Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights

GardenFest runs from mid-November to early January. We are CLOSED Thanksgiving, Dec. 24-25.  Open 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. En español.

Ticket Availability

If the date or time you hope to buy tickets for is sold consider visiting on weeknights or after 8 p.m. Another option — become a garden member, member tickets tend to have greater availability.

Become a member

Prepurchased Tickets Required for all Visitors including Members (No Walk-Ups). Masks Required.

Recent Executive Orders have set very limited capacities for botanical gardens as a result of COVID-19. As a result:

    • Tickets must be pre-purchased and are available online only.
    • Tickets have a timed arrival. The time on the ticket is the start of a 30-minute arrival window.
    • Guests are asked to limit visits to one hour; the show is all outdoors and this should provide ample time.
    • Some pathways make social distancing challenging. Masks are required for all guests over age 5 at all times (except while eating and drinking).
    • There are no refunds. Tickets cannot be transferred to another date and time. Proceeds benefit the non-profit Garden’s mission.
    • GardenFest is a “rain or shine” event. The show continues even through heavy rain and cold temperatures. The Garden is closed only for severe weather. Any closure notices would be posted to the homepage ( and on social media.

Due to extremely limited capacities, popular times sell out quickly. Consider weeknights and early (4 0r 4:30 p.m.) or late (8 or 8:30 p.m.) time slots. In some cases, member tickets may have greater availability; consider becoming a member to take advantage of this benefit while also supporting the Garden.

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


  • CHOOSING YOUR DATE AND TIME: When purchasing tickets (tickets are above: see “Member” and “Non-Member” and appropriate links), use the scroll bar or “Filter by Date” to select the date and time you wish to visit.
  • BE CAREFUL: If a date/time is full, it will say “SOLD OUT” and the system defaults to the current date. Double-check before purchasing to make sure you have the correct date and time you want to visit.
  • ARRIVAL TIME: Each night has 30-minute arrival time windows. The time you choose is the start of that window. The first window is 4-4:30 p.m.; the last is 8:30-9 p.m.
  • AVAILABLE TICKETS: If a date and time are close to sold out, only the number of available tickets is shown.

GardenFest Pricing

Children under age 3 do not need a ticket.

Members: Free admission on Member Nights (but reservations required). Learn about becoming a member!
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.

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

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.

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

  • Thousands of lights line garden paths and twinkle in trees under the night sky. The Garden highlights 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!

GardenFest MapPlanning 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.


  • 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.