After the sun set on our first day, we visited the Lantern Festival at Zhaolin Park. I quite liked this small, peaceful park, but it pales in comparison to the larger Snow and Ice World. If you are in Harbin for only one night, skip this smaller version.
Ice lanterns have been used in Harbin for hundreds of years. Originally, they were carved by fishermen to use at night when fishing on Songhua River. They evolved into decorations in front of homes and are now embraced as an art form. Artists from around the world come to carve sculptures out of huge blocks of ice, cut from the local river.
Entrance to the multiple parks is not cheap. Expect to pay 200 rmb/person after dark at Zhaolin Park. While you can save some money by visiting during the day, you'd also miss out on the lights.