Holiday Must-Do: Garden of Lights at Brookside Gardens


It’s not the winter holidays in the DC area without a visit to Brookside Gardens’ Garden of Lights!

This gorgeous holiday outdoor walk-through light exhibit celebrates its 19th season, and my family and I have attended with our children every year since Charlie was a one-year-old, clapping his hands with delight at all of the lights.

Beginning November 25th through January 1st (except December 24th and 25th), families can enter this evening enchanted wonderland that is illuminated with more than one million lights.


The images I have captured here with my camera do not do the magical visuals justice. There are lights of all colors, flashing in sophisticated designs. The lights are added to hand-crafted, original art forms of flowers, animals and more natural elements. There are twinkling tree forms, fountains, snowflakes and gazebos full of holiday magic.


Family favorites are the lighted “squirrels” and “cardinals” that dash and fly amongst the trees, just like animals native to the park. “Bullfrogs” of lights on twinkling “lily pads” also entertain, as do wolves, roses, rainclouds, rainbows and even sea serpents, all made of tiny bulbs.


Another beloved element of the Garden of Lights experience is visiting the G-Scale model trains that speed through the Conservatory in a seasonal landscape.


My children love watching the trains and searching for hidden treasures in the provided “I Spy” scavenger hunt for kids. A favorite item often on the hunt list: a tiny Yoda.


Every night during Garden of Lights the Visitors Center hosts nightly musical performances and sells delicious hot cocoa.


The Garden of Lights is one of the area’s most treasured holiday traditions, and one that brings the A Parent in Silver Spring crew joy every year. We hope to see you there!

Garden of Lights at Brookside Gardens
1800 Glenallan Avenue
Wheaton, MD 20902
November 25th through January 1st
(closed December 24th and 25th)
Sunday – Thursday: 5:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: 5:30 – 10:00 p.m.
Last car admitted 30 minutes before closing time each night.
For safety reasons, pedestrians are not admitted.

$25 per Car/Van (Sunday – Thursday)
$30 per Car/Van (Friday – Saturday)

$25 Advance Sale Tickets available at the gift shop at Brookside Gardens beginning November 1

$50 per 15-24 Passenger Bus/Van/Limo
$75 per 25-35 Passenger Bus
$120 per 36-57 Passenger Bus

This segment produced by Montgomery Community Media a few years ago provides a great overview of Garden of Lights.

Thank you to Montgomery Parks for sponsoring this blog post. All opinions are my own.

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