A year-round wonder, the Lan Su Chinese Garden is an authentic Ming Dynasty style garden, built by Suzhou artisans, that takes up an entire block of the city’s historic Chinatown district. Since the garden’s opening in 2000, its covered walkways, bridges, open colonnades, pavilions and richly planted landscape framing the man-made Zither Lake have created an urban oasis of tranquil beauty and harmony. It’s an inspiring, serene setting for meditation, quiet thought and tea served at The Tao of Tea in the Tower of Cosmic Reflections, as well as public tours of the grounds led by expert horticulturalists.
Though the grounds provide a peaceful escape, periodic events give the garden a festive atmosphere. Over a span of two weeks each winter, Lan Su’s Chinese New Year Celebration packs the calendar full of festivities that explore the culture and history of the Eastern holiday. Beginning on the final day of the last month of the Chinese calendar (typically late January or early February), the festivities include paper lantern viewings, calligraphy demonstrations and lion dance performances.
In the summertime, the Tuesdays by Twilight concert series brings a variety of music to the gorgeous garden. Running over five consecutive Tuesdays, the open-air performances include a range of styles, from authentic Chinese music and dance, to jazz, tango and even African pop. The event is held after the garden closes for the evening, and beer, wine and box dinners from some of the city’s best Asian restaurants are available, served lakeside in the garden’s pristine setting.