Garden guests have multiple opportunities this year to experience the Garden in a new way: After dark.
Usually the gates close before sunset, and guests to evening events such as After Hours or Concerts at the Garden are restricted to well-lit, defined areas. This autumn, both Lightscape and the Night Hike will take guests on magical treks that will give them a new perspective on this well-known place.
Lightscape will take guests on a mile-long meandering path lit with millions of lights shaped into lilies, bluebonnets, falling leaves and blooming roses. The Garden will be transformed into a wonderland of light, music and magic.
At the Night Hike, nature will provide the magic. Guests will walk a 1.5 mile trail through the woods and off beaten paths. You will encounter a world few people have experienced. In the darkness, your senses will awaken as you hear the hoots of owls, feel fallen leaves beneath your feet and smell late-blooming flowers. The walk will conclude with hot cocoa and cookies.
“The garden takes on a completely different persona at night,” says Rob Bauereisen, director of horticulture for the Garden. “You never know what you are going to encounter, which adds to the mystery.”
The hike appeals to different people for different reasons, says Bauereisen. “Historically, some participants are serious hikers and really in to nature. They want to document everything they encounter,” he says. “Others just want the experience of walking in the garden at night, but all seem to have a good time.”
The Night Hike is actually a tradition at the Garden, one started several decades ago by a former employee, Bauereisen says, but it has not been offered for several years. He is pleased to bring it back for guests.
No matter how well you know the Garden, you are guaranteed to see it in a new way at Lightscape and the Night Hike. Plan now for a unforgettable experience.