Descanso Gardens is lighting up its lush greenery with a brand new, one-of-a-kind light show that’s more magical than finding the last Hatchimal on the shelf at Target. This beautiful display is guaranteed to illicit oohs and ahhs from everyone in your family, even the big kids, and will give you a gorgeous respite from the frenzied pace of the holidays.

enchanted-tulipsphoto: Shahrzad Warkentin

No Ordinary Light Show
With so many spectacular light displays across LA, your little explorers may think they’ve seen it all, but you’ve never seen anything quite like this. The Forest of Light bypasses the traditional twinkling lights and lit-up cut-outs in favor of something simpler, but very unique. Throughout the one-mile path that loops through Descanso Gardens you’ll discover ten different lighting installations that are part work-of-art, and part interactive play. From a field of LED tulips that hum as they change colors to multi-colored lights dancing across a fog-covered lake, every extraordinary sight is full of beauty and magic.

enchanted-lightwave-lakephoto: Shahrzad Warkentin

Get In On The Action
Is there really any greater thrill for curious tots than getting to push buttons? One of the most creative aspects of the exhibit is that several of the displays have interactive elements that invite you to touch lights, jump on things, and even push giant buttons. In the Lightwave Lake (pictured above) display you can manipulate levers and push buttons to both move and change the colors of the lights shining across the water.

At the Symphony of the Oaks, mini musicians can compose their own song just by stepping on the lighted pads that circle the giant oaks. The most popular stop by far, however, is sure to be the Luminous Lawn, where you’ll have to pull the kids away from The Pool (pictured below), where they’ll be leaping, skipping, and running across the giant light pads that change color with every tap.

enchanted-luminous-lawnphoto: Enchanted/Jake Fabricius

About the Snack Situation
It’s good. It’s like it was designed by parents.  You know how we said there are two displays that you’ll have to drag kids away from?  Those happen to be perfectly spaced about 1/3 & 2/3 of the way through the walk, and they also are were the two food stations are located.  At the first stop load up on tacos and chumpurado, while the second offers cocoa and grilled cheese.  Both have your popcorn, cookie and cocktail needs covered.  So settle in at these two spots (the one by the lake also has tables and heaters for relaxing and warming up) while the kids play to their hearts content.

If you don’t want to wait until you enter the Enchanted Forest of Lights to eat, or you’ve got picky eaters, you can also grab traditional burgers, dogs & sammies at the Patina snack counter by the entrance (bathrooms are there, too).  Also by the entrance is a table filled with light up toys.  Though the kids may want to hold out for the cotton candy, which comes on a light up stick you can eat from, and then turn it into a lightsaber. If you want to make a full night of it, make a dinner reservation at the newly opened Maple restaurant, which is open late just for Enchanted visitors.

watching-a-test-runphoto: Enchanted

All The Details
Enchanted runs nightly from ‪5-10 p.m. now ‪through January 8, except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Timed entry tickets are required and must be purchased in advance online or at the ‪Visitor Center. Adults are $28, kids are $24, and those 2 & under are free. Strollers are welcome and we definitely recommend it for younger visitors, as the paths between the installations are very dark. It can get very cold when the sun goes down, so be sure to bundle up. Gloves are available at the gift shop at the start of the path, should you forget them.

enchanted-light-tunnelphoto: Shahrzad Warkentin

Descanso Gardens
‪1418 Descanso Drive
‪La Canada Flintridge
‪818-952-4390
Online: descansogardens.org/programs-events/enchanted

Enchanted, Zoo Lights and more: LA is alive with brilliant displays for the holidays.  What’s your favorite mega watt attraction?  Let us know in the comment section!

—Shahrzad Warkentin

ADVERTISEMENT