Botanic D’Lights: A Winter Wonderland in Christchurch

After a year away, Botanic D’Lights is back in Christchurch dazzling locals with beautiful light installations interspersed throughout the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.

Trail Map

Hoping to avoid the weekend crowds, Pete and I went to check out the show on opening night. Moving at a slow clip, it took us just under an hour to walk through the garden and see all twenty-eight installations.

Navigating the crowd was doable but beware of tiny humans darting between displays. The darkness made it pretty hard for parents to keep track of their kiddos and I think a few strategically bought LED merch just to easily find their little ones in the crowd.

Before heading in we’d stopped at the food trucks parked outside of the gardens to grab a bite. Nothing says “shredding for the wedding” like kettle corn (jokes, kettle corn is my kryptonite). There was no shortage of options, food trucks and pop up tents were offering everything from warm cups of cocoa to burgers fresh off the grill.

The closest thing I can compare Botanic D’Lights to are the drive-through Christmas shows I’ve been to in the States. You know, the ones where you drive through a set course with the radio tuned to the Christmas station while eating candy canes. If you’re unfamiliar with this amazing cultural phenomenon, check out one Portland gem here.

Despite some drizzles, everyone was excited to be out and about enjoying the show. Many of the displays incorporated sound and movement, with one delightful scene consisting of talking trees telling dad jokes. Pure gold.

Some exhibits were impossible to miss like the Rain Tree (pretty self-explanatory) and LED pathways that changed colors as you walked over them. Others were more hidden in the foliage and easy to miss if you weren’t paying close attention, making the whole night feel like an awesome scavengar hunt.

One of the last displays was a psychedelic mushroom forest, hand painted by local primary school students. Watching kids try to find the mushrooms they’d painted in the crowded scene was the epitome of cuteness overload.

Here are a few of my favorites from the night…

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Planning a visit? Here’s what you need to know before you go…

  • Botanic D’Lights runs from 8-12 August 2018
  • Entry is from 6pm-9pm
  • The entry fee is gold coin donation to enter, with all proceeds benefiting Nurse Maude
  • Plan on about one hour (at a casual stroll) to walk through the park

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