The San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas is transforming into a winter wonderland in December with more than 100,000 sparkling lights illuminating the flora of the 37-acre property from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 3 – 23 and Dec. 26 – 30.
Lights illuminate the Lawn Garden, Tropical Rainforest, Waterfall Deck, Undersea Succulent Garden, Eucalyptus Grove, Seeds of Wonder (children’s area) and Bamboo Garden, containing the nation’s largest collection of bamboo.
The Garden of Lights program includes nightly entertainment, including local blues and jazz bands, as well as food from Red Oven Artisanal Pizza and Pasta, and hot coffee and treats from the Feel Good Coffee Cart. Family-friendly activities include horse-drawn wagon rides (on selected evenings), holiday crafts, spin art, visits with Santa (Dec. 3 -23), hot mulled wine (on selected evenings), snow for sledding (on selected evenings), holiday carolers (on selected evenings) and a nutcracker display.
Plant-related gift items will be on sale at the gift shops, including cork purses, garden-themed jewelry, hats, aprons, candles, garden art and winter plants.
Admission Sunday through Thursday is $10 for members, seniors, active military, and students; $15 for non-members; and $5 for children ages 3–12 (children 2 and under free). Admission Friday and Saturday is $10 for members, seniors and military; $20 for non-members; and $5 for children ages 3–12 (children 2 and under free). There will be additional fees for some activities. Tickets are available at the welcome center at the Garden. No advance ticket sales are available at the Garden or on the website.