Night Lights in the Garden

Celebrate winter’s festivities with a tropical touch

A 2018 tree created from bromeliads. Designs change each year.
A 2018 tree created from bromeliads. Designs change each year.

by LAUREN REEVES

May your nights be merry and extra bright this holiday season with a visit to this colorful seasonal exhibit at the world-class, 170-acre Naples Botanical Garden.

The botanic paradise, which features plants and trees within the 26th latitudes from around the world, will be aglow with thousands of lights during the 10th annual Night Lights in the Garden.

Here you can stroll through the gardens, marvel at the beauty, sample specialty menu items from the Fogg Café, and sip on a signature cocktail in celebration of this special time of year.

Hum along to live music every evening with performances by such artists as the Opera Naples Youth Chorus, Naples Ballet, and a selection of talented artists from Artis—Naples, the center for Southwest Florida’s visual and performing arts.

Every year, the staff works hard to ensure the display is original and better than the year before. Renée Waller, the Garden’s director of communications said that in 2009, the first year, the display didn’t include any electric lights and only used hundreds of tiki torches.
Today, lights illuminate most of the cultivated gardens, which comprise about 80 acres. The
Children’s Garden is not lit because of its multi-level, kid-friendly design.

To ensure a happy and healthy 2020, Night Lights features a wishing tree where guests may
place their wishes and goals for the coming year upon its branches, offering a moment for introspection and anticipation regarding the year
ahead.

For those bromeliad fanatics, Waller assures that there will be at least one tree created with the tropical plants, but the horticulture staff keeps the design a surprise until the last minute.
She says a visit to the Garden this time of year
a great way for anyone to capture the spirit of the holidays, Florida-style.
Night Lights started as a small family event and is now a tradition for generations of families who come together to see the displays and enjoy the unique atmosphere of the tropics during the holidays,” she said.

 

Night Lights in the Garden
is open 6-9 p.m. each evening,
November 29 to December 23, 26-30
and January 1-5, 2020.

Tickets are available online at
naplesgarden.org or in person at
the Chabraja Visitor Center during
regular Garden hours.

Members and
non-members must purchase tickets
in advance for this popular event.
Ticket prices vary based on
dates and ages; call (239) 325-1354
for details.

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