Ok, Christmas may be over, but you still have until Monday, January 11th to get one last dose! I LOVE Christmas lights and if that’s your gig, and you live within driving distance of Richmond, VA, I highly recommend making your way to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens for their annual GardenFest of Lights, open through next Monday.

From their website:


Tickets 

rainbow at Dominion GardenFest of Lights. Photo by Rick Stillings
A “rain or shine” event; only closed for extreme weather. Tickets are not date specific and may be purchased at the Garden (9 a.m. – 10 p.m.), online or by phone at 1-800-594-TIXX.  Please note tickets ordered online & by phone require 24 hours for processing and convenience fees apply.

$12 adults
$11 seniors (age 55+)
$8 children (ages 3 – 12)
Free for children under age 3
$7: Garden members
$5: Child on Garden Membership (ages 3 – 18)

In order to accommodate groups and guests arriving early for GardenFest, we begin charging GardenFest admission at 4 p.m.


My kids loved it, despite the cold weather. Of course, not all kids may be that excited about visiting a botanical garden… proof:

He's very excited to be at the botanical gardens
He’s very excited to be at the botanical gardens

But it didn’t take long for his mood to change as soon as he began to explore the lights! We started with a stroll through the Conservatory as the sun faded. Jocelyn is way more knowledgeable about horticulture than me, and actually volunteered (or interned maybe?) at Lewis Ginter while a student at VCU, so I let her educate me and show me her favorite plants and flowers! The kids… well my daughter went on a selfie-frenzy while the others explored the lights and props for the under the sea theme. The big highlights being the large Christmas Tree, model train displays (one even featuring Richmond’s Main Street Station), and the sea creatures.

We left the conservatory to exclaims of ‘wow’ as the lights of the fountain garden were now bright in the dark sky. We spent the next 90 minutes winding through the 50-acre grounds and marveling at the number of lights, but you don’t need me to describe it, you can just experience it through the pictures below!!

Granted most of this trip will be spent outside.. and the weather is.. well… wintery:

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 8.19.54 AM

But I think it’s well worth it!

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