Enter the newly restored historic iron gate of Airlie Gardens and discover a glittering landscape of lighted oaks and twinkling displays in a coastal garden setting. Visitors who travel to Wilmington, North Carolina’s historic river district and island beaches during the holiday season will have the opportunity to experience “Enchanted Airlie” on select evenings through December 22.
Celebrating its 10th season in 2014, Enchanted Airlie (Nov. 28-Dec. 22) presents a holiday light extravaganza like no other. Tastefully decorated gardens create a visually stunning wonderland of theatrically illuminated large oaks, small native trees, holiday flowers, and elegant displays. On select dates beginning the Friday after Thanksgiving, Airlie Gardens provides magical evenings, fond memories and holiday photo opportunities.
Since first illuminating in 2005, Enchanted Airlie has more than quadrupled its lighted displays, with nearly 20 miles of lights strung on cone-shaped trees. Volunteers and staff began decorating in early September so visitors can experience a world of holiday fantasy with 750,000 lights. New this year, winter princesses Elsa and Anna will greet guests and pose for photos. Select Sundays have also been added. Other highlights include: a Poinsettia Paradise with more than 400 holiday plants, live musical entertainment and visits with Santa. Families can also have their pictures taken in Airlie’s 2,400-square-foot floral conservatory. Refreshments will be available for purchase and the Airlie gift shop will be open.
Want to go? Enchanted Airlie runs November 28-29; December 5-6, 11-14, and 18-22 in two time slots: 5:00-7:00 p.m. and 7:00–9:00 p.m. Enchanted Airlie tickets must be purchased in advance, no later than 4:00 p.m. the night of the event. Due to the popularity of this event, it is recommended that visitors purchase tickets for their preferred dates prior to arrival. Tickets are available for purchase online at www.airliegardens