Sarasota Water Lantern Festival

We attended the Water Lantern Festival at Nathan Benderson Park this past weekend and we really enjoyed it. I really hope they come back next year because this is a neat and unique festival and I loved having my family be a part of it. 

I had no idea what to expect so I wanted to give you a few tips. 

What is the Water Lantern Festival?

When we checked in, we got bags and in each bag was a lantern kit, a battery operated candle, and a marker. Each of us could dedicate our lanterns to someone or draw pictures or write something sentimental right on the lantern.

Once we assembled the lanterns, which was super easy to do, they did a launch at sunset and they were sent to float out over the lake at Nathan Benderson Park. 

It was gorgeous.

There were also lots of booths, food, and activities. so it’s also fun to walk around a little before or after the launch.


Tickets vary per event. At the Sarasota Water Lantern Festival (2019) Adult tickets were $25 each with a $6 fee. These tickets included water lantern kits. Kids ages 0-7 are free but you have to pay for extra lantern kits if the kids want to decorate their own lantern.


Parking was the only downfall to this Festival. There were a ton of cars. We paid $5 to park but then at the end we sent for a long time waiting to get out. So just keep that in mind.

What to bring

  • Your camera: As usual I took photos of our whole experience. It was really, really neat and I am so glad I captured it so we can remember it for years to come.
  • Chairs or a blanket
  • Cash

This was such a fun event! I highly suggest coming out to the Sarasota Water Lantern Festival next year!

Signature Ali

Disclaimer: This was a hosted event for my family in exchange for my honest review. Thanks for your ongoing support of Mom Explores Southwest Florida. 

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