Huntsville is home to so many exciting events during the holidays, but for 25 years one of the most treasured traditions is the Huntsville Botanical Garden's Galaxy of Lights. What is the Galaxy of Lights? It's millions of lights that Clark Griswold only hopes to aspire to at Christmas. The Galaxy of Lights is two and a half miles of Rocket City engineering at its best.
This volunteer-led project that was started in 1996 has grown to feature more than 200 light displays. You can see everything from the twelve days of Christmas and butterflies to dinosaurs and traditional holiday sights like Santa and snowmen. No matter how cold it is, walking or driving nights let you leave with a warm and fuzzy feeling.
The Galaxy of Lights experience has been adapted in accordance with health and safety guidelines from the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Safety measures include thorough cleaning procedures, health and safety training for all employees and volunteers, requirements for face coverings, social distancing protocols, and use of timed-entry tickets to manage capacity during Walking Nights.
For the best experience at Galaxy of Lights Driving Nights, this family highly recommends going early in the season. If you plan on walking, you must get your tickets in advance. If you prefer to drive try to go in early December on a weeknight, and be sure to arrive right at opening time or a little before! This will help you to avoid long lines. Here are a few other tips we have gathered along the way:
- Grab dinner before or bring it along with you in the car (or pack drinks/snacks).
- Make sure all your car windows are clean - you don’t want to obstruct the view.
- Everyone should take a potty break before going to Galaxy.
- Cash helps move the line along faster - cards are accepted or purchase online.
- Pups in the car are welcome, but Fido won’t be able to get out.
- Turn the radio to 98.5 for special Galaxy of Lights music and facts.
- Make sure your headlights are off so everyone in front of you can enjoy the lights.
- Carpool! Get the most for your money - Galaxy charges per car.
- Clean your camera lens - a dirty lens can cause those light flares in photos.
- Thank every person you see, 99% of them are completely volunteering their time in the cold.
Galaxy of Lights is a family holiday tradition at our house. The money helps support the Huntsville Botanical Garden during the winter months and that is a mission we can totally get behind. If you go to Galaxy of Lights and find yourself in a long line - that may not be moving very fast - just remember the reason for the season and that everyone is working very hard to make the line as efficient as possible. Just sit back and relax with your friends and family. Personally, we enjoyed a fun game of “Heads Up” while we waited (app on our phone). Make sure to add Galaxy of Lights to your list of holiday to-dos. It will become a family tradition in no time!
Galaxy of Lights Walking Nights:
November 13 – November 25
5:15 – 8:30 p.m. (tickets must be purchased in advance)
Galaxy of Lights Driving Nights:
November 27 – January 2
5:15 – 8:30 p.m. (last admission)
$25 - 30/car (up to 10 people depending on purchasing at the gate and peak nights)
Military Mondays: Receive $5 off at the gate with ID (Driving Nights only)
VANS & TOUR BUSES
$25 - $30 for up to 10 people, $3 for each additional person (tour bus driver is free)
For any additional questions, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.