NYBG Glow Brings Playful Holiday Lights Installation to the Bronx

12/17/20 - By Sonia Gonzalez

Lights are as synonymous with the holidays as trees and trains. From festive holiday window displays to luminous drive-thru installations and dazzling residential displays, lighted artistic creations evoke holiday magic throughout NYC and beyond. In 2020, the New York Botanical Garden has added a brand new spectacular light display, NYBG Glow, to its seasonal calendar.

A long-time seasonal destination for its annual holiday train show, which is limiting attendance to members this year, NYBG Glow is a creative outdoor light exhibition offering holiday cheer and fun for the whole family.

Read on for more details on the inaugural light display, and be sure to peruse our Holiday Fun Guide for more ways to enjoy the season.

Editor's note: While we are trying to promote safer activities that occur outdoors or with social distancing guidelines in place, please keep your family and others safe by always wearing a mask and maintaining an appropriate distance.

Trees alight with purple, blue, green, and red at New York Botanical Garden's GLOW
Evergreen trees lit up in a rainbow of colors provide a dreamlike backdrop.

My girls and I were delighted to see the New York Botanical Garden, a favorite all-season destination, aglow with luminescent installations. Projected snowflakes along the paths set the tone for wintery whimsy. The trees surrounding the path leading to the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory are alight with purple, blue, green, and red, creating a fairytale-like experience. The conservatory’s courtyard features a large walkthrough installation with candescent globes of varying sizes and live steel pan drum performances, while the Home Gardening Center has been transformed into a colorful installation of luminous trees and lighted pathways.

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girls silouhetted New York Botanic Garden NYBG’s Newest Installation Makes the Holidays GLOW for NYC Families
The lights are fun to gaze at and play with.

Visitors entering from the Mosholu entrance are met with two fire pits that cast a warm glow in front of the path leading to the LuEsther T. Mertz Library. Follow the snowflake path to find ice sculptors working their magic or head to the Reflecting Pool for live pop-up performances of the Hip Hop Nutcracker: NYBG REMIX. My girls had fun roaming the paths, taking in the artistic creations and live performances, and—once they saw a picture I took of their silhouettes in front of a display—posing, dancing, and making shapes while I captured their visions as best I could.

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New York Botanical Garden's Enid A. Haupt Conservatory awash in colors
The Enid A. Haupt Conservatory makes a beautiful canvas for holiday lights.

We topped off our visit with hot cocoa at the Pine Tree Café (other beverages, pizza, and snacks are also available for purchase), and another stroll through the exhibits. With timed-entry tickets and face coverings required, this outdoor installation offers a little holiday magic while making it easy for guests to practice safe social distancing.

New York Botanical Garden's Glow is a beautiful light display
NYBG Glow draws visitors to the garden for a safe, stunning, socially distant evening.

NYBG Glow is open on select dates through Saturday, January 9, 2021. Admission is $18 for children ages 2-12 and $30 for adults. Children under age 2 are FREE. Several dates are already sold out.

Photos by the author

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