December Nights &
Holiday Lights 2015
Select evenings from the day after Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve
Nov. 27 - 29 (Friday - Sunday)
Dec. 2 - 6 (Wednesday - Sunday)
Dec. 9 - 13 (Wednesday - Sunday)
Dec. 16 - 24 (nightly)
6 to 9 pm (weather permitting)
$8 per person (ages 13 and older)***
$5 per child 3 to 12 years
Infants (ages 2 and under) FREE
***$5 Wednesday Nights (ages 3 to 103)
Cash or Credit Card (Visa, MC, Discover) accepted
In its first year, only members were treated to the Cottage Garden decorated in lights. Today, December Nights & Holiday Lights encompasses at least six acres from the new Visitor's Center to our Rose Garden, Orchid House, Crapemyrtle Allee, White Garden and beyond! Enjoy well over a half-million sparkling lights on select evenings. Note: Rain will cause our illuminated displays to fail, so we may have cancellations or early closings based on the weather forecast. It's best to come out during a stretch of fair weather rather than wait until the last few nights (the last two years we had rain and closures on Christmas Eve).
Embark on a casual self-guided leisurely walking tour through differently themed garden areas. View white reindeer among green-glistening timber bamboo, a snowflake-accented 18-foot holly Christmas tree, an allee of softly lit red trees, a rainbow arch-tunnel, the Orchid House roof aglow in red and green light, a Nativity scene with a deep blue background, blue Stars of David, white trumpeting angels in a bed of champagne gold lights, green and white lights around an illuminated fountain in the Rose Garden, glowing willow trees in the Mediterranean Garden, giant red poinsettias, and a candy-inspired children's experience in our Cottage Garden for just a sampling.
New in 2015 is the addition of a model train display under the Conference Center's cathedral ceiling. This choo-choo experience is presented by the Coastal Rail Buffs and is included in your Holiday Lights admission.
The majority of our Holiday Lights experience is stroller and wheelchair friendly (there are two lawn areas illuminated). No pets or tobacco-products permitted during this special event. We no longer provide golf cart tours for those with mobility needs. And for the enjoyment and safety of all around the illuminated displays, please no flash photography.
Want to avoid crowds? The least crowded days to visit are on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. The most crowded time to visit is between 7 and 8 pm. Come before 7 or after 8 for a little more elbow room. Friday nights and particularly Saturday nights are especially busy, leading to long waits to find a parking spot and then at the admission tables..
Spirited music also fills the air, sometimes with live performances by local vocal or instrumental groups in the Great Hall of the Visitors Center. Visit with Santa Claus and take photos from 7 to 8 p on Saturday evenings (November 28, December 5, 12 and 19) in the gazebo of the Cottage Garden. Mrs. Claus will stop by to lead a storytime for kids on Saturday, December 19 and Wednesday, December 23, both at 7 pm at Mrs. Claus' Kitchen in the Annex.
If you're hankering for some sweet snacks, stop by Mrs. Claus' Kitchen. Local 4-H groups or other non-profits will have goodies and hot drinks for purchase (and all proceeds go to their various programs).