Winter Lights Dazzle the N.C. Arboretum

Winter Lights Dazzle the N.C. Arboretum
First-Ever Show Set to Debut for the Holidays

Take an enchanting walk through a botanical wonderland at the all-new Winter Lights show in the gardens of The North Carolina Arboretum, opening Saturday, November 22. The summer blooms of the popular gardens have been replaced by thousands of energy-efficient LED lights, enhancing the natural beauty of the landscape. The iconic Quilt Garden has been transformed into a Technicolor blanket.

The spectacular display has been in the works for two years, and it was artistically designed by Jerry Stripling, former designer and manager of holiday decorations, special projects and events for Walt Disney World®. As you stroll through the gardens, be sure to look up at the colored profiles of the towering trees. And get an idea for a new art project at home with back-lit towers made of recycled water bottles to resemble ice sculptures. Even the parking lot is a multicolor-lighted forest.

Stop by the new Rocky Cove Railroad exhibit featuring G-Scale (garden scale) model trains. Dance in the new outdoor courtyard of the Education Center with festive tunes supplied by a nightly DJ. Warm up in the café with hot chocolate or coffee, and don’t forget to pick up your s’mores supplies at one of the Arboretum shops and head to an outdoor fire pit. Buy local art and garden-related gifts in the gallery.

The Winter Lights show runs nightly 6-10 p.m. through January 4, 2015, including Thanksgiving and Christmas Days. All tickets must be purchased in advance, since no tickets are sold at the gate. The date-specific tickets are sold in limited quantities. Tickets are $18 for adults and $16 for children ages 5 to 11. Children age 4 and under get in free. To purchase tickets, go online here or order by phone at 1-800-514-3849.

Special thanks to Mark File of the Travel Guide for reporting on this story. See additional photos of Winter Lights at, or follow the Arboretum on Instagram.

Check out other holiday events in the Asheville area.

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