By Patricia Hall, FairfaxFamilyFun.com
As anyone who has ever puts up decorative holiday lights at home will attest, setting up hundreds or thousands of lights can be a very time-consuming process. Imagine, then, setting up hundreds of thousands of lights across several acres over the course of three months. The result (and reward) is the beautiful Winter Walk of Lights that takes place each winter during the holiday season at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, a Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority property. Read on to find out details about this great event (which includes special activities) and how you can win tickets for a free visit!
At Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights, more than half a million lights sparkle high up in the trees and on the ground, creating a garden of flowers plus playful animals, snowflakes, and other nature and holiday designs. Meadowlark is a beautiful park on its own, but strolling through its paths and seeing its many trees, the gazebo, and even parts of the lawn itself illuminated creates a magical setting. Visitors of all ages will feel as though they’re in something straight out of a story book. And the Winter Walk of Lights is such a lovely scene that it has been the site of several proposals.
In short, people of all ages love it. I know it made an impression on our young son when we took him for the first time a couple of years ago and, unprompted, he turned to me and out of the blue thanked me so much for bringing him there! Best of all, the looped path, just a little over a half-mile long, is an easy walk you take at your own pace, and even on busy festival nights, there is plenty of room so it never feels crowded. You have plenty of time to stop to enjoy the lights (some change color, some are set to music), take photos, and just enjoy the scene.
Winter Walk of Lights Meadowlark Botanical Gardens Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority illumination lights Christmas holiday light show family travel
Be sure to buy a kit to make s’mores by the fire pit! Back inside the visitors’ center, you can purchase hot cocoa and other treats, shop at the gift shop, and have other family fun: On select nights, there are special activities such as face painting and nature exhibits.
This year, Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights is open 5:30-10:00 p.m. every day from November 13, 2015, to January 3, 2016. Timed tickets are required and advance purchases are recommended, especially for weekends and holidays, which are the busiest days. Ticket prices are:
- Online tickets – Weekdays (excluding Holidays): Ages 13 and up: $12, ages 3-12: $7 ages 2 and younger: free
- Online tickets – Weekends and holidays (November 27-28; December 24, 25, 31; January 1): ages 13 and up: $13, ages 3-12: $8, ages 2 and younger: free
- At the door (limited amount; no guarantees of availability/admission; no discounts): ages 13 and up: $14, ages 3-12: $9, ages 2 and younger: free
Photos (c) P. Hall
WIN TICKETS to Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights!
To enter, use any or all of the options in the Rafflecopter app below. Enter by 11:59 pm on Monday, November 30, 2015. One winner will be randomly selected and notified early on December 1; the winner will need to respond with 24 hours to the notification email or risk forfeiture. Tickets will be sent to the winner via regular U.S. mail. This promotion is not affiliated with Facebook; see other terms on the Rafflecopter app when entering. Contestants agree to abide by our giveaway terms and conditions. Giveaway open to entrants ages 18 and up.