July 21, 2024
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July 21, 2024
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Starry Nights: Our Visit to Astra Lumina

Astra Archway

Reaching for the stars has never been so easy. For a limited time this winter, at the beautiful Queens Botanical Gardens, Fever is bringing its light show experience, “Astra” Lumina, to New York. This immersive walkthrough allows viewers to view our galaxy’s constellations up close in this replica tour. Together with my wife, Ahuva, cousin Akiva, and his wife, Samantha, we went to the opening night of Astra Lumina, where we enjoyed a relaxing and breathtaking journey like no other.

Getting to Astra Lumina did not take us too long: a 45-minute drive (and a 30-minute return, with much less traffic). The Queens Botanical Gardens has ample parking right next to the exhibit, and we were easily able to find an empty slot, which I was happy about since parking in New York can be complicated. After parking, we checked in and headed to the welcome area where hot drinks, fruit and beverages are served. A representative from Fever gave remarks about how excited the company is to open Astra Lumina in New York, following its success in Los Angeles. Last year, I visited the “Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience” in Westchester (see Jewish Link issue 456), which was also created by Fever. Enchanted by its special effects and attention to detail, I had a good feeling that Astra Lumina would have similar vibes.

By the main sign of Astra Lumina.

Following the refreshments and speeches, the Fever staff announced that we might begin to explore Astra Lumina. The four of us made our way toward the front of the experience, where we saw a large constellation map of the exhibition’s layout. There were 10 stations for us to pass through, all looping around the park. The first station, called “Astra Archway,” serves as a gateway to the planetary experience. We followed a long wooden path, and every few feet there was a glowing arch emanating from beautiful projections that changed colors. Mist permeated out of the arches, and in the background calming synthetic music played, which added greatly to the otherworldly atmosphere.

Upon passing through the arches, we proceeded along the wooden path and entered Starlight Lanterns. This section featured lanterns showcasing various constellations and quotes, intricately cut around their covers. The emitted light projected these celestial shapes and inspirational quotes onto the ground, creating a luminescent sight.

In front of Astral Genesis.

The remaining exhibits offered an array of astonishing light projection shows and expansive movie screens highlighting various segments of the galaxy, each accompanied by diverse musical scores. Some of our favorite exhibits included: Cosmic Choir, Astral Genesis and Celestial Trail.

The Cosmic Choir featured dangling balls that looked like mini-suns shifting between transitioning through hues of red and pink amid an inspiring crescendo of sounds. The lights were dazzling, inviting us to hang around that section for nearly 10 minutes because we were so mesmerized. Astral Genesis showcased a colossal globe adorned with shimmering silver leaves that danced in the night breeze, creating a captivating spectacle reminiscent of a giant disco ball. The Celestial Trail was a segment of the woods covered with hundreds of lights on the ground and in the trees.

Shimmering Celestial Trail.

My cousin, Akiva, who has a telescope and enjoys stargazing, especially appreciated the experience. He told me that he has seen a few meteor showers, so he especially loved the Falling Stars exhibit, which reminded him of watching the showers. He also valued the artistic design of the light projection, as well as the formation of stars exhibited on the screen, showing the entire process of how stars are formed.

We all had an enjoyable time at Astra Lumina. It was a relaxing evening with a beautiful setting. If you are into astrology, I am sure that like Akiva, you will pick up on many more insights and details than I have. But for myself and other first-timers to the miracles of the heavens, it made for a pleasant date night.

Starlight lanterns.

It took us around an hour to complete the tour. It was freezing on the night we went, so from experience, I would recommend checking the weather beforehand, and not going on too cold of a night. It is completely outdoors, so make sure to dress warmly. Astra Lumina is only open for a few weeks, so be sure to make your reservations soon!

Tickets: Vary by the date, beginning at $31.50 a person

Address: Queens Botanical Garden, 42-80 Crommelin Street, Flushing, NY 11355

Hours: 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m.

Website: www.astralumina.com

Zachary Greenberg is a consultant at Semler Brossy and the TABC track coach. Recently, Zack went to see the Jonas Brothers perform at the Prudential Center. He also recently watched the new Daily Wire film “Lady Ballers.” If you have any recommendations of fun places for him to cover, email [email protected].

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