Boise Festivals and Events

Winter Garden aGlow - Keeping Idaho Power in Business

If you're like most folks, you want to get out of the house at least once during the holiday season to look at Christmas lights. Usually this entails driving around to some of the more famous neighborhoods and private displays. The problem with this approach is the driving part. It never fails that there's a long line of cars behind you, making you feel guilty about taking a nice long gander at someone's extravagant winter labor. Or you spend all evening dodging other people's grocery getters because you're gawking at the lights instead of watching for oncoming traffic. The solution to this problem is the Idaho Botanical Garden's Winter Garden aGlow, where you can gawk as long as you like and the only thing you'll run into is an overindulgence of Christmas spirit.

Winter Garden aGlow is one of the botanical garden's signature events, and you will not be disappointed. When the garden's plants, trees, and shrubbery retire in October for their long winter nap, garden workers and volunteers start dragging out boxes upon boxes of string lights. Then they spend a few weeks trying to untangle the cords. After that, they begin the arduous process of hanging the gazillion white, purple, red, orange, and blue lights all over the trees, rocks, gazebos, and other garden structures. Even the old prison guard tower is outlined in lights. The end result is nothing short of remarkable. When we're lucky enough to get some snow, the view is even better with the different colors glowing on the snow or even underneath it.

Instead of viewing lights from afar, Winter Garden aGlow gives you a chance to bundle up against the cold and stroll right through the holiday glow. The English Garden and the Rose Garden are the highlights of the display, with their colonnade, gazebo, and archways framed with lights. However, in recent years the display has grown with the gardens. The paths in the new Children's Garden are ringed with lights, and you can even get a bird's-eye view of the entire botanical garden and Downtown Boise by walking up to the top of the Lewis and Clark Native Plant Garden. And no matter where you go, you'll always have a good view of the lighted cross on top of Table Rock.

All you wimps out there, fear not. If an arctic cold spell sets in over Boise, there are strategically-placed burning barrels throughout the garden, so you can stop and warm your hands by the fire. It'll probably be the only time in your life when you'll be able to stand by a burning barrel without being asked for spare change. There's also a hospitality tent where you can get yourself some hot spiced cider, hot chocolate, and cookies while you hover by a propane heater. And if Christmas carols warm your heart, they have people taking care of that some nights too. It's all enough to make even Scrooge feel all warm and fuzzy inside. If you ask me, though, they wouldn't need the barrels if they offered hot toddies or maybe some of grandma's "special" egg nog.

Event: Winter Garden aGlow
Where: Idaho Botanical Garden
When: Thanksgiving Day thru early January
6PM - 9PM
Cost: Adults: $8
Children (4-12): $4
Members: $4
Website: Idaho Botanical Garden
Why I love it: I own lots of stock from Idaho Power.