Gorgeous light displays adorn botanical gardens across the nation over the holiday season. Visitors see sparkling holiday lights in place of spring flowers, frequently accompanied by a variety of other events.
We asked a panel of experts to suggest their favorite light displays at botanical gardens across the country in order to identify the greatest spots to visit over the Christmas season. Readers then cast their votes for their favorite selections. The top ten botanical gardens this year for holiday lights are listed here.
No. 10: Lightscape at The Arboretum – Arcadia, California
This holiday light display is located in the Arcadia suburb of Los Angeles for those who are celebrating. Explore the Fire Garden, Arch of Light, Dancing Palms, and the perennially popular Winter Cathedral at The Arboretum’s Lightscape. For those who feel hungry, there are food trucks on the premises.
No. 9: Holiday Lights at Florida Botanical Gardens – Largo, Florida
As part of the annual holiday light show at Florida Botanical Gardens, a million colorful lights have been strung throughout the garden. The celebration, which runs from late November to the end of December, also has additional bright lighting figures and laser lights.
No. 8: Enchanted Forest of Light at Descanso Gardens – La Cañada Flintridge, California
Descanso Gardens, which is located outside of Los Angeles, is lit up during the Enchanted Forest of Light festival, which runs from mid-November to early January. A mile-long circuit with light displays, such as a stained glass hamlet and a field of bright, multicolored lights that resemble flowers, is open for exploration by guests.
No. 7: Holiday Lights at Garvan Woodland Gardens – Hot Springs, Arkansas
Garvan Woodland Gardens and its holiday light display are located in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and run from mid-November until December 31. Around 5 million lights are used to illuminate more than 200 acres in the shapes of dragons, festive characters, and other objects.
No. 6: Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum – Lisle, Illinois
Lighting: Every holiday season, a mile-long strolling path filled with sparkling lights and festive music is illuminated at The Morton Arboretum in the Chicago area. This event is called Tree Lights. While they roast marshmallows for s’mores, guests may also take advantage of the fire’s warmth.
No. 5: Nights of a Thousand Candles at Brookgreen Gardens – Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
Amidst an abundance of shimmering lights and over 2,700 hand-lit candles, Brookgreen Gardens celebrates the holiday season on a few select nights in December. Walking through the exhibit while sipping a hot cup of cider and taking in the sounds of live seasonal music is possible for visitors.
No. 4: Illuminations at Botanica – Wichita, Kansas
Over two million lights twinkle on nights during Botanica’s Illuminations exhibit in Wichita, Kansas. The setting is set with a 62-foot Christmas tree, their Candyland walk with an illuminated gingerbread house, and Santa himself, who is available for visits with small guests.
No. 3: Gardens Aglow at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens – Boothbay, Maine
With over 750,000 bulbs illuminating 14 acres, Gardens Aglow at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay is one of the largest and brightest light shows in New England.
No. 2: Galaxy of Lights at Huntsville Botanical Garden – Huntsville, Alabama
The Huntsville Botanical Garden’s Galaxy of Lights offers both drive-thru and walk-thru experiences. Walking evenings take guests through 1.5 miles of illuminated displays, while driving nights require at least an hour. Dog walkers are welcome to bring their four-legged companions on designated nights.
No. 1: Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden – Richmond, Virginia
The Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights, held at Richmond, Virginia’s Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, lights up with over a million LED bulbs from late November to early January. Roast s’mores by the Kelleher Warming Fire and see model trains every night at the Kelly Education Center.