly to Almaden Lake Park.
  • From Oakland: Board an Amtrak train to San Jose Diridon Station. Upon arrival, switch to VTA bus line 64A or 64B to reach the festival location.
  • From Sacramento: Travel by Amtrak to San Jose Diridon Station. Once there, the VTA bus line 64A or 64B will take you directly to Almaden Lake Park, making it convenient to join the festivities.

If you liked the San Jose Water Lantern Festival, you can also check out these other amazing water lantern festivals from across the world:

Full Moon Lantern Festival

Kaga Yuzen Toro Nagashi

Festival Hours

The San Jose Water Lantern Festival welcomes guests from 5:30 PM to 10:00 PM, opening its gates for an evening filled with enchantment and camaraderie. Upon arrival, visitors can immediately dive into the festive atmosphere, enjoying an array of food trucks, live music, and engaging activities. 

The highlight of the evening begins at 8:00 PM, where everyone is invited to design their own lanterns, adding a personal touch to the night. As the clock strikes 8:30 PM, the magical moment unfolds with the launching of the water lanterns, continuing until the event closes at 10:00 PM, creating a mesmerizing display of light and reflection on the water.

San Jose water lantern 2
An image inspired from the San Jose Water Lantern Festival

How Much Does It Cost to Attend the San Jose Water Lantern Festival

Attending the San Jose Water Lantern Festival is an affordable adventure, with ticket prices structured to accommodate early birds and last-minute planners alike. Adult tickets are priced at $35.99 until June 14, after which the cost increases to $45.99 until June 21. On the day of the event, June 22, any remaining tickets will be available for $55.99.

For those looking for a romantic evening or a special outing, the Date Night Special offers exceptional value at $71.11. This package includes two adult tickets with lantern kits, markers, and a variety of goodies designed to enhance the festival experience. 

Meanwhile, youth tickets for ages 8 to 14 are just $13.70, and kids under 7 can enter for free, though they will need a ticket for entry and do not receive a lantern kit.

For more information and details on ticket prices, we recommend visiting the festival’s official website and social media channels.

Weather and What to Wear

June in San Jose, California, is marked by pleasant and warm weather, ideal for outdoor events like the San Jose Water Lantern Festival. 

Average daytime temperatures hover around the mid-70s°F (around 24°C), while evenings can be slightly cooler, typically dropping to the mid-50s°F (around 13°C). 

This mild climate provides the perfect backdrop for an evening by the water, filled with light and warmth from the lanterns.

To ensure you’re comfortable throughout the festival, consider the following clothing recommendations:

  • Light jacket or sweater: Evenings can get a bit chilly, especially near the water.
  • Comfortable walking shoes: You’ll likely be on your feet, walking and standing, to enjoy the festivities.
  • Breathable fabrics: Opt for cotton or linen to stay cool during the warmer parts of the evening.
  • Hat and sunglasses: Protect yourself from the late afternoon sun if you plan to arrive when the gates open.
  • A small, waterproof bag: Keep your personal items safe and dry as you participate in the lantern activities.

Where to Sleep – Hotels Nearby

After a magical evening at the San Jose Water Lantern Festival, find comfort and relaxation at one of the nearby hotels, each offering distinct amenities and convenient locations to ensure a pleasant stay.

Four Points by Sheraton San Jose Downtown

  • Location: 211 S 1st St, San Jose, CA 95113, United States
  • Description: This 3-star hotel is situated in the heart of downtown San Jose, offering easy access to local attractions and dining options.
  • Amenities: Guests can enjoy a fitness center, free Wi-Fi, and air-conditioned rooms, making it a comfortable retreat after a day at the festival.

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel San Jose

  • Location: 2050 Gateway Pl, San Jose, CA 95110, United States
  • Description: As an eco-certified 4-star hotel, DoubleTree by Hilton offers luxurious accommodations close to the San Jose International Airport.
  • Amenities: The hotel features an outdoor pool, a hot tub, and several dining options, perfect for relaxation and convenience.

Holiday Inn San Jose – Silicon Valley, an IHG Hotel

  • Location: 1350 N First St, San Jose, CA 95112, United States
  • Description: Located near the airport, this 3-star hotel offers comfortable and convenient lodging for travelers and festival-goers alike.
  • Amenities: With free parking, an outdoor pool, and complimentary Wi-Fi, guests are ensured a hassle-free stay complemented by quality services.

