Atlanta Botanical Gardens Lights: Brilliant Holiday Fun

The Atlanta Botanical Gardens Lights are my favorite. It could be because the Atlanta Botanical Gardens is one of my favorite Atlanta attractions.

Atlanta Botanical Gardens Lights

Photo Courtesy of the Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Holiday Lights, Garden Nights began in 2000 with more than a million energy-efficient LED lights. The bulbs consume up to 80 percent less electricity than traditional incandescent light bulbs, but also have a life span of five years more.

Each year the Garden adds something new to it’s botanical-inspired light display. The wonderland goes throughout the 20-acre Midtown attraction. In 2016 the Gardens have added a Walk of Flames and an expanded Tunnel of Light.

Atlanta Botanical Gardens Lights

Photo Courtesy of the Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Favorites Atlanta Botanical Gardens Lights

Visitors to the Holiday Lights, Garden Nights can meander among garden displays – including giant snowflakes, fleeting bumblebees and a towering “praying Santa Mantis” while sipping hot drinks and listening to strolling carolers.

One of my favorite sections is the Orchestral Orbs that can change to 14 million different colors that dance to holiday music. My boys like the model trains. Everyone is in awe of the 25 ft tall Earth Goddess, which was originally part of the Imaginary Worlds exhibit. During the Atlanta Botanical Gardens lights display, she transforms into an Ice Goddess – a vision of wintry radiance with twinkling lights weaving through her tresses.

I always say I’ve learned more about art by visiting the Atlanta Botanical Gardens than I have about flowers. It started when they brought the Chihuly glass exhibit, but my all time favorite was the Nikki in the Garden. In addition to being interesting art shows, I think the Garden is such a wonderful backdrop for any exhibit. It’s like adding the symphony to a rock concert at Chastain.

Atlanta Botanical Gardens Lights

Photo courtesy of the Atlanta Botanical Gardens

9 Things You Need to Know about the Atlanta Botanical Gardens Lights

Go Early in the Season. This is a HUGELY popular attraction. It’s best to buy tickets early. The exhibit starts in mid-November and runs through early January.

Save Money on Non-Peak Days. In addition to smaller crowds, you’ll also save money going earlier in the season or on non-peak days. Members get an additional savings. To save even more, order your tickets in advance rather than getting them at onsite.

Go Late. A special Night Light ticket is available after 9 pm on peak nights. This ticket can only be purchased at the Garden.

Dress Appropriately. This event is rain or shine, warm or cold. So once you purchase your tickets, they are non-refundable and non-transferrable (unless you do a Flex Ticket Upgrade) Atlanta weather can get cool, so dress to be outside.

You Must Pay to Park. Depending on when you go, you’ll pay between $5 and $10 to park in the Atlanta Botanical Garden SAGE parking deck. Consider using Lyft if you are close. To sweeten the deal, we’re giving you $50 in Lyft credits to get yourself a driver for the evening. (must be a first time Lyft customer)

Go for Dinner. Renown Atlanta chef Linton Hopkins has a restaurant in the Atlanta Botanical Garden. They welcome walk-in guests, but during the Holiday lights, you may want to make a reservation to ensure you get in. If you’d rather get something on the go, there are two Café’s around the garden.

Gorgeous Views of Atlanta. In addition to the festive atmosphere, another reason I love the Atlanta Botanical Gardens Lights is the outdoor bar (with one of the best views of Atlanta) with it’s cozy fireplace

Trains. My boys love watching the model trains. I remember when my youngest was still learning to talk waving backwards saying ‘lie, lie’ as they went back through the tunnel. In addition to the model train, the Atlanta Botanical Gardens has a ride-on-train on weekends and select weekdays. See the website for specifics.

Visit with St. Nick. On select days, you can also get your pictures with Santa. Dressed all in green, this is a great alternative to visiting with a crowded mall Santa.

Click here for a complete list of places to see Christmas Lights in Atlanta.

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Sue Rodman | Travel Editor & Advertising Manager

Sue Rodman is a mother of three boys, a PR professional, writer, and ice cream lover. For eight years, Sue published an award winning family travel blog called Field Trips with Sue, and produced a TV segment with the same name on CBS Better Mornings Atlanta. In Sept. 2016 Field Trips with Sue merged with 365 Atlanta Family. In addition to writing blog posts and managing the advertising and public relations for 365 Atlanta Family, Sue does freelance public relations and her writing has appeared online at TravelingMom, Trekaroo, Minitime Family and other family travel sites. She has contributed to print publications such as Family Fun, Simply Buckhead, BuckHaven and Publix Magazine. In addition, Sue has appeared on local and national news talking about family travel. Sue believes anytime is a good time for dessert and there are no bad field trips, just better stories.

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