Garvan Gardens Winter Festival | Hot Springs National Park Arkansas

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Garvan Gardens Winter Festival

Published: 9/22/2020

Garvan Woodland Gardens will be presenting an all-new daytime winter garden festival in 2020. According to executive director Bob Bledsoe, “In light of the pandemic of 2020 and the need to provide an experience that allows for social distancing, it became necessary to create a new daytime winter garden display for the season that would meet our goals of providing a venue in which families could celebrate the winter holiday season with us as in past years, yet in much safer circumstances.”

According to garden director Becca Ohman, “Our goal is to create an event that engages families and children, captures the beauty of the season, and celebrates the traditions of the holidays at Garvan Woodland Gardens. Favorite garden displays will be utilized to provide photo opportunities and to create an atmosphere of family-friendly fun.” The Garvan Pavilion will be transformed into a life-sized Snow Globe and James the Train will offer opportunities for Santa Selfies on select days. The Dooley arbor, the entry plaza arbor, the new fairy garden circle, the bulb meadow and Jack’s Bench will also be ideal locations for family photo ops. A new display along the Camellia Trail will feature creations for the winter landscape by design students of the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design. “The garden is thrilled to present student designs as a part of our seasonal celebration along this garden trail that blooms in winter,” said Ohman.

Executive director Bob Bledsoe stressed, “While some of these displays may contains lights, the traditional holiday lights of previous years will not be the focus of this year’s display. Our focus is on families making memories in a daytime winter garden with attractive seasonal displays at popular spots along the trails.”

Since the festival is during daytime hours, areas that were previously inaccessible during holiday lights will now be open, such as the Evans Children’s Adventure Garden, the Evans Tree House, the Hixson Nature Preserve, and the Perry Wildflower Overlook.

The winter garden festival will begin on Saturday, November 21 and run through Saturday, December 31 (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas days). The Gardens will be open daily 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (last admission sold at 5 p.m.) The Chipmunk Café will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. serving up fresh gourmet sandwiches, salads, and seasonal treats. The annual tradition of free hot chocolate will continue at the café as well.

Admission Prices: $15 adults, $5 ages 4-12, and free ages 3 and younger. Dogs on a short leash are allowed in the gardens for $5 each. Golf cart tours will be available on a limited basis; $15 per person in addition to admission. As always, members are admitted free with current membership card and photo ID.

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