The long-awaited Astra Lumina event just opened in Los Angeles and I was fortunate to experience it a few days ago. For those who don’t know what Astra Lumina is, it is a nighttime experience at the South Coast Botanic Garden, featuring an immersive light, laser, and music show that simulates a celestial walk amongst the stars. This nighttime event has been displayed in Europe and Japan for many years and it just made its Los Angeles debut this past weekend.
There are many year-end light shows but in my opinion, Astra Lumina is uniquely different than the rest as it’s not just an attraction that you walk through and snap pictures of. Instead, it’s more an experience that you immerse yourself in. At Astra Lumina, you are encouraged to stop at each exhibit and immerse yourself in the lights, music, and scenery. There are nine different exhibits throughout the event and each one features its own multi-media light and sound show. The shows run on a continuous loop and each show lasts between three and five minutes. And because it’s on a continuous loop, you can enjoy the exhibits for as long (or as short) as you like and there’s no need to catch the exact beginning of the show to understand the story of each exhibit.
Here’s a map of the event and a preview of the different exhibits.
Pro tip: As you enter each exhibit, just keep walking for approximately 20 feet. Most people will stop right at the entrance of the exhibit to watch the show but if you keep walking past them, you will get away from the crowds and get a much better view of the presentation.
Astra Lumina Los Angeles is a one-mile-long, outdoor walk and the entire event should last you approximately 60 minutes. This is a family-friendly event but keep in mind, you will be walking on a dirt and gravel pathway, the terrain is uneven and there are some very small hills, so it’s not ideal for strollers or wheelchairs. Astra Lumina doesn’t recommend the event for children under the age of four and pets are not allowed. I would recommend wearing a good pair of walking shoes for the uneven terrain and a warm jacket as it does get pretty chilly in the open-air venue. Also, some of the exhibits do utilize strobe lighting so if you’re sensitive to that, this may not be the event for you.
As you enter the venue, there is a small bar and snack area located on the right side of the welcome area. If you’re cold, you can grab a hot coffee or cocoa and bring it with you along the walk but alcoholic drinks are not permitted outside of the bar area.
Here’s the drink menu.
Photos and videos are allowed throughout the event but flash photography, tripods, and other professional equipment are not permitted. And of course, smoking/vaping is not allowed anywhere in the venue. Preferred parking ($20/vehicle) is available at the entrance and an off-site parking lot/shuttle bus ($8/vehicle) is also available down the street. Please allow yourself 15 minutes to park and catch the shuttle bus to the event venue.
Astra Lumina runs from December 8, 2022, to January 29, 2023, and is open nightly from 6:00 PM and 10:00 PM. Tickets start at $29 for adults ($24 for seniors, students, and military) and $20 for children between the ages of 4 – 12. It should be noted that the South Coast Botanic Garden is closed during the Astra Lumina event and your ticket price will not allow you access to the rest of the botanic garden.
More information can be found here.
The author attended this event as a guest of Astra Lumina.