We always make a point of visiting a light display (or two or three) during the holiday season. One of our family’s area favorites is the Garden of Lights at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD, and we just visited over Thanksgiving weekend.
The locale that boasts beautiful plant and flower collections in the warmer seasons, the fantastic Wings of Fancy exhibit every summer, and an adorable Children’s Garden all year round, transforms into a twinkling wonderland come late fall and winter. Pathways are lined with colorful lights in forms of flowers, insects, animals, and more beautiful and whimsical glowing designs. There are sparkling tunnels, real trees illuminated with lights, and fountains full of shimmering scenes.
It’s so nice to stroll through leisurely (or run excitedly like the kids) and take it in at our own pace. Every corner we turned brought new delight — it’s fun, relaxing, and breathtaking all at once. And along with lights, there is a model train display in the Conservatory, plus live music, hot chocolate, and snacks for sale in the Visitor Center, perfect for warming up after wandering among the brilliant grounds outside.
Garden of Lights will be on display at Brookside Gardens through January 1, 2018. Hours are 5:30-9pm Sunday – Thursday, 5:30-10pm Friday – Saturday. Admission per car is $25 Sunday – Thursday, $30 Friday – Saturday. It’s open every night except for December 24-25. Get a glimpse of it all below before you go!
(Click to view larger images)
See the raccoon?
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Montgomery Parks, however, all opinions expressed here are entirely my own, and I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will be of interest to KFDC readers.
Holiday light displays are always a seasonal treat, and you have a chance to win a visit to an area favorite: The spectacular Garden of Lights at Brookside Gardens!
Escape to a glittering world with towering sunflowers, puffy rain clouds, lazy turtles, larger-than-life mushrooms, and other critters so beautiful, you’ll think you’ve been transported to a fairytale land.
Garden of Lights delights families every year with its imaginative and lighted figures that help usher in the holiday season. The handmade forms of forest animals, flowers and other natural elements help transform the gardens into whimsical winter scenes.
But the fun doesn’t stop outdoors. The conservatory will be transformed by G-scale model trains racing through a wintry landscape. And no wintertime shindig would be complete without mugs of piping hot cocoa, s’mores and live musical performances.
Garden of Lights opens November 24 and will run through January 1 (closed December 24-25). Hours are 5:30-9:30pm Sunday – Thursday, and 5:30-10pm Friday – Saturday. Admission is $25 per car/van Sunday – Thursday, and $30 per car/van Friday – Saturday. (KFDC Tip: If yu can swing it, go on a weekday when it’s less crowded.) Brookside Gardens is located at 1800 Glenallan Avenue in Wheaton, MD.
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Giveaway: For a chance to win free admission to Brookside’s Garden of Lights, simply leave a comment below telling me your favorite holiday treat to eat (savory or sweet). Get an extra chance to win by entering on the KidFriendly DC Facebook Page, too. The passes can be used on any date the exhibit is open. This giveaway will run through Tuesday, November 21, 2017, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!
This post is sponsored by Montgomery Parks, however, I only promote events, places, and programs that I genuinely believe in and think will be of interest to KFDC readers.
Dazzling light shows are a staple of the holiday season, and one of my very favorites in the area is Brookside Gardens’ walk-through exhibit, Garden of Lights. The gardens are transformed into a magical winter wonderland illuminated by more than one million twinkling colorful lights handwoven into original works depicting animals, flowers, and other natural elements. It will all be on view for visitors every night from November 25 through January 1 (with the exceptions of December 24 and 25). And I have two admission passes (admission is per car/van) to give away to a couple of lucky KFDC readers.
Stroll from garden to garden to enjoy long-time favorite displays, including Nessie the Serpent, flying geese, and butterflies. The gardens’ trees and hardscapes such as the Children’s Garden Treehouse and Wedding Gazebo are bedecked in a rainbow of colorful glimmering lights. It is a light display unlike any other. (Get a glimpse of it all in this post about one of our visits there.)
Inside the Conservatory, enjoy the sights and sounds of model trains as they wind their way through seasonal greenery and miniature reproductions of local landmarks such as the RedDoor Store in Sandy Spring, the Kensington MARC railway station, Glen Echo Park complete with Bumper Car Pavilion and 1921 Dentzel Carousel, and even Brookside Gardens’ Conservatories.
A new fire pit on the South Terrace is the latest addition to Garden of Lights, where refreshments — think S’mores kits and hot cocoa — will be available for purchase. And nightly musical performances take place inside the Visitors Center.
Garden of Lights is located in Brookside Gardens at 1800 Glenallan Avenue in Wheaton, MD. It runs November 25, 2016 – January 1, 2017 (closed December 24 & 25). Hours are 5:30-9:30pm Sunday – Thursday, and 5:30-10:30pm Friday & Saturday. Admission is $25 per car/van Sunday – Thursday, and $30 per car/van Friday & Saturday.
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Giveaway: For a chance to win one of the two admission passes to Brookside’s Garden of Lights, simply leave a comment below or enter through the KFDC Facebook page or on Instagram. The passes can be used on any date the exhibit is open. This giveaway will run through November 23, 2016, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!
This post is sponsored by Montgomery Parks, however, I only promote events, places, and programs that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.
Garden of Lights, indeed. A fantastically dazzling one.
I have to thank my friend, Torey, for a pretty great day yesterday. Not only did she give me the heads-up on the gingerbread house activity at Union Market, she also planned an evening outing to see the Garden of Lights holiday display at Brookside Gardens for a bunch of friends. Two really fun experiences, but the latter also gets kudos for being absolutely spectacular.
While we’ve been to Brookside plenty of times, this was our family’s first time touring the lights. And what a fantastic time to go! The woods, terraces, and pathways dazzle with twinkling scenes, both whimsical and beautiful. A big model train display in the conservatory is quite a delight too. Strolling among it all on a misty late fall Sunday evening was a perfect way to wind down the weekend. Of course, I recommend going on any night. Here’s a glimpse of what’s there.
Sasha's favorite, of course
Rainbow, complete with rain cloud and flashes of lightening
Illuminated trees in a wooded area
Pathways lit in festive colors
A giraffe is one of many sparkling animals
A brilliant garden scene
Loch Ness in lights where there's usually a fountain
The adorable model train display in the conservatory
The Children's Garden house may be even more fun shrouded in lights
The Garden of Lights will be on display through January 6. It’s open every evening with the exceptions of December 24-25 and January 1. Hours are Sunday – Thursday 5:30-9:30pm, and Friday – Saturday 5:30-10pm. Admission is $20/car Monday – Thursday and $25/car Friday – Sunday – CASH ONLY.
One note of warning: Even with all of the lights, it’s dark in some areas and can be difficult to see far in the distance, so keep a close eye on the kids. And some of the hedges are taller than their heads and there are turns and paths in very direction, so even if they are close by, it’s easy to lose sight of them. (Yes, I know this from experience).