Last year Thanksgiving Point began a new holiday season tradition with their Luminaria experience. The Ashton Gardens drew in 60,000 guests to the somewhat mysterious new event in 2016 and they’re expecting even more people this year. Luminaria: Experience the Light at Ashton Gardens goes from November 20 to December 30 and is closed on Sundays and Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Luminaria combines the experience of driving around town to see the best Christmas light displays on houses, holiday season smells like peppermint and balsam fir trees, and cozy gatherings by the fire. The first sight upon entering Ashton Gardens is the “Tree Top Summit,” a 120-foot Christmas tree surrounded by multi-colored lights. The green, where children can often be seen rolling during the summer months, is filled with 6,500 luminaries in a variety of colors. The luminaries are set to music and visual pictures. The “Light of the World Garden” with 15 scenes of bronzed statues from the life of Jesus Christ will have theatrical lighting and music during Luminaria. New this year is a “Secret Tunnel” outside the Secret Garden.
The path through Luminaria in Ashton Gardens is about a mile-long walk outside. There are places to stop and rest, drink hot cocoa, play games, and even meet real reindeer. Some ticket packages include reservations at a fire pit and s’mores. The weather can be unpredictable, so guests are advised to bundle up. Go to http://thanksgivingpoint.org/events/luminaria for tickets.