San Diego Botanic Garden to host international Lightscape exhibition

Lightscape, a touring walk-through light installation.
Lightscape, an international touring walk-through light installation, arrives Nov. 18 at the San Diego Botanic Garden.
(Courtesy of Lightscape)

Event will have one mile of illuminated walkways and more than 1 million lights


For many years, the San Diego Botanic Garden has held a homegrown holiday lighting display during December.

Now the Encinitas attraction is cranking up the dial to host the megawatt international attraction Lightscape. The large-scale lighting spectacle — which has been produced at public gardens around the world — will run Nov. 18 through Jan. 1 at the 37-acre property in Encinitas.

An illuminated lily sculpture is reflected in the water at Lightscape.
An illuminated lily sculpture is reflected in the water at Lightscape, which comes to the San Diego Botanic Garden on Nov. 18.
(Courtesy of Lightscape)

Lightscape features a one-mile walking path lined with more than 1 million twinkling lights, as well as light sculptures designed by artists from around the world, a walk-through “cathedral” of light, a laser garden, live fire garden and lantern trees. In addition to the illuminated elements, Lightscape also features spots to stop for marshmallow roasting and cocoa.

Organizers say it takes about 90 minutes to tour the installation, which will be available by timed entry on select evenings. Tickets start at $26 for adults and $13 for children.

“We are ecstatic to announce that Lightscape is making its San Diego debut at San Diego Botanic Garden,” Ari Novy, president and CEO of San Diego Botanic Garden said, in a statement. “Visitors to the Garden will experience this internationally renowned holiday light show, unlike anything San Diego venues have offered before. ... We are thrilled to launch what we know will become a San Diego holiday tradition.”

A laser garden in Lightscape, arriving Nov. 18 at San Diego Botanic Garden.
(Courtesy of Brian Morrison)

Lightscape was developed in 2013 by Creative Culture, a production company in northeast England, which has worked with Sony Music over the past nine years to create more than 30 illuminated trails around the world at locations that have included the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, Chicago Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria in Australia.

Tickets can be purchased for entry times every 15 minutes from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on show nights. Gates close at 10 p.m. Only 150 tickets will be sold during each 15-minute period to control crowds. Show dates are Nov. 18-20, 23, 25-27, Dec. 1-4, 8-11, 14-23, 26-31 and Jan. 1. Parking is $10.

General admission tickets for adults are $29, or $26 for military. Children ages 3 to 12 are $18, or $15 for military dependents ages 3 to 12. Children 2 and under are free. San Diego Botanic Garden members get a discount. The garden will also sell a $60 flex ticket that allow visitors to enter at any time during the 5 to 8:30 p.m. window on select days. The flex ticket includes parking.

Tickets are now on sale at