Perhaps you are new to the area, or maybe you just haven’t heard much about the Green Bay Botanical Garden (GBBG). Or, maybe you have gone every single year to this wonderful holiday event. Either way, I am happy to say that the Garden of Lights event at the GBBG is not canceled this year!
They are, however, implementing some changes that are good to know about before you head out!
First, what is and where is the GBBG?
The GBBG is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit located at 2600 Larsen Rd in Green Bay. It consists of 47 acres of “display gardens and natural areas” (gbbg.org). All of the plants are even specifically picked for the weather of the Midwest. It is absolutely gorgeous to visit the gardens in any season, from the fresh tulips in the springtime, to the vastness of flowering perennials in the summer, to the gorgeous light displays in the winter…which brings us to…
What is the Garden of Lights event?
This is a walk-through (you do not stay in your car) just-under-one-mile light show that is truly one of a kind! There are more than 300,000 twinkling lights arranged in spectacular nature-inspired displays. One of my favorites is the 60-foot light display that literally surrounds you as you walk through it!
The dates for the Garden of Lights event for this year are:
Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays during November 27–December 20
Additional Dates: Saturday, December 26–Wednesday, December 30, Friday, January 1 & Saturday, January 2
Times for all dates: 4:30-9 pm
There is a special “Family Night” on Sunday, November 29 (from 4:30-9:00 pm). This is especially for children 12 and under, and each child can get free walking admission with one paid adult walking reservation (again, still need to make the reservation/purchase the ticket in advance). Children will all receive a free take-home craft kit and there is also a drop-off area for them to drop their letters to Santa. *There will not be an in-person Santa this year.*
What is different this year?
Due to the pandemic, the GBBG is limiting capacity each night. It is required to purchase a ticket online early this year. In the past, tickets were available at the door or at Festival Foods; this year, however, you can only purchase a ticket online at gbbg.org, and it will have a specific date and time on it instead of coming any night and time you choose, like prior years. This is to help minimize the amount of people seeing the light show at a particular time to encourage social distancing.
Some other changes at the Garden of Lights this year include:
- “Parking available on-site and overflow parking within walking distance so guests do not have to ride shuttle buses in close contact with others.
- Hand sanitizing stations are available throughout the Garden.
- Bathrooms and high touchpoints will be sanitized every hour.
- Face coverings are required in all Garden buildings (ages 2 and up) and outdoors when physical distancing isn’t possible.
- Limited seating on horse-drawn wagon rides. Up to 10 guests per wagon (grouped by household). Face coverings required while on the wagon.
- One–way entry and exit points.
- COVID-19 Policy: If you have COVID–19 symptoms, or someone in my household tested positive for COVID–19, or you or someone in your household is waiting on test results, and it is less than 72 hours before my event night, please do not attend the event. Please email the Garden at [email protected] to receive special access to reschedule your tickets online for when you can safely attend based on your doctor’s guidance.
- There is limited seating on the horse-drawn wagon rides with very limited availability each night. Up to 10 guests per wagon (grouped by household) are allowed maximum. Face coverings are required while on the wagon. Guests will walk the upper-level light show and head down the hill to the horse-drawn wagon which covers the lower level mulch portion of the light show. Wagons are first come, first served when you arrive during your entrance time. Tickets for the horse-drawn wagon ride must be purchased in advance. Walking tickets cannot be upgraded at the door (gbbg.org).
Every year the GBBG has one or two new light displays for the Garden of Lights, to help keep the event exciting to returning visitors.
This year there are four new displays, including a 60-ft oak tree highlighting all four seasons, and a ‘winter wonderland’ display.
Whether you are a first-timer or a returning customer to the Garden of Lights, you may be thinking you and your family would benefit from a safe, outside event to help bring some holiday cheer; I hope that you and your family can enjoy this wonderful holiday tradition and remember the joy this season brings.
For more information and to purchase tickets, go to https://gbbg.org/wpsgardenoflights/; https://gbbg.org/wpsgardenoflights/#dates-hours-tickets
For questions, contact the GBBG at 920.490.9457