As dusk approaches, the glow of the candles magnifies along the paths. The sound of music wafts through the air from various parts of the garden. Las Noches de Las Luminarias marks the beginning of another holiday season. At multiple locations throughout the Desert Botanical Garden, musicians of various genres celebrate living in the desert during this festive time of year.
The Desert Botanical Garden Sets The Stage For Holiday Fun
The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix is open daily for visitors to explore and presents many events throughout the year. Five main trails and several smaller routes bring you amidst thousands of species of desert plants and cacti that have a unique beauty. Las Noches de Las Luminarias provides an opportunity to see the garden and its foliage by the light of candles and twinkling strands.
The garden often hosts visiting artworks strategically placed among the plantings. Visitors to Las Noches de Las Luminarias receive the bonus of viewing these works lit up.
The garden is easy to reach off of Galvin Parkway just south of McDowell Road. A large parking lot is well structured to minimize your walk to the gate.
A Unique Holiday Experience In The Desert
Imagine sitting in the crisp night air, sipping a warm hot chocolate, and singing along to your favorite holiday tune. You then wander along the curved trails lined with luminarias to discover another musical group starting their set in another spot of the garden. Listen to the bell choir, brass quintet, or Dickens carolers for traditional songs. Then spice up the night with mariachi music, world fusion tunes, and dueling pianos. A couple of more-secluded locations offer quiet bluegrass or Native American flute. Some of the musical acts play every year and others bring new life to the event.
Due to the mild weather in Phoenix, temperatures provide a festival feel of winter but are comfortable enough to sit outdoors for 3–4 hours. Heat lamps and gas fire pits add some warmth if needed. You can also head inside the Webster Center for the bell choir or check out the art exhibit in Ottosen Gallery to warm up a bit. Bars are sprinkled throughout the garden and offer delicious spiked hot chocolate, cider, and other drinks.
Tips For A Special Evening
Tickets for Las Noches de Las Luminarias sell out for many of the nights, so buy ahead of time on the website. Try to arrive at 5:30 p.m. when the event starts so that you have the full 4 hours. Peruse the schedule and plan your evening. You may want to hit your favorites first and linger a while to listen to the music. You could also bounce around to be sure you sample each group and then return to the ones you enjoyed the most. The groups take breaks throughout the night. If you arrive during a break, move on to another spot or take the time to visit the bar or chat with family and friends.
The paths are easy to walk and employees decorated with lights can help direct you. Plenty of seating is available at most of the spots, although, a few musicians are set up in areas without many places to sit. The Ullman Terrace, Boppart Courtyard, and Wildflower Pavilion are the largest and most accessible sites. Several restrooms ring the garden and are always kept clean.
Las Noches de Las Luminarias provides a unique holiday experience at the Desert Botanical Garden. Various types of festive music combine with sparkling lights and cacti to remind you that holidays in the desert are even better than a white Christmas.
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