There’s something a little magical and sneaky about the feeling you get when you get to go somewhere in the dark that’s typically reserved for daytime activities. That’s how my family and I felt when we visited Maymont for its first ever Garden Glow, happening nightly through November 11, 2018.
The idea came to Maymont’s director of park operations and horticulture, Peggy Singlemann, after seeing splendid garden illuminations during her trip to Japan, so visitors are able to enjoy neat Japanese cultural activities and displays in Maymont’s Nature Center, where the Garden Glow journey begins. We loved the bonsai demonstration and displays, as well as the gorgeous kimonos on display, and we watched younger kids have fun making fans. They have different activities and entertainment each night, everything from lantern-making to calligraphy practice.
We were transported to the Japanese gardens via golf cart, which the kids may have enjoyed most of all (there is also a bus that goes back and forth, if golf carts aren’t your cup of tea), and then dropped off at the beginning of the display to make our way along the path at your own pace. The greeter reminded us to look up, down, and all around at the ways the colored lights make amazing reflections in the water, radiate through the trees, and make the bridges and other structures throughout the gardens come to life.
We loved seeing the ways the designers chose to wrap lights around some trees, drape them from others, and find so many other interesting ways to make this part of Maymont that we all know so well by day take on a whole new look by night. The reflections on the water were the best part of all, and just having time together in such a serene setting, in the crisp autumn air and under the stars, made for a great family outing.
A photographer’s dream, we passed several visitors with tripods set up to capture the beauty of the display. The photos we took don’t do it justice, it’s definitely something the family should experience together.
You can experience Garden Glow nightly nightly, from six to ten o’clock at Maymont, through Sunday, November 11.
Advance tickets: $12 adults/$7 children ages 4-12
Maymont members: $10 adults/$5 children ages 4-12
At the door: $15 adults/$10 children ages 4–12
Free for ages 3 and under
More information and tickets, go here.