Enjoy Sights, Sounds and Smells at “Luminaria”


Luminaria Credit to Thanksgiving Point

By Lynette Randall

“Luminaria: Experience the Light” is a walking winter light experience that is sure to elicit coziness and holiday cheer this season. “Luminaria” is located in the Ashton Gardens at Thanksgiving Point. Spread throughout a mile-long stroll in the park, nearly one million lights are on display in the exhibit. Beginning at the top of the gardens, guests will make their way down through a wide array of light features and displays.

The first thing to stop you in your tracks will be the “Tree Top Summit,” a 120-foot Christmas tree set atop a 40-foot hill directly behind a sea of lights — 6,500 luminaries to be exact. This dazzling display is also known as the “Merry Mosaic.” Set to music, these lanterns dance and jump from color to color in a timed sequence that is both mesmerizing and impressive.

As you continue to make your way through the garden, you will enjoy a multi-sensory experience as sight, sound and smell are utilized. Not only is each display set to a different song, you will also experience a different scent. Sponsored in part by doTERRA, “Luminaria” contains a wide variety of essential oils that in part complete the immersive aspect of the exhibit. Smell actual peppermint as you stroll down “Candy Cane Lane,” fragrant flower perfumes as you pass through “Blossoms of Light” and pine as you walk by the “Electronic Forest.” Additionally, “S’more’s Village” is filled with fireplaces where you can take a pause from the walking and warm up — as well as make your own s’mores. The Village is adjacent to “Reindeer Woods” which features two real reindeer.

The final part of “Luminaria” is the “Light of the World” Garden, a permanent display in Ashton Gardens featuring 15 scenes of bronzed statues — including 35 monument size figurines — from the life of Jesus Christ as depicted in the New Testament. There is also theatrical lighting and different music for each statue continuing with the overall “Luminaria” effect.

While this is a place dotted with families and young children, “Luminaria” remains an excellent spot for young adults and college students. The unique experience of an interactive light exhibit, as well as the general coziness of the ambiance, is well worth a visit.

“Luminaria” will be running Nov. 20-Dec. 30, 2017 from approximately 5:00-9:00 pm, excluding Christmas Day. Tickets are for $17 for adults and $13 for children (ages 3-12). More information can be found at thanksgivingpoint.org/events/luminaria.