Friday, December 24, 2010

Holiday: Garden d'Lights 2010

What has become the premier scene at the Garden d'Lights in Bellevue, Washington, the pond scene, was captured on 22-December-2010

BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON - It seems that all really good free things come to an end, and such is the case with the holiday season Garden d'Lights in Bellevue, Washington. Since 1994, the ever-growing light display had been free, but this year, outside of a few early-season dates, it cost $5 for adults and reservations were needed as total admissions were limited to keep the Botanical Gardens from becoming overcrowded, as had happened on several nights in the 2009 season.

An octopus was targeting a starfish for lunch in the aquarium scene at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens in Bellevue, Washington on 22-December-2010

The display now features more than 500,000 individual lights in dozens of scenes that stretch throughout nearly the entire Botanical Gardens complex. The display is always different each year, so while one can expect listeria at the covered walkways and a pond scene on the upper lawn, some of the better animals like the monkey and the slug could be found in different locations, and there were plenty of new scenes throughout the park.

A gardener watered potted plants near gourds at the Garden d'Lights in Bellevue, Washington on 22-December-2010

While the original idea behind the Garden d'Lights had been to highlight plant life as a winter nighttime extension of the Bellevue Botanical Garden's daytime and mostly fair-season mission, the most popular parts of the Garden d'Lights have mostly become the animals. Some years, kids were given a list of animals to find hidden around the displays, and certainly the rabbit with its carrot and the spider with a fly caught in its web have become perennial favorite scenes, with new ones added each year.

A turtle was one of the prominent animals scattered about the Garden D'Lights in Bellevue, Washington on 22-December-2010

Still, the bulk of the lights in the Garden d'Lights are devoted to plant representations, with quite a variety, from desert succulents to both the blue and pink versions of hydrangeas, with just about any flower imaginable seen somewhere in the gardens. I wish some of them could be labeled just like the various real plant species in the garden have signs with their names that can be seen in daylight.

A typical scene with a variety of plants was seen along the hillside of the Garden d'Lights in Bellevue, Washington on 22-December-2010

The size of the garden was expanded significantly this year to include new portrayals of salmon jumping in a rapidly-moving stream. This display was especially appropriate considering the Botanical Gardens' proximity to Kelsey Creek, a stream that is alive with migrating salmon at certain times of year.

Salmon jumped up a creek in a new display for 2010 at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens' Garden d'Lights on 22-December-2010

With all the new displays, even with the $5 charge, the Garden d'Lights still compares favorably with other similar displays. It remains open through 1-January-2011--remember to make reservations if you wish to go!

1 comment:

Bellevue Botanical Garden said...


Brought to you by the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society and Bellevue Parks and Community Services, Garden d’Lights features thousands of lights which transform the Garden into a blossoming winter wonderland.

Garden d’Lights runs from Saturday, November 30, 2013 – Saturday, January 4, 2014, every evening from 5 – 10 pm (last entry at 9:30 pm). It is more important than ever to visit early in the season, early in the week, and early in the evening.

The Garden is undergoing major construction of new facilities. Though d’Lightful as ever, this year’s event features a shorter route and new ticket booth location. As always, hot beverages will be available at the Shorts Visitor Center, and friendly volunteers will provide a warm welcome. Please note that due to construction, there is no on-site limited mobility parking; however there is a drop-off area on Main Street just east of the Garden d’Lights entry. The gift shop is on hiatus until the new building is finished, so look for our amazing new shop at next year’s event!

Visit, to:

 Purchase your ticket. Tickets are available beginning October 15. Admission is $5 per person; children 10 and under are free.

 Get all event and parking details.

 Get new directions to event parking.

 Find out how to visit the show for FREE.

Hundreds of volunteers work year round to bundle strings of lights into three dimensional flowers, shrubs, and vines. In addition to artistic interpretation of plants, the volunteer team has created charming animal characters. New to this year’s display is “Honey Bear” surrounded by his honey pots.

Where: Bellevue Botanical Garden 12001 Main Street.
When: Saturday, November 30 thru Saturday, January 4, 2014
Time: 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. (last entry at 9:30 p.m.)
Recorded Information Line: 425-452-6844

To become a volunteer in our Garden d’Lights program, go to our website, and click on the “volunteer” tab.