photo by Rachel Cobb

Garden of Lights

The San Diego Botanic Garden (SDBG) will present its annual Garden of Lights from Dec. 3 through 23 and Dec. 26 through 30 from 5 to 9 p.m. Over 125,000 sparkling lights will illuminate several garden areas – the Lawn Garden, Tropical Rainforest, Waterfall Deck, Undersea Succulent Garden, Eucalyptus Grove, Seeds of Wonder children’s area, and the Bamboo Garden. There will be a number of family-friendly events and activities, including nightly entertainment, arts and crafts, a nutcracker display, food, coffee, and other holiday treats. On select nights there will also be horse-drawn wagon rides, visits from Santa, hot mulled wine, sledding, and holiday carolers. Gifts such as garden-themed jewelry, purses, hats, aprons, candles, art, and winter plants will be on sale at the gift shops as well.

Admission on Sundays through Thursdays is $10 for members, seniors, active military, and students, $15 for non-members, and $5 for children ages 3 to 12. Admission on Fridays and Saturdays is $10 for members, seniors, and active military, $20 for non-members, and $5 for children. There will be additional fees for some activities. Tickets for Garden of Lights are only available at SDBG on the evening of visitation; there are no advanced or online ticket sales.

SDBG is a 37-acre urban oasis located in Encinitas, filled with beautiful flowers, trees, plants, and the country’s largest bamboo collection. Four miles of trails wind through 29 uniquely themed gardens, giving visitors the sense that they are truly strolling through each of these microclimates. The garden regularly offers classes covering a variety of topics, including water conservation, fire-safe landscaping, hands-on flower and plant arranging, art, and healthy cooking. Learn more at