Each year during the holiday season the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix lines the paths of this extraordinary desert garden with thousands of luminarias for Las Noches de las Luminarias. Combine the evening desert glow, with the unique environment of the Desert Botanical Garden, entertainment, food, wine, and snacks, and Las Noches de las Luminarias is an event that you won't want to miss.
Who would enjoy Las Noches de las Luminarias?
In my opinion, this is an adult event. Children are certainly welcome, but it is more of an ambiance event than an activity event. I also believe that this Desert Botanical Garden event is one of the more romantic evenings of the holiday season. Imagine a slow stroll along luminaria lit paths in the desert, sipping hot coffee (with brandy, for some!) or tasting wines from around the world.
When is it?
The Desert Botanical Garden kicks off the holiday season with Las Noches de las Luminarias. It will be open to the public (non-members of the Garden) on November 29, 30, December 1 - 4, 9 - 23, 26 - 31, 2013. The nights of December 5-8, 2013 are reserved for Garden members. Las Noches de las Luminarias takes place from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Is there entertainment at Las Noches de las Luminarias?
Yes, you'll find musical entertainment along the paths and in the auditorium. Upon entering the Desert Botanical Garden, you'll receive a listing of the entertainment for the evening. Various musical groups perform each night of Luminarias including the Dickens Carolers, the Duncan Family with Native American music and stories, and world music by Traveler, just to name a few. Handbell Choirs will perform. You can see the entertainment schedule online.
Won't I get lost in the dark?
There are path guides everywhere. Just stay on the paths lit by the 8,000 luminarias and you'll be fine! By the way, Las Noches de las Luminarias is very wheelchair-friendly. The paths are paved.
Special in 2013: During this year's Las Noches de las Luminarias event, you will also be able to enjoy a special exhibit of Chihuly in the Garden. Artist Dale Chihuly returns to the Desert Botanical Garden with another exhibition of his stunning glass works of art. If you enjoyed the 2008/2009 exhibition at Desert Botanical Garden, you won't want to miss it under the glow of the luminarias.
What else should I know?
- Las Noches de las Luminarias is a non-smoking event, even outside.
- No pets are allowed.
- The Desert Botanical Garden gift shop has many unique items to help you with your gift list.
- Even on the nicest of evenings in December, it will get cool after sunset. Don't let the daytime temperatures fool you -- wear a jacket, and layers if it is breezy.
- Food and alcohol are available for purchase at the Desert Botanical Garden during Las Noches de las Luminarias. There are hot cider and cookie stations along the paths, and a wine tasting area. A buffet dinner is offered at an additional cost.
- A buffet dinner is available at an additional cost. Meal tickets are $17.50 for adults and $9.50 for children. Gertrude’s Restaurant will be open and reservations are highly recommended.
Where is the Desert Botanical Garden?
The Desert Botanical Garden is located in Phoenix at Papago Park. The address is 1201 North Galvin Parkway. It is on the southeast corner of 64th Street and McDowell Road. Here is a map to help you find the Desert Botanical Garden.
How do I get tickets and how much are they?
Adult ticket: $30; child ticket: $12.50; children under three are admitted free. Tickets go on sale September 16, 2013 for Garden Members, and September 30, 2013 for nonmembers.
To get tickets
1. call 480-481-8188
2. go online to Desert Botanical Garden
3. Visit the Garden’s Admissions Booth from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily
A holiday season evening couldn't be better spent than at Las Noches de las Luminarias. Hope for nice weather! Remember, this event sells out quickly. Tickets usually are offered for sale in late September.
Tree lightings, holiday lights, festivals, holiday music and entertainment, gift guides and holiday travel tips -- find them all in the Christmas Holidays Guide for Greater Phoenix.