Muscogee Moms’ Review:
Fantasy In Lights
By Sara Davenport
Fantasy In Lights at Callaway Gardens
November 21 – December 30, 2014
Pine Mountain, Georgia
I’ve grown up visiting Fantasy In Lights at Callaway Gardens since it first opened in 1992 when I was about 13 years old. My family and I would drive through the lights, hot chocolate in hand, taking in all the bright, gorgeous displays. Fast forward 20+ years and now my husband and I are taking our little girls (ages 2 and 4) to experience all the wonder of one of the top 10 holiday light shows in the world. In the world? Yes, in the WORLD as named by National Geographic Traveler! And how lucky we are to have this in our backyard?!?!
So for Muscogee Moms followers who are new to the area, Fantasy In Lights is a holiday light show through which families can drive their own vehicles, ride a tram known as the Jolly Trolly, or even walk during the March of Dimes Nightwalk (November 23rd only).
Each September the Callaway elves start meticulously adorning a section of their Pine Mountain, Georgia grounds with 15 holiday scenes comprised of more than 8 million lights. That’s actually more lights that can be found on 26,666, 6-foot tall Christmas trees! Each scene is also accompanied with sounds and music to make your experience even more festive. You’ll see the nine ladies dancing in the 12 Days of Christmas, flowers growing in the Enchanted Rainbow Forest, and Fil the frog make a splash into the water in Nature’s Wonderland. The highlight for my girls, and my own personal favorite, is Snowflake Valley, where you ride through thousands of twinkly icicles dotted with snowflakes. It really is a breathtaking sight.
Transportation Review –
There are a few different options on getting around the lights. Check out the details below to figure out which option will work best for your family.
This is by far my favorite way to see the lights! One night a year patrons are able to walk through Fantasy In Lights for the March of Dimes Nightwalk. A portion of the proceeds from this night benefits the March of Dimes. There’s nothing more amazing than bundling up the little ones like Ralphie’s little brother in The Christmas Story and heading out for a long stroll among the lights. From start to finish it’s about 7 miles (5 miles of lights, 2 miles to get back to the starting point). Don’t forget your stroller or tula because that’s a lot of walking for itty bitty legs. You have the option of taking a bus back to the starting point after the 5 mile walk. In past years there has been very little or no room at all to store your stroller if you wanted to bus it back to the beginning. Keep that in mind, especially if you have a double or triple stroller. Wear weather appropriate clothing and don’t forget your walking shoes.
The March Of Dimes walk took place on Sunday, November 23rd, so keep this option in mind for next year.
By Jolly Trolly:
For the past two years we’ve ridden the Jolly Trolly and it’s a fantastic way for young children to see the lights and for parents to witness their amazement. Kids love riding the the trolly. My girls actually think it’s a choo-choo train so that definitely adds to their excitement. An added bonus to riding the Jolly Trolly is belting out Christmas Carols with your fellow riders along the way. The wait time can be long for the trolly so I suggest setting your trolly ride time to 6:00 or 6:30 PM to avoid lines. Last year we purchased tickets to ride the trolly at 7:30 PM on a Friday night and waited for at least an hour or more for our turn to ride. This year our tickets were for 6:30 PM on a Friday and we literally walked right on. Bundle up and take blankets because it can get really cold as the trolly speeds up between light displays.
Driving through the lights in your own vehicle may be the most comfortable way to do Fantasy In Lights – plush seats, windows down, heater on. However, the driver might miss out on some of the “oohs” and “ahhs” while paying attention to the other cars.
What else is there to see and do?
In addition to the scenes you drive through, families can also sit on the lawn of Robin Lake Beach and listen to the story of ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas and the Nativity told through narration and a light display.
If you are feeling a little rumble in your tummy, stop off at the Robin Lake Pavilion at one of the many vendors – funnel cakes, pretzel dogs, hot chocolate, OH MY! Take cash. There is an ATM onsite but it was out of order when we went. After you have replenished your energy with a few fried Oreos, sit on Santa’s lap and visit with his elves in the Christmas Village. You can even do a little Christmas shopping too! You’ll find an abundance of options to trim your tree and deck your halls for the Christmas Season. Credit and debit cards are accepted in the Christmas Village.
Dates, Times & Tickets –
Fantasy In Lights runs from November 21 – December 30, 2014. Adult tickets are $17-$24* and child tickets for ages 6-12 are $8.50-$12*. Children 5 and under are FREE but must have a “Free Child” ticket. Click here for show information and to purchase tickets online. Tickets may also be purchased at the Christmas Village.
*Tax and fees are not included in ticket prices.
Additional Programs & Events –
- Pictures with Santa
- Storytime with Mrs. Claus
- Christmas train rides
- Clydesdales Appearance (December 7th only)
Click here for a complete list of events and activities for Callaway Gardens’ Fantasy In Lights 2014.
Make Callaway Gardens’ Fantasy In Lights a holiday tradition for you and your family!
Click here for information on overnight packages for this event.
All photos are courtesy of Callaway Gardens’ website.