North Carolina Arboretum's Winter Lights Bring Holidays to Life
Published November 17, 2016 by Asheville Insider
A new tradition is lighting up the holidays in Asheville. The North Carolina Arboretum’s annual Winter Lights, which began in 2014, features 500,000 bright, energy-efficient LED lights throughout the nationally-known gardens. The lights illuminate the natural beauty and landscapes of the arboretum during the winter season. In 2016, Winter Lights opens Nov. 18 and runs through Jan. 1, 2017.
As you stroll the walkways through the manicured grounds, enjoy uniquely lit displays that are like works of art. The displays and lighted landscapes help bring magic and whimsy to life throughout the three-acre tour. A special highlight is the 50-foot animated tree that comes alive to music. Other fan favorites at Winter Lights include the lighted Quilt Garden, which showcases incredible patterns, and the Rocky Cove Railroad garden scale model train.
New in 2016, is a specially-designed projected-light program, the largest and longest-running projected mapping show in North Carolina, which projects drawings onto the walls of the Bonsai Exhibition Garden. There will also be a family-friendly program, “Storytime at Woodland Cove,” which helps visitors of all ages learn about animal hibernation during the winter.
As you take in the lights, warm up with hot cocoa, cider, wine and beer. On weekends, enjoy a special dinner buffet (by reservation only).
If you go: 2016-2017 Winter Lights
- Winter Lights opens Nov. 18 and runs through Jan. 1, 2017
- The Lights are on from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. every night
- Tickets are required for entry and must be purchased in advance. The tickets are date-specific. There is no cost for children age four and under.
- Winter Lights is an outdoor walking tour. Wear closed-toe shoes suitable for walking and check the forecast to make sure you are dressing appropriately for the weather.
Enjoy Weekday Specials
During Winter Lights, Tuesdays are “Friends and Family” nights at the Arboretum. All visitors will receive a discounted flat rate of $15 per ticket.
On Thursdays, receive a free cup of hot chocolate as part of the Arboretum’s “Crazy for Cocoa” Thursday night special.
Take the Tour
The Trolley Company offers a special Winter Lights Holiday Tour every Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Visitors can be picked up from the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Asheville. In addition to transportation, you’ll receive a Winter Lights ticket and a cup of hot chocolate. For more information on rates and availability, click HERE.
Discover the new downtown display
The Arboretum is partnering with the City of Asheville in 2017 for a new holiday light display in downtown Asheville’s Pack Square Park. “Winter Lights Downtown” will be centered around the Vance Monument and Hoss Haley Fountain.
Reserve your ticket
For more information on tickets, prices, availability, and dinner reservations please click HERE.