Tickets are on sale for the 10th annual Garden Lights, Holiday Nights Atlanta’s favorite seasonal tradition.
This year’s show, presented November 14 – January 16, will provide a far more intimate experience than in years past with plenty of “room to glow”. That’s because in an effort to promote social distancing during the pandemic, nightly guest capacity will be significantly limited with all timed tickets available only online. Visitors to what’s traditionally an extremely popular event will be able to spread out among the Garden’s 33 acres for what could be their most enjoyable experience ever at Garden Lights, Holiday Nights.
In 2011, when the Garden decided after years of planning to launch a holiday light show, the result was not only the start of a new wintertime attraction for guests but also a holiday tradition for both Atlantans and tourists from throughout the Southeast.
|“This show has been in the planning stages for years because we wanted it to be unique and innovative – an elegant winter wonderland,” Mary Pat Matheson, the Garden’s President & CEO, said 10 years ago. “The intent is to throw a sparkling veil over the landscape, transforming how people perceive gardens, particularly the trees.”|
Since then, nearly 1.5 million guests have passed through the Visitor Center and into the Garden to stroll the Canopy Walk, gaze at Ice Goddess, roast some s’mores, marvel at the model trains, dance to the Orchestral Orbs and grab a selfie at the Poinsettia Tree. Families and grandparents. Teens and date-nighters. Tour groups and office partiers.
If it sounds like a crowd, it was. That, however, was before a pandemic struck the country last spring, and phrases like “keep your distance,” “wear a mask” and “wash your hands” became the new normal. This year’s light show will emphasize all of those safety measures and much more to ensure visitors enjoy a worry-free experience.
To celebrate the show’s anniversary, here are 10 things to look forward to:
- Mark your calendars for October 1 when tickets go on sale at Atlanta Botanical Garden. Look for a timed-ticketing system much like is used for visiting the Garden during regular daytime hours.
- Look for all-new colors – emphasizing purple, green and aqua – as the Garden purchases new LED lights every three years.
- Check out your favorite giant plant sculptures from the current exhibition, Alice’s Wonderland Reimagined costumed in lights instead of annuals, such as the Red Queen, the White Rabbit and the Phoenix.
- Don’t miss Ice Goddess’s new locks. Her chilly blues, silvers and whites have been warmed up with pinks and greens in a nod to spring and the promise of hope.
- Enjoy a new soundtrack at Nature’s Wonders, the vertical, musical light display descending over the Canopy Walk. Depictions of volcanic eruptions, summer thunderstorms and tranquil sunrises are choreographed with nostalgic classics.
- Reminisce with perennial show favorites like the Great Lawn’s Orchestral Orbs. Be ready to capture those little ones dancing on video!
- Grab a hot chocolate and head over to Alston Overlook for taking in the Holiday Model Trains.
- Document your annual visit with that traditional photo in front of the Orchid Center’s Poinsettia Tree. Don’t blink and say “cheese”!
- Toast the holidays with a libation in the Skylights Lounge while grooving to the beats of a deejay and drinking in commanding views of the city.
- Satisfy hungry appetites after all that walking with dinner at Longleaf restaurant (Reservations recommended at (404.876.5859).
Garden Lights, Holiday Nights is only located in Atlanta.
A new online timed-ticketing system that limits visitor capacity, as well as extended hours, allows guests to enjoy the Garden while maintaining social distancing.
The Gainesville Garden also will offer extended hours when it reopens Sunday, Tuesday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Friday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. The garden is closed on Mondays.
The Atlanta Botanical Garden hours are March 10 - October on Tuesday - Sunday from 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. And from November - March 9 on Tuesday - Sunday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. *Hours may vary due to special events.
Tickets are available for purchase online only at Atlanta Botanical Garden with a timed entry for ensuring the safety and enjoyment of guests during a crowd-free experience.
The Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Gainesville is located at 1911 Sweetbay Drive in Gainesville, GA 30501. They can be reached by phone at 404-888-4760.
The Atlanta Botanical Garden is located at 1345 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30309. They can be reached by phone at
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