Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights

November 23, 2020 – January 10, 2021 (CLOSED Thanksgiving, Dec. 24-25), Nightly 4-10 p.m.

A favorite tradition featuring lights, decorations, outdoor model trains, dinners, hot chocolate (for purchase) & more! All displays are outdoors with safety measures in place.

VOTE for GardenFest

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is in the running for USATODAY’s 10Best Botanical Garden Holiday Lights!


Prepurchased Tickets with 30-Minute Arrival Window Required for all Visitors including Members (No Walk-Ups). Masks Required.

Due to limited capacities, timed arrivals and a no-refund policy, please plan carefully and pay close attention when purchasing tickets. (There are no refunds; proceeds benefit the non-profit Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s mission.) Tickets cannot be transferred to another date and time.

Due to the governor’s new mandate and COVID-19 restrictions, the number of visitors permitted at Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights at any given time has been substantially reduced. In an effort to allow as many people as possible to see GardenFest, we are asking guests to limit their visit this year to one hour. With this year’s exhibition being all outdoors, we think an hour will be ample time for most to view the lights. Thank you, in advance, for your understanding and patience as we navigate these new restrictions together. 

This year there are three seasons of pricing (see below). To purchase tickets, click on the appropriate link: Member or Non-Member (tickets are above: see the photo/appropriate link). You will find the tickets organized by season.

IMPORTANT TIP: When you purchase tickets, be sure to scroll through or use the “Filter” feature to bring up a calendar and find the date and time you wish to visit and purchase your tickets. Each night has 30-minute arrival time windows. The first window starts at 4 p.m. and the last one starts at 8:30 p.m. Please note if a date/time is already sold out and the program will reset to the first day available. Please use caution when purchasing to make sure you have selected the correct date. Children under age 3 do not need a ticket.

GardenFest is a “rain or shine” event; only closed for extreme weather.

GardenFest Pricing

Children under age 3 do not need a ticket.

VALUE SEASON: Nov. 23-Dec. 17
Members: $7 adults; $5 youth (age 3-17)
Non-members: $14 adults; $8 youth (age 3-12); Museums for All (SNAP or WIC card shown at check in): $1 adult; $0 youth (age 3-12)

PEAK SEASON: Dec. 18-Jan. 3
Members: $7 adults; $5 youth (age 3-17)
Non-members: $18 adults; $12 youth (age 3-12); Museums for All (SNAP or WIC card shown at check in): $1 adult; $0 youth (age 3-12)

Members: Free admission on Member Nights (but reservations required)
Non-members: $14 adults; $8 youth (age 3-12); Museums for All (SNAP or WIC card shown at check in): $1 adult; $0 youth (age 3-12)

Please note: We are using the Eventbrite ticketing system used in previous years and there is a small service fee.

Safety is Our Top Priority 

We’re excited to bring “light” to the community this year! We appreciate your understanding of the safety measures in place during this time of COVID-19.

  • The number of tickets has been dramatically reduced.
  • Tickets must be prepurchased. No walk-ups.
  • Tickets are available online ONLY with a timed arrival.
  • Due to strict capacity limits, there are no refunds and tickets cannot be changed to a different day and time. Proceeds benefit the Garden’s mission.
  •  Masks are required for all guests over 5 years of age.
  •  This year’s show is all outdoors. Restrooms, indoor dining (by reservation) and shopping are available.
  •  All guests must follow health guidelines, including social distancing at least six feet apart from others.
  • There are separate entry and exit points. The entries are one-way only and designed to prevent guests from crossing paths. Exit is through an outdoor gate.

Become a Member for the Best Value

Enjoy free admission on Member Nights January 4-10 (reservations required for both). Receive special discounted pricing on all other nights.

Learn More

Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights. Image by James LovingLights & Displays

  • Thousands of lights will line garden paths and twinkle in trees under the night sky. The Garden will highlight displays from previous GardenFests, allowing guests to search for favorite forms, including giant flowers, the peacock, unicorn and dragon! Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights is designed so you and your loved ones and friends can relax, have fun and make special memories in a magical outdoor setting.
  • NEW THIS YEAR: an outdoor model train display! Look for the trains chugging around the Garden Keeper’s Cottage in the Children’s Garden.Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights flower lights. Image by Nicole Plummer
  • This year’s show is all outdoors. A number of facilities and activities from previous years, such as the Conservatory, Library, warming fire, maze, indoor model trains, storytelling, and music and crafts, make physical distancing challenging and are not part of this year’s show, but should return next year. Portions of the Children’s Garden, including the Tree House, also are closed due to the fact that they are high-touch areas.
  • See photos from this year’s show!

Planning Your Visit

What’s Different This Year


  • This year’s show is all outdoors. The only time you will enter a building is to have your prepurchased tickets scanned.
  • Staff scanning tickets will be behind plexiglass and the measures in place will allow us to scan efficiently, getting you outside as quickly as possible.
  • GardenFest is a walk-through experience. Dress for comfort and the weather.
  • Restrooms, indoor dining (by reservation only) and shopping are available. See “Dining and Shopping” below.

*It is important to take time before you purchase tickets to plan carefully. Check to make sure you have selected the date and arrival time you want before completing your transaction.

  • Tickets must be prepurchased. No walk-ups. Children under age 3 do not need a ticket.
  • Tickets are available online ONLY with a timed arrival window.
  • There are no refunds (proceeds benefit the Garden’s mission). Tickets cannot be transferred to another date and time.


  • You must arrive during your 30-minute arrival time window.
    There will be no indoor spaces to “meet up” with friends and family; please plan accordingly.
  • While there is not a set limit for the length of your visit, the show is designed for an hour to an hour-and-a-half visit.
  • Four scanning stations will be in the Visitors Center. On select evenings, a fifth one will be in the Kelly Education Center. It will be very important to pay attention to signage and Garden staff and volunteers when you visit.
  • Help us be quick! When you arrive, have your paper ticket ready for us to scan and collect. Or if you prefer, have your QR code on your electronic device displayed and ready for scanning.


  • Restaurant dining in the Visitors Center: This year, seated dining will be in the Restaurant in the Visitor’s Center. See the menu, pricing and the online reservation form at the bottom of the Dining page. These seated meals require an online reservation and you will need to time your reservation time to coincide with your ticket arrival window. (Example: if your dining reservation is for 5 p.m., your ticket needs to be for 5-5:30 p.m. arrival). Since visitor flow is one-way in the Visitor’s Center, you will need to dine before seeing the lights.
  • Grab & Go from the Tea House: Once you are inside the Garden, “Grab & Go” food and drink options are available for purchase at the Tea House. These items will include hot soups, chili and beverages that can be carried to available outdoor dining spots or enjoyed while walking.
  • Espresso-A-Go-Go: Hot drinks (hot chocolate, coffee, etc.) and snacks will be available for purchase in the Children’s Garden.
  • Jingle Bar: On select evenings the Jingle Bar will be set up in the Rose Garden with drinks and snacks available for purchase.
  • The Garden Shop will be open during GardenFest. The Visitor’s Center has one-way routing this year, so if you don’t shop before seeing the lights, drop in after seeing the lights using our new Shop entrance located near the exit gate! Please be aware that if the Shop reaches capacity, we will ask you to please wait for other shoppers to leave before you are able to enter.