Celebrate the season with a holiday lights spectacular


Dana Gould

The Atlanta Botanical Gardens is holding their seventh annual Garden Lights show from Nov. 11 to Jan. 7. People that have visited the gardens during the day may remember the huge mother nature sculpture. This magnificent sculpture proves just as stunning while covered in blue and white lights at night.

Dana Gould, A&E co-Editor

The holiday season is one of busiest times of the year at the Mill. With Thanksgiving behind us and semester exams only two weeks away, students and staff are stressed out and ready for semester break. While a long break is always much needed, it provides countless hours that even superb planning cannot fill, leaving ample time for potential boredom. Instead of wasting hours upon hours at home doing absolutely nothing, people may enjoy spending an evening at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens for their annual Garden Lights show.

For the past seven years, the Atlanta Botanical Gardens has held a light show during the holiday season to showcase a different, more festive side of the gardens. Starting Nov. 11 through Jan. 7, the gardens open at 5 p.m. and close around 9 or 10 p.m. This light show includes orchestral orbs, a rainforest display, model trains, tunnels decked with lights, s’more making stations, and carolers along with a new section called Nature’s Wonders, where stringed lights are programmed to move with the music.

Atlanta Botanical Gardens does an excellent job with their light show as each light is expertly placed and programmed to fit in with the entire display. The whole experience proves enjoyable as it is a calm event with absolutely nothing stress-worthy, once a parking space and tickets have been procured.

It is the family experience without indigestion and awkward encounters, which makes the entire holiday better for everyone.”

— A&E co-Editor Dana Gould

This activity also allows people to spend time with family without the hassle of cooking a giant meal or dealing with hours of uncomfortable, almost premeditated small talk. It is the family experience without indigestion and awkward encounters, which makes the entire holiday better for everyone.

Along with still being able to spend time with family, it is also a great way to get some fresh air and exercise while enjoying the view. Oftentimes, during the holiday, people spend much more time on the couch or in front of the television than they would like to admit. This light show provides an outlet to leave both of these activities behind and relish in nature, holiday music, and, of course, lights.

While the gardens provide guests with many great exhibits, there are a few details that may sway people from this activity. Among those being the price of admission. The tickets for entry are a bit pricey for a one-time visit. To many, an hour or two of entertainment is simply not worth $20-30 a person. If someone is persistent on attending but does not want to pay full price, try going on one of the value nights or showing up to the event with only an hour left for discounted prices.

Overall, the visit is also not an extremely long one. While the majority of the gardens are filled with lights, there are certain sections that are not lit or unavailable to roam during the show. That being said the gardens are not huge in general, making this about a one- or potentially two-hour ordeal max.

As it hits mid-December and into January, the temperature at night also gets much colder. While wearing layers and thicker coats does minimize the cold, this activity simply may not be for everyone.

The Garden Lights display is certainly well-done and a perfect addition to the holidays. People that have enjoyed seeing the gardens during the daytime will greatly appreciate seeing the gardens they love in a new light.