UGA transforms State Botanical Garden into holiday light show

Enjoy s’mores, hot chocolate and other refreshments along the half-mile trail

The University of Georgia will again host Winter WonderLights this year.The State Botanical Garden, which is part of UGA, will be transformed by a Garden of Delights, Candy Cane Lane and Cone Tree Plaza.The visitor's center will house a holiday market, where guests can shop for gifts and souvenirs.The half-mile trail will take 45-60 minutes to complete and is fully ADA accessible.Winter WonderLights begins November 23 and will run through January 8

Colorful lights are an awe-inspiring bonus of the holidays. If you love to drive through decorated neighborhoods or stroll through gardens strung with festive illumination, then you’ll want to head to Athens.

A half-mile trail in the State Botanical Garden of Georgia has been transformed into the Winter WonderLights show, which meanders through a Winter Wondercave, along Candy Cane Lane and Cone Tree Forest into the Northern Lights.

“Winter WonderLights allows us to showcase how beautiful the State Botanical Garden is in winter and generate support for our impactful programs,” said Jenny Cruse-Sanders, State Botanical Garden director. “We are so delighted to begin the show in November and introduce WonderLights Disco Nights at the beginning of the new year. I hope these additions allow more people to experience the garden as it sparkles at night during the winter season.”

In addition to the light show, the Alice Hand Callaway Visitor’s Center will become a holiday market, where guests can shop for gifts and souvenirs, including a chocolate Winter WonderBar created by Condor Chocolates in Athens specially for the light show. Cookies, s’mores, bottled water, hot chocolate, coffee and other refreshments will be available.

According to website, the trail should take 45 minutes to an hour for you to see everything.

Return to the garden after the New Year and enjoy WonderLights Disco Nights. Jan. 4-7, visitors can experience the show to a disco beat. It will be a “Boogie Wonderland,” if you will.

The State Botanical Garden is part of the University of Georgia at 2450 S. Milledge Ave., about 70 miles from Atlanta. Free offsite parking and shuttle services will be provided in two UGA-owned and controlled lots off of S. Milledge.

The State Botanical Garden, part of UGA Public Service and Outreach, is 313 acres of natural areas and cultivated gardens. It offers eight specialty gardens, including the Alice H. Richards Children’s Garden, and more than five miles of trails within an Audubon designated important birding area.

Winter WonderLights begins Nov. 22 and runs on select evenings through Dec. 30. Tickets are on sale now and cost $15 per person for those ages 4 and older. For an extra $5, you can add ticket flexibility, which will allow you to change you ticket date should plans change. You can also add VIP parking for $25. Ticket costs and entry times for Disco Nights are the same as fro WonderLights.

About the Author