Before dinner on Friday night we toured — for our very first time — the Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. This spectacular holiday light show, open nightly until January 4, is a fun way to get into the holiday spirit. It features 30 acres of both indoor and outdoor displays (including inside the conservancy) created with a million lights which had to take hundreds and hundreds of man hours to install. The event included carolers, holiday music and plenty of bar locations that included adults libations and hot chocolate or hot apple cider for the kids. “Make-Your-Own S’mores” kits are available for kids of all ages to toast by one of the on-site fire pits. Tickets are $18.95 for adults; $12.95, children 3-17. Discounted tickets for Garden members are $14.95 adults, $9.95 children 3-17. The “Make-Your-Own S’mores” kits are $6.95 for a package of the makings for four s’mores with a roasting stick.

The event was well organized and had lots of staff on hand. It was easy to get in and a flat-rate $5 event parking offering. I’d recommend allowing at least 1 to 1 1/2 hours to tour the property especially if you have dinner reservations at one of our area’s fabulous restaurants. We dined at a new Italian restaurant called BoccaLupo in Inman Park on Edgewood Drive that this year was named as one of Atlanta Magazine‘s Top 10 New Restaurants and AJC‘s John Kessler’s gave it four stars earlier this year.


Roast s’mores by the fire pit during the Garden Lights, Holiday Lights. Photo courtesy of Joey Ivansco.


The Star Galaxy shines bright overhead in the Southern Seasons Garden as you walk the tree canopy.


The topiary goddess still in place from this year’s earlier event is adorned with hundreds and hundreds of lights through her hair.


The millions of mostly blue lights on the pathway to the Great Lawn were spectacular and one of my personal favorite parts of the tour.

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With a Southern Twist is all about good living in today's South. A true Southerner, the author's passions include food, home design, travel, restaurants, shopping, and entertaining. It is a fun blog about one of her most beloved regions of the country, shared through personal experiences.