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FAQ: Galaxy of Lights 2020


GENERAL INFORMATION

Q: What is Galaxy of Lights?

Galaxy of Lights is a holiday tradition at the Huntsville Botanical Garden. Guests explore 2.5 miles of magnificent light displays weaving together holiday themes, classic characters, and scenes from our natural world. Proceeds from Galaxy go directly to support the mission activities of the Garden. It’s is a dazzling and delightful immersive experience for all ages!

Q: Do I walk or drive at Galaxy of Lights?

The short answer is: BOTH! From November 13 through November 25, Walking Nights are an opportunity to be fully immersed in the magic of Galaxy. Then beginning on November 27, Driving Nights allow you to celebrate the warmth of the holidays from the comfort of your own vehicle.

 Q: When is Galaxy of Lights?

Galaxy of Lights Walking Nights begin on Friday, November 13, and continue through Wednesday, November 25. There are three Dog Nights during Walking Nights (November 16, 17, and 23), so feel free to bring your four-legged friends on those dates! Driving Nights begin on Friday, November 27, and continue through Saturday, January 2. Galaxy of Lights is closed on Thanksgiving Day, but it is open on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.

 Q: How do I get my tickets?

NEW THIS YEAR! Tickets for Walking Nights and Driving Nights are available to pre-purchase online or at the Garden’s front desk during regular business hours. For Walking Nights, tickets must be pre-purchased for a designated date and entry time. The only way to guarantee your admission to Walking Nights is to pre-purchase your ticket, so be sure to reserve your time in advance! For Driving Nights, tickets can be pre-purchased for any date or purchased upon arrival.

Q: What is your ticket refund and exchange policy?

Tickets to Galaxy of Lights directly support the mission activities of the Garden and are nonrefundable. For questions about your tickets, please email info@hsvbg.org.

 Q: What steps have been taken for health and safety?

The Garden remains committed to the well-being of the community. Safety measures at Galaxy of Lights include thorough cleaning procedures, health and safety training for all employees and volunteers, requirements for face coverings, and social distancing protocols. You can read a full list of the Garden’s health and safety guidelines for visitors at hsvbg.org/visit.

 Q: How are you celebrating the 25th anniversary of Galaxy of Lights?

For this milestone year, we are celebrating 25 years of the beloved community tradition that is Galaxy of Lights! We will be sharing your stories and memories of Galaxy throughout the season, so be sure to follow us on social media. And for Walking Nights, there will be an extra special surprise – a tribute to 25 years of memories and a celebration of new traditions to be made. You won’t want to miss it!

Q: How can I be a part of the Galaxy tradition?

We are so glad you asked! Galaxy of Lights would not exist without the support of the community. You can learn about volunteer opportunities at Galaxy for individuals and groups by emailing volunteer@hsvbg.org. We also encourage you to tell us your favorite memory of Galaxy by using #GalaxyOfLights25 on Facebook and Instagram. Your story could be shared by the Garden as we celebrate this milestone season together!

WALKING NIGHTS

Q: How do I get my ticket for Walking Nights?

Tickets for Walking Nights are available to pre-purchase online or at the Garden’s front desk during regular business hours. Walking Nights tickets must be pre-purchased for a designated date and entry time. With very limited availability at the gate, the only way to guarantee your admission to Walking Nights is to pre-purchase your ticket, so be sure to reserve your time in advance! Proceeds from Galaxy Walking Nights go directly to support the mission activities of the Garden.

 Q: Can I buy my Walking Nights ticket when I arrive?

With very limited availability at the gate, the only way to guarantee your admission to Walking Nights is to pre-purchase your ticket. Each date and entry time for Walking Nights has a limited capacity, so without a pre-purchased ticket, you may need to wait for availability. If tickets are entirely sold out when you arrive, you may be asked to return on a different night. We don’t want anyone to be disappointed, so we strongly encourage you to pre-purchase your tickets before arriving!

Q: What happens if Walking Night tickets are sold out on a specific date/time?

Each date and entry time for Walking Nights has a limited capacity. When pre-purchasing your tickets, you will not be able to select a date/time that is sold out. If you do not pre-purchase your tickets and tickets are entirely sold out when you arrive, you may be asked to return on a different night. We don’t want anyone to be disappointed, so we strongly encourage you to pre-purchase your tickets before arriving!

Q: How much do tickets cost for Walking Nights?

Walking Nights tickets vary in price depending on the date, your age, when you purchase your tickets, and whether or not you are a Garden member. On Dog Nights (November 16, 17, and 23), dog tickets are $3 per pooch.

Q: Do I need to wear a mask during Walking Nights?

