It’s already looking a lot like Christmas at the Huntsville Botanical Garden. Whether you are already in the mood to get your jingle bells on, or you need some motivation to start celebrating the holiday season, HBC has you covered with Galaxy of Lights. Galaxy of Lights is a combination of light displays, local elementary school holiday art, festive music, hot chocolate and more.
I truly loved my walking experience through the Galaxy of Lights this year. There were magical and immersive experiences once you started your walk at the Garden. Before you reach the traditional displays that you see during the driving nights, you walk through areas that look like they’re full of Christmas fairies, have fake snow blowing and building up on the ground, and an arch of bubbles begging to be popped and chased. Adults and children alike were oohing and aahing, taking in all the holiday magic Huntsville Botanical Garden created for the walk.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how friendly all of the employees and volunteers were throughout the night. From being greeted at the visitor’s center, to having tickets scanned, to being guided along the walk, every person was pleasant and seemed excited that we were there.
The walk is fully accessible for strollers and wheelchairs and is about a mile long, with an extra 1/3-mile option to walk through additional light displays. There are two stops on the route to get some food or drinks, and there are bathrooms about halfway through the walk.
The new additions on the walking tour make it unique from the driving experience, and worth going to both if you have the time and money. If you can only go to one, I highly suggest the walking option. Along with the fun extras along the way, the Walking Nights allow you to visit the gift shop-I bought a beautiful ceramic Galaxy of Lights ornament- and see the Visitor’s Center decked out in decorations.
The dates this year to walk are November 11-28 (closed on Thanksgiving) and to drive from December 2 to January 1. The following dates are for dog walking nights: November 15, 16, 22, and 23. The Galaxy of Lights 5k Race and 3k Fun Run will take place on November 29 and 30. Ticket prices vary and can be found on their website. All proceeds go to supporting the mission of Huntsville Botanical Garden.
Tickets for Walking Nights and Driving Nights are available to pre-purchase online or at the Garden’s front desk during regular business hours. For Walking Nights, please they ask you to pre-purchase your timed ticket in advance to guarantee your admission. There is a limited availability at the gate and are not guaranteed during Walking Nights. For Driving Nights, tickets can be pre-purchased for any date or purchased upon arrival. All Driving Nights tickets are priced per vehicle with ten or less occupants.
Once you have checked out the Galaxy of Lights, head over to USA Today’s website 20 and vote for the Huntsville Botanical Garden in their 10Best Reader’s Choice Awards for Best Botanical Garden Holiday Lights. HBC was voted #2 in 2020 and are hoping to take the #1 spot this year.
Ashley Polesak has spent the last 10 years living her best life in Huntsville, Alabama. She loves to explore all of the things that Huntsville and the surrounding areas have to offer and is a big proponent for scouting out local experiences. Ashley lives and breathes the outdoors and recreation opportunities in the area, you are very likely to run into her at a park or on a hiking trail. If she has her two rescue dogs with her, Oba and Twyla, please excuse their over-excitement, they are currently being trained and it’s a work in progress! If she had to describe herself in television characters she would choose 1/4 Eleanor Shellstrop, 1/4 Leslie Knope, 1/4 April Ludgate and 1/4 Margaery Tyrell.