Where to Eat – Restaurants Nearby

Fuel your festival adventure with a delightful meal from one of the top local restaurants, each offering unique flavors and an inviting atmosphere.

Mosaic Restaurant and Ultra Lounge

  • Location: Located in Four Points by Sheraton San Jose Downtown, 211 S 1st St, San Jose, CA 95113, United States
  • Description: A trendy hangout, Mosaic offers inventive Asian fusion fare in a lively setting, complete with a patio and live weekend jazz.
  • Foods Served: Enjoy dishes like spicy curry noodles, peppered salted prawns, and roasted lamb chops, along with vegetarian options and happy hour food.

The Province

  • Location: 1788 N First St #10, San Jose, CA 95112, United States
  • Description: This chic outpost serves Asian fusion meals in a stylish space that features a patio with a fireplace and is good for watching sports.
  • Foods Served: The menu includes grilled pork chop, tuna salad sandwich, Philly cheese steak, and teriyaki salmon filet, catering to a variety of tastes.

Original Joe’s San Jose

  • Location: Located in The Westin San Jose, 301 S 1st St, San Jose, CA 95113, United States
  • Description: A lively restaurant and bar known for its Italian cuisine, Original Joe’s offers a range of dishes including burgers and poutine, with happy hour specials.
  • Foods Served: Signature dishes include baby back ribs, chicken piccata, calamari steak, and spaghetti pomodoro, providing classic comfort with a gourmet twist.

More Things to Do in the Area

Enhance your visit to the San Jose Water Lantern Festival by exploring some of the other fantastic attractions that San Jose has to offer.

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Happy Hollow Park & Zoo

  • Location: Located in Kelley Park, 748 Story Rd, San Jose, CA 95112, United States
  • Description: A unique blend of zoo and amusement park that opened in 1961, Happy Hollow offers engaging animal encounters and family-friendly rides across its 16 acres.
  • Activities: Enjoy wildlife conservation programs, puppet shows, and play areas designed to delight both young and old.

Municipal Rose Garden

  • Location: 1649 Naglee Ave, San Jose, CA 95126, United States
  • Description: Founded in 1927, the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden is nestled in the charming Rose Garden District and is devoted exclusively to roses.
  • Activities: Stroll through beautifully maintained paths, featuring over 3,500 rose shrubs and 189 varieties, perfect for relaxation and photography.

The Tech Interactive

  • Location: 201 S Market St, San Jose, CA 95113, United States
  • Description: A hub of innovation and creativity, The Tech Interactive is a leading science and technology center.
  • Activities: Engage in interactive STEM activities, including labs, design challenges, and educational resources that inspire the innovator in everyone.

An Illuminating Conclusion: Final Words on San Jose Water Lantern Festival

As the night deepens, the San Jose Water Lantern Festival transforms the water into a glowing canvas of floating lights. This enchanting event brightens not only the waters but also the spirits of those who attend, providing a meaningful celebration of unity and reflection.

Attending this unique festival offers a chance to immerse in an atmosphere where the simple act of releasing a lantern becomes a deeply symbolic gesture. It is a perfect setting for family and friends to gather, share stories, and create lasting memories illuminated by the gentle light of thousands of lanterns.

FAQ

Is parking available at the San Jose Water Lantern Festival?

Yes, there is ample parking available near the festival site.

Can I smoke at the San Jose Water Lantern Festival?

Smoking is not allowed within the festival grounds.

Are pets allowed at the San Jose Water Lantern Festival?

Pets are not allowed to ensure the comfort and safety of all attendees.

Can I bring my own food and drinks to the San Jose Water Lantern Festival?

Yes, personal food and non-alcoholic drinks are allowed.

Are there any age restrictions for the San Jose Water Lantern Festival?

The festival is open to all ages, with activities suitable for the whole family.

Is the San Jose Water Lantern Festival wheelchair accessible?

Yes, the venue is fully accessible to wheelchair users.

Can I take photos or videos at the San Jose Water Lantern Festival?

Yes, photography and videography are encouraged for personal use.

Do I need to buy tickets in advance for the San Jose Water Lantern Festival?

It is recommended to purchase tickets in advance due to high demand.

San Jose water lantern 3
An image inspired by the San Jose Water Lantern Festival in California, USA

Sources: https://www.waterlanternfestival.com/sanjose.php 

https://www.facebook.com/waterlanternfestival 

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