Dominion GardenFest of Lights at Lewis Ginter returns this Friday (Nov 27) and runs through January 11, 2016. I have a chance for you to win tickets at the bottom of this post!
“A holiday tradition featuring more than half-a-million twinkling lights, hand-crafted botanical decorations, model trains, holiday dinners, firepit with s’mores and hot chocolate (for purchase); nightly family activities & more. The region’s ultimate holiday extravaganza!
This year’s “H2Whoa” theme showcases water in all its forms. Experience a dazzling 30-acre light and botanical display highlighting some of the many ways water surrounds us and shapes the world in which we live. Explore magical, whimsical re-imaginings of everyday water events. Stroll through twinkling “rainstorms” as crystal rain drops and fluffy storm clouds float overhead. Participate in a thunderstorm of lights! As the storm clears walk through a 75-foot rainbow of light to the warm yellow Rose Garden where our peacock dries its feathers. Dive into deep blue pools surrounded by glowing ocean life. Enjoy a dinner in the Tea House surrounded by a snow covered landscape dripping with ice. Make your way down the Rainbow Road beside a river of light. Dry off at the Warming Fire as you treat yourself to hot chocolate and s’mores, and then find your way through our maze of lights.
Indoors you can follow fish in a river to learn more about water and how to help improve our own waterways. Experience gorgeous botanical exhibits inspired by bog gardens and ocean life and enjoy multiple train displays. Step into the Conservatory to explore the ocean’s floor, discover a wintry wonderland, find rainstorms and rainbows, and visit a tropical rainforest.”
The Grand Illumination takes place this Friday, November 27, 2015, with a 5:30 p.m. countdown to flipping the switch on more than half-a-million twinkling lights.
Gardenfest ticket prices: $12 adults, $11 seniors (age 55+), $8 children (ages 3 – 12), Free for children under age 3
Richmond Times-Dispatch Press Pass; Buy One, Get One Free admission on select Sundays – Publishes on Thursdays in the Weekend Section; coupon must be presented at the Garden’s Visitors Center for discount, no photocopies accepted, no other discounts apply, one free admission per coupon.
– Publishes Nov. 19 and 26: good for Sunday, Nov. 29
– Publishes Dec. 3: good for Sunday, Dec. 6
– Publishes Dec. 31: good for Sunday, Jan. 3
– Publishes Jan. 7: good for Sunday, Jan. 10
Richmond Valpak Coupon; $3 off one GardenFest ticket (Valpak is mailed to Richmond-area residences; offer valid with coupon only. One coupon per person. May not be combined with other discounts including member discount. No photocopies accepted. Coupon valid December 4 – 10 and January 4 – 7 ONLY)
Here’s your chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets to Dominion GardenFest of Lights – just enter your name and email in the giveaway widget below (Enter your name and email first, then click on “click to enter” and enter your email again):
a Rafflecopter giveaway
(If you can’t see the widget, click the link above to the Rafflecopter site to enter.)
Giveaway ends November 27, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. EST. One entry per person. I only collect your email address so that I can contact the winner. One winner will be selected at random to receive four tickets to Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. Winner will be contacted via email and have 48 hours to respond.
The Grand Illumination of the James Center is this Friday, November 30, and a number of other festivities will be happening in the downtown area as well! Venture Richmond has assembled this great list of many of the free events going on:
The 28th Annual Grand Illumination of the James Center
10th and East Cary streets
The Grand Illumination is a family tradition created by the James Center, one of Richmond’s premier office developments. This year’s Grand Illumination events will include: Santa Claus, Snow Queen Shelly Perkins of Lite 98, Big Ray and The Kool Kats, The Greater Richmond Children’s Choir, Varina High School Marching Band, The American Youth Harp Ensemble, characters from The Nutcracker cast, the VCU Trombone Choir, singer Patsy Butler, Flutes On The Go, SPARC, the Radio Disney Road Crew, the Virginia Piedmont and Central HO Model Railroad Club and much more. Come to James Center for the most magical night of the holiday season! For more info, call (804) 344-3232. $3.00 parking is available at the parking deck on the corner of 10th & Canal Streets after 4:00 p.m.
Free RVA holiday canal boat rides
Turning Basin at 14th and Dock streets
Free for all ages
Celebrate the season on Richmond’s historic canal by enjoying a 20-25 minute canal boat tour with historic narration on the James River and Kanawha Canal. The Varina High School Marching Band will perform on the Canal Walk at the Turning Basin at 6:50p.m. A little elf also says that Santa has been known to take a canal boat ride or two after he leads the marching band down from the James Center. Produced by Venture Richmond. For more information, call (804) 788-6466 or visit http://www.venturerichmond.com/.
125 S. 14th St.
Mercado Americas — the Market of the Americas — offers an amazing opportunity to savor the vibrancy and excitement of an authentic Latin American market right in the heart of the Shockoe Design District. A partnership between Latin American arts education organization Vaclaa, GrowRVA and de Guate Crafts fair trade art jewelry, Mercado Americas is more than a market, it’s an event for the whole community, where Latin American arts and culture, music and food all gather to celebrate the best of Richmond’s Hispanic community. Also aiding to make the event possible are Venture Richmond, La Difference and the Shockoe Design District.
Poe Museum, 1914 East Main Street
The Poe Museum’s historic Enchanted Garden will come alive with thousands of lights as the Poe Museum rings in the holiday season with the free Poe Illumination. Guests will enjoy hot apple cider and traditional Christmas music while costumed interpreters show them what Christmas was like during Poe’s time. Additionally, the Poe Museum will be displaying some of the actual gifts Poe gave his friends and family in Richmond. Included in the display will be a small watercolor Poe himself might have painted and a book of children’s stories he autographed and gave to a young girl. Kids can enjoy making Victorian Christmas crafts while adults can visit our cash bar for mulled wine. For more information, call (888) 21-EAPOE or visit http://www.poemuseum.org/events.php.
Free horse and carriage rides
Rides start and end in Shockoe Slip at the fountain at 13th and East Cary streets, 6-10 p.m.
Clip-clop, clip-clop – the sound of horses’ hooves on the cobblestones and jingle bells ringing signal the holidays are here in Richmond’s historic River District. A holiday decorated 12-passenger wagon circles Shockoe Slip and Shockoe Bottom. One round trip ride per person please. Sponsored by Venture Richmond. Call Roger at (804) 769-4010 with questions.
Main Street Station Holiday Open House and Rock Around the Clock
Main Street Station and the plaza
1500 E. Main St.
The City of Richmond welcomes all to a rockin’ Holiday Open House with live entertainment by Bak N Da Day! Come boogie to your favorite Motown tunes and celebrate the holiday season, along with some lemonade and cookies! Enjoy the gorgeous restored glory of Main Street Station and explore the lighted Cathedral Walk at the plaza at Main Street Station. Again this year, we’ll have an exhibit of oversized holiday greeting cards from metro Richmond area public and private schools. The event is free, parking is only $2 and will be available on the west side of the station using the Franklin Street entrance. Additional non-event parking is available within the plaza using the Main Street and Cary Street entrances. Don’t miss the holiday fun! For more information, call (804) 646-5633.