More than a million lights, 15-foot-tall illuminated flowers and a field of illuminated bluebonnets now welcome guests to the San Antonio Botanical Garden.
Part of Bright landscapethe international holiday light show which is presented in several gardens across the United States this season, facilities are open Friday, November 11 through Sunday, January 8. This is the second year the exhibit has taken over the San Antonio Botanical Garden, but that doesn’t mean those who saw the exhibit last year should skip it this time around, says Sabina Carr, CEO of the garden.
“We want you to come back and enjoy some of the favorites, but 80% of the show is different,” she says.
The winter cathedral, which all who have excavated Bright landscape on Instagram will recognize, returned to close out the show — and provide those IG-worthy photo ops — but the start of the posting is new. In the Culinary Garden (where snacks and drinks are also available for purchase), visitors are greeted by large multicolored geometric cylinders created by Australian lighting company Mandylights.
These cylinders are also on display alongside lights and a Christmas tree near the Lucile Halsell Conservatory, which includes fire pits for roasting s’mores. The “Fire Garden” that was there in 2021 has been moved to the East Texas Pineywoods and Lake, where it is joined by cherry blossoms and other lighted flowers on display around the water.
Right next to the lake, guests journey through “Aurora,” a new immersive installation that invites people to walk under the lights.
From here, visitors will find the popular bluebonnet-lit field. This year the exhibit is twice as large as before and the walking path takes visitors around the grounds rather than just alongside. George Strait’s beloved song, “When It’s Christmas in Texas,” provides a fitting soundtrack to the scene.
When guests leave this area, they will see a brand new installation called “Flower Forest”, with large “alien” flowers 15 and 9 feet tall. “Think Alice in Wonderlandsays Carr, adding that the light display is choreographed to two Pentatonix songs.
Bright landscape opens a week earlier this year than last year and will stay open an extra week, which Carr says will give even more people the chance to experience it. About 112,000 tickets were sold in 2021 and Carr says they expect 125,000 or more tickets sold this year.
This means people are encouraged to make reservations early, especially if they want to attend a weekend party or around a bank holiday when it’s not unusual for the event to sell out.
“We just wanted more members of the community to be able to see it,” says Carr, adding that about a third of Bright landscape visitors in 2021 had never been to the San Antonio Botanical Garden before. “I want everyone to know this is their backyard.”
San Antonio Botanical Garden, 555 Funston Place
Book your tickets on sabot.org. Tickets are available for reservation every 15 minutes between 5:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. each evening.
Free parking and shuttle service are available offsite. on-site parking can be reserved for $30.