I am always looking for out-of-this-world experiences, but unless I win the lotto and go as a space tourist, I have to make do with closer-to-earth excursions like Astra Lumina.
When I heard about this magical night walk through a botanical garden with lights and sounds of visiting stars, I had to try it.
Did You Know? Astra Lumina is part of Moment Factory's Lumina Night Walk series, which aims to create enchanting experiences in natural settings around the globe, blending local stories with immersive light installations.
Through the magic of projections, lighting, and music, astral energy transforms the garden into a celestial pathway, connecting visitors to the stars and the vast world around them.
The creators, Moment Factory, laid out a path through this beautiful garden and filled it with light effects, lasers, and dreamy music that mesmerized visitors and propelled us into outer space.
Pro Tip: For the best experience, visit Astra Lumina during the new moon phase. The darker skies will enhance the light effects, making your walk truly stellar.
This enchanting walk can take 45 to 60 minutes and goes through varied terrain. Some steep inclines may be difficult for the elderly, but we found some bench seats to rest and admire the scenery.
The ticket prices are reasonable, around $30 per person. They are timed tickets, which means you have an appointment to enter the gardens. But once you are inside, you can stroll at your leisure, rest on the benches, or visit the snack bar.
The light and sound show runs during the late fall and winter months. It usually ends around mid-March.
Important Note: The event contains many strong lighting effects, of which some may flicker or strobe.
Since this is an open-air activity, come prepared for the cold weather. We brought heavy jackets but still felt the chill, and I wish I had brought a beany, too.
Visitor's Tip: Layering is key for outdoor events like Astra Lumina. Consider thermal layers, gloves, and warm footwear to ensure you stay comfortable throughout your celestial journey.
The botanical gardens are in Palos Verdes Peninsula, a large land mass jutting into the Pacific Ocean. The Peninsula is worth a visit on its own, with beach hiking trails, stunning cliff views, and distinguished restaurants.
Explore More: Dedicate a day to explore the Palos Verdes Peninsula before your Astra Lumina visit. The Point Vicente Lighthouse and the Wayfarers Chapel offer breathtaking views and photo opportunities.
Before the show, we enjoyed a delicious Italian dinner at Avenue Italy Cucina Italiana. The food and service were excellent, but the prices were a little on the high side.
South Coast Botanic Garden
26300 Crenshaw Blvd., Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA