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FAQ: Galaxy of Lights 2021


General Information

Q: What is Galaxy of Lights?

Galaxy of Lights is a regional holiday tradition that takes place every November and December at the Garden. For over 25 years, we have welcomed guests from near and far to explore the magnificent light displays and enjoy the Garden when it’s decked for the holiday season. With both walking and driving experiences, Galaxy offers guests of all ages the chance to share in the beloved tradition and make memories together.

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

The short answer is: BOTH! From November 11 through November 28, Walking Nights are an opportunity to be fully immersed in the magic of Galaxy. Then, beginning on December 2, 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 Thursday, November 11, and continue through Sunday, November 28. Dog Nights take place every Monday and Tuesday during Walking Nights (November 15, 16, 22, and 23), so you can bring your four-legged friends on those dates! Driving Nights begin on Thursday, December 2, and continue through Saturday, January 1. Galaxy of Lights is closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, but it is open on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.

Q: How do I get my tickets?

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, please pre-purchase your timed ticket in advance to guarantee your admission! With limited availability at the gate, gate tickets are not guaranteed during Walking Nights. For Driving Nights, tickets can be pre-purchased for any date or purchased upon arrival.

Q: What is your ticket refund and exchange policy?

All tickets to Galaxy of Lights are non-refundable. Tickets for Walking Nights may be rescheduled to a different date for a transaction fee of $5 per ticket. All unused tickets are considered a donation to the Garden in support of our mission activities. To reschedule your Walking Nights ticket(s) or to receive a tax deduction letter for your donation, please email info@hsvbg.org. We ask that you kindly allow two business days for a response to ticket inquiries, including rescheduling requests.

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

Yes, the Galaxy of Lights races are back this year! After a hiatus in 2020, we are delighted to once again offer these popular Galaxy events. The Galaxy of Lights 5k Race and 3k Fun Run are your chance to experience Galaxy on a one-of-a-kind run (or walk!) through the displays. The 5k Race will take place on November 29, and the 3k Fun Run will take place on November 30. To learn more and to register, please click here.

Q: What health and safety guidelines are in place at Galaxy of Lights?

In accordance with current CDC recommendations, all visitors, staff, and volunteers should wear a face mask or covering when indoors. During Walking Nights, indoor locations include the entrance through the Guest Center and all restrooms. During Driving Nights, we ask that you kindly wear a face mask or covering when interacting with staff and volunteers at the ticket booths and when using the restroom. To learn more about the Garden’s current health and safety guidelines, please click here.

Q: Will you be accepting donations for other charitable organizations?

We will! Beginning in November, a Toys for Tots donation box will be located in the Garden’s Guest Center. During Walking Nights, we encourage you to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate. During Driving Nights, the ticket booths will be accepting donations of canned food and lightly used clothing, which will be distributed to local charitable organizations. If you make a donation at the Driving Nights ticket booths, you will receive $1 off the gate ticket price. (Please note that $1 off is the total discount, not a discount per item donated.)

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.

Walking Nights

Q: When are Walking Nights?

Walking Nights begin on Thursday, November 11, and continue through Sunday, November 28. Dog Nights take place every Monday and Tuesday during Walking Nights (November 15, 16, 22, and 23), so you can bring your four-legged friends on those dates! Galaxy of Lights is closed on Thanksgiving Day.

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. For Walking Nights, please pre-purchase your timed ticket in advance to guarantee your admission. With limited availability at the gate, gate tickets are not guaranteed during Walking Nights. 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 limited availability at the gate, the only way to guarantee your admission to Walking Nights is to pre-purchase your timed ticket in advance. 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: Do I have to arrive at the designated arrival time on my pre-purchased ticket?

Yes, we ask that you arrive as close as possible to your designated arrival time.

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. All ticket prices are listed below. (Hint: To get the best deal, pre-purchase your tickets before arriving, come on a non-peak night, and become a Garden member!) We also offer a discounted ticket price at the gate through Museums for All.

  Pre-Purchased Tickets for Non-Peak Nights:
11/11 – 11/18
Pre-Purchased Tickets for Peak Nights:
11/19 – 11/28
Tickets Purchased at the Gate:
All Dates (Availability not guaranteed)
Garden Member – Adult $13 $16 $20
Garden Member – Child
(Ages 3-15)
$7 $10 $12
Public – Adult $16 $19 $25
Public – Child
(Ages 3-15)
$9 $12 $15
Museums for All with EBT Card
(Available at the gate only)
n/a n/a $3
Dogs
(Mondays and Tuesdays only)
$4 $4 $4

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

Walking Nights are held in the rain or shine. If there is inclement weather, we will change over to a Driving Night, and an announcement of the change will be made by 3:30 p.m. on our website and social media channels. If weather is severe, Galaxy of Lights may be cancelled for the evening. In these situations, all pre-purchased tickets would be rescheduled or refunded upon request. You may also donate your ticket fee to the Garden. To reschedule your ticket(s) or to receive a tax deduction letter for your donation, please email info@hsvbg.org within five business days of the cancelled date. We ask that you kindly allow two business days for a response to ticket inquiries, including rescheduling requests.           

Q: How long is the Walking Nights experience?

Walking Nights admissions begin at 5:15 p.m., and entry times are every 15 minutes thereafter. The last admission is taken at 8:30 p.m. The Walking Nights path is about a mile long, and you are welcome to enjoy the experience at your own pace!

Q: What is new about the Walking Nights experience this year?

This year’s Walking Nights experience is a dazzling blend of familiar features and new surprises. After the popular addition of a new immersive experience during last year’s 25th Anniversary Season, we are thrilled to be introducing a special walking path with even more surprises. During Walking Nights, you will travel through the interior of the Garden, making Walking Nights a unique and distinct experience from Driving Nights. Along the path, familiar Galaxy features—such as traditional displays and holiday music—have been combined with new elements and special effects. This year, the Walking Nights experience will be more immersive than ever before while maintaining the Galaxy holiday magic you know and love.

Q: Can I bring my dog to Walking Nights?

Dogs are welcome on designated Dog Nights, which take place every Monday and Tuesday during Walking Nights (November 15, 16, 22, and 23). Tickets for dogs are $4 per pooch. Some of our four-legged guests even come dressed for the occasion!

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

In accordance with current CDC recommendations, all visitors, staff, and volunteers should wear a face mask or covering when indoors. During Walking Nights, indoor locations include the entrance through the Guest Center and all restrooms. To learn more about the Garden’s current health and safety guidelines, please click here.

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 at the front desk on a first-come basis. To help everyone in your party have an enjoyable and comfortable experience, we encourage you to bring your own strollers, wagons, and/or wheelchairs as needed.

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. Please note that all concessions purchases must be made with a credit card (no cash transactions).

Q: Will Santa be there during Walking Nights?

No, Santa will not be at Galaxy of Lights this year.

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: 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, Instagram, and Twitter by tagging us and using #GalaxyOfLights.

Driving Nights

Q: When are Driving Nights?

Driving Nights begin on Thursday, December 2, and continue through Saturday, January 1. Galaxy of Lights is closed on Christmas Day, but it is open on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.

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. All ticket prices are listed below. Reduced-rate 5-packs of tickets can be purchased at the front desk 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. On any night, you may also make a donation of canned food or lightly used clothing at the ticket booth to receive $1 off the gate ticket price ($1 total discount, not per item). All Driving Nights tickets are redeemable for one vehicle (limit of 10 passengers).

  Pre-Purchased Tickets:
All Dates
Tickets Purchased at the Gate on Non-Peak Nights:
12/2
12/6 – 12/9
12/13 – 12/16
12/26 – 1/1
Tickets Purchased at the Gate on Peak Nights:
12/3 – 12/5
12/10 – 12/12
12/17 – 12/24
Garden Member $20 $30 $35
Public $25 $30 $35
Garden Member 5-Pack
(Available at Garden front desk only)
$85 n/a n/a
Public 5-Pack
(Available at Garden front desk only)
$110 n/a n/a
Military with ID
(Available Mondays at the gate only)
n/a $25 $30

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.

https://e7q2n8d2.stackpathcdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Galaxy-Map-e1572376634829.jpg

Q: How long is the Driving Nights experience?

Driving Nights begin at 5:30 p.m., and the last admission is taken at 9:00 p.m. 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: What happens if there is inclement weather during Driving Nights?

Although you will experience Galaxy from the safety of your vehicle, Driving Nights require staff and volunteers to be outside. In inclement weather, traffic through Galaxy may be temporarily paused until conditions are safe for our staff and volunteers. If there is severe weather, Driving Nights may be cancelled, and an announcement of the change will be made by 3:30 p.m. on our website and social media channels. Pre-purchased tickets for Driving Nights are non-refundable and can be used on any date.

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

We ask that you kindly wear a face mask or 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: Are restrooms available during Driving Nights?

Yes, restrooms are available at the beginning of the Driving Nights experience. If you need to use the restroom, please notify the ticket booth operator, and your car will be directed to the restrooms. Once you pass the ticket booths, there will be no restrooms available until you exit the Driving Nights experience.

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.

Return to Galaxy of Lights page


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