In accordance with guidelines from the Alabama Department of Public Health, face masks or face coverings are required in all indoor locations at the Garden, as well as outdoor spaces where it is not possible to maintain six feet of distance from others not in your household. During Walking Nights, you will be indoors as you enter via the Guest Center and during a short segment of the walking path. Please bring a face mask or face covering to wear in these indoor locations.

 Q: How long is the Walking Nights experience?

Walking Nights admission begin at 5:15pm, and entry times are every 15 minutes thereafter, and the last admission is taken at 8:30pm. The Walking Nights path is about two miles long, so it can take anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours to walk through the experience. 

 Q: What happens if there is inclement weather during Walking Nights?

Walking Nights are held in the rain or shine. If weather is severe, we will change over to a Driving Night, and all pre-purchased tickets would be rescheduled or refunded upon request. You can also donate the ticket fee to the Garden. In this situation, we will announce the change by 3:30pm on our website and social media channels.

 Q: Can I bring my dog to Walking Nights?

Dogs are welcome on designated Dog Nights: Monday, November 16; Tuesday, November 17; and Monday, November 23. Tickets for dogs are $3 per pooch. Some of our four-legged guests even come dressed for the occasion!

 Q: Are the paths accessible for strollers/wagons/wheelchairs?

Yes, our paths are a mix of compacted gravel and paved roads, and they are wide enough to accommodate strollers, wagons, and wheelchairs.

Q: Are you offering shuttle rides or rentable wheelchairs?

Shuttle service is not available during Walking Nights. Wheelchairs will be available on a first-come basis.

 Q: Will there be concessions during Walking Nights?

Yes, we will have sweet treats and hot beverages (with optional spirits!) available for purchase. As a reminder, outside alcohol is prohibited at the Garden. 

Q: Will Santa be there during Walking Nights?

For the health and safety of our guests and volunteers, Santa will not be at Galaxy of Lights this year. But we will still be collecting letters to send to the North Pole! Don’t forget to bring your letter to Santa, and keep an eye out for the big mailbox near the beginning of the experience.

 Q: Will the gift shop be open during Walking Nights?

Yes, it will! Stop by to see our thoughtfully curated selection of seasonal decorations and holiday gifts.

Q: Is there a Galaxy of Lights 5k, 3k, or Bike the Lights this year?

No, we will not be holding a Galaxy of Lights 5k, 3k, or Bike the Lights this year. We look forward to bringing back these special events in 2021!

 Q: Can I step off the path to take a photo with the lights?

For your safety, please remain on the lit paths. But feel free to take photos to your heart’s content! We love seeing your photos and videos, so please share with us on Facebook and Instagram by tagging us and using #GalaxyOfLights25.

DRIVING NIGHTS

Q: How do I get my ticket for Driving Nights?

Tickets for Driving Nights are available to pre-purchase online or at the Garden’s front desk during regular business hours. Driving Nights tickets can be pre-purchased for any date, or they can be purchased upon arrival. Proceeds from Galaxy Driving Nights go directly to support the mission activities of the Garden.

Q: How much do tickets cost for Driving Nights?

Driving Nights tickets vary in price depending on when you purchase your tickets and whether or not you are a Garden member. Reduced-rate 5-packs of tickets can be purchased at the front desk or at 256-830-4447 during regular business hours. (Holiday Tip: Driving Nights tickets make great holiday gifts for friends and neighbors!) On Mondays during Driving Nights, a military discount is available at the gate to all active and retired military personnel with military ID. All tickets are redeemable for one vehicle (limit of 10 passengers).

Q: Where is the entrance to Driving Nights?

The entrance to Driving Nights is on Phantom Road, located off of Bob Wallace Avenue near I-565. Look for the big “Enter Here” signs.

Q: How long is the Driving Nights experience?

Driving Nights begin at 5:30pm, and the last admission is taken at 9:00pm. The Driving Nights experience lasts about an hour on average, but it can last over two hours on a busy night. Traffic at Driving Nights can vary greatly depending on the date and the time, so to beat the traffic, we recommend coming early in the week and early in the evening. (Hint: Friday and Saturday evenings after dinnertime are some of our busiest times!)

Q: Do I need to wear a mask during Driving Nights?

We ask that you kindly wear a face mask or face covering when interacting with staff and volunteers at the ticket booths and when using the restroom. Other than that, it’s up to you!

 Q: Can I drive through in a van/limousine/bus?

Sure! Please note that Driving Nights tickets are redeemable for one vehicle with up to 10 passengers. An additional charge of $3.00 per person will apply for all passengers over a count of 10. No additional charge is applied for bus drivers.

Q: Can I stop or get out of my car to take photos with the lights?

For your safety and the safety of our staff and volunteers, all passengers should remain in your vehicle at all times while driving through the lights.



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