2017-12-01 / Features

Bellingrath Gardens and Home celebrates 22 Years of Magic Christmas in Lights

I t’s one of the nation’s best holiday light shows, and it’s right here in south Alabama. Bellingrath Gardens and Home presents the 22nd season of Magic Christmas in Lights in 2017. The dazzling nighttime display features more than 1,100 set pieces, 3 million lights and 15 scenes, set out in a walking tour throughout the 65-acre Garden estate. Opening night was Friday, Nov. 24. The show will continue nightly from 5 to 9 p.m. through Dec. 31, 2017.

Magic Christmas in Lights has become a must-see tradition for visitors from the Gulf Coast region and beyond. Attendance has nearly doubled since 2000, rising from 35,309 that year to 70,000 in 2016. Families enjoy strolling the grounds together, taking holiday photos, drinking cocoa on Live Oak Plaza and visiting Santa Claus in the Magnolia Café.

Many of our guests do not realize that Magic Christmas in Lights is a made-in-Alabama attraction. Each year, the set pieces for the holiday lights are designed and handmade on site by members of Bellingrath’s staff. Three of our employees work fulltime all year on the light display, which must be re-lamped and updated regularly.

In 2014, Magic Christmas in Lights was ranked sixth in USA Today’s list of “10 Best Public Light Displays in America,” which was compiled with readers’ online votes. Click here for the link: http://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-public-lightsdisplay/. The American Bus Association named Magic Christmas in Lights one of its Top 100 Events in North America for Group Travel in 2016.

Magic Christmas in Lights also includes nightly choral performances on the South Terrace of the Bellingrath Home, which will be open for tours and decorated in full holiday finery.

The Gift Shop will be fully stocked for the season, and guests may also have their photos taken with Santa Claus in the Magnolia Café each night through Dec. 23. The Magnolia Café will also have extended hours, 4 to 8 p.m., during the season. Menus are posted on the website, www.bellingrath.org. (The Gardens will be closed on Christmas and New Year’s days.) Military Mondays are back! Military personnel and their immediate relatives will receive a 15 percent discount for regular Gardens admission on each Monday of the Magic Christmas in Lights season. The dates are Dec. 4, 11 and 18. For details about Magic Christmas in Lights, or to order tickets, visit our website, www.bellingrath.org.

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