Kate Pyle, PR & Marketing Intern, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
What could be better than touring Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden during Dominion GardenFest of Lights? I’ll tell you one thing – touring it with your best friend. Better yet, your best canine friend. Between the lights, the beautiful scenery, and new dog friends, GardenFest for Fidos is the perfect opportunity for a tail-wagging good time.
January 8, 2015 the Garden opens its doors to four-legged companions, allowing leashed dogs to walk alongside their owners. The $2 donation suggested pet admission benefits the Richmond SPCA. I was excited that on my first visit to GardenFest, my best friend, Kobe, was going to be at my side. (Whoever said diamonds are a girl’s best friend obviously never had a dog.)
GardenFest is truly a sight to see. I started interning here right as staff members and volunteers started to prep for set up, and watched in amazement as everyone worked diligently to transform the Garden into a magical winter wonderland of lights. I wasn’t the only one experiencing GardenFest for the first time — many people I stopped to talk to were first-timers as well. When you add dogs to the mix, it’s even more fun. The visitors I spoke with were happy to have a social outing they could go on with their dogs.
From tiny dogs, to dogs the size of a mini-horse, every canine friend seemed to be smiling from ear-to-ear as they accompanied their owners on a walk. So many exciting things to see and do at dog level! So many canine friends to greet!
Overall, the general consensus was delight. GardenFest for Fidos is a wonderful opportunity to stretch your legs, and your dog’s, while viewing the beautiful holiday display. From the beautiful tree in the Conservatory, to the zoo animals in lights, there is something for everyone to see. I highly recommend anyone with a furry friend (who enjoys meeting new people and friends) to check out the next GardenFest for Fidos, January 8th, 2015. While GardenFest for Fidos may not be a good fit for dogs that do not do well with unfamiliar people or dogs, it is a great place to bring well-socialized canine friends for an evening out.
If your dog doesn’t have his winter coat yet, remember we also host Fidos After 5 — our summertime dog nights on select Thursdays in June, July and August. The dates are June 11, July 9, August 13, 2015.
Oh, and if you are looking for a holiday gift for Fido, be sure to check out the Garden Shop (don’t miss the pet-themed tree!) or the Richmond SPCA’s Lora Robins Gift Shop (pets are welcome in the store!) At both shops 100 percent of proceeds from purchases benefit our nonprofit missions.
Didn’t get enough of these beautiful creatures? Here are a few more friends enjoying GardenFest for Fidos:
We’d love to see your photos of you and your furry friends enjoying GardenFest for Fidos on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. Tag us, or use the hashtag #GardenFest … or here’s more on our Instagram Contest, maybe your dog will become a star like