The San Diego Botanic Garden will be all a-twinkle next weekend when it flips the switch on its annual Garden of Lights celebration.
The annual holiday event — which runs from 5 to 9 p.m. nightly, Saturday through Dec. 30 (closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) — features more than 100,000 holiday lights strung through the trees and plants on its 37-acre grounds.
Besides the light display, visitors can roast marshmallows, visit with Santa Claus, tour an exhibit of 50 nutcrackers, shop for poinsettias, and purchase snacks, Mexican food and hot drinks (cocoa for kids, mulled wine for grown-ups). There will also be tables where children make their own take-home holiday crafts.
From Saturday through Dec. 13 and again from Dec. 26-30, there will be a mountain of snow (weather permitting). Children can bring their own sleds or discs.
And beginning Dec. 15, visitors can tour the grounds in a wagon pulled by a team of Belgian draft horses.
Live entertainment runs from 6 to 8 p.m. nightly, with a different performer almost every night. Scheduled artists include the Carlsbad Caroleers, Raggle Taggle, Mariachi Imperial de San Diego, a Klezmer Holiday Celebration, Rockin’ Cranberries, Con Alma, Tom Gates Duo, CAST Kids and more.
Admission is $12 for adults, $8 for seniors, military members and students. Children ages 3 to 12 are $4. Parking is free. Some activities require an additional fee. The San Diego Botanic Garden is at 230 Quail Gardens Drive in Encinitas. Call (760) 436-3036 or visit sdbgarden.org.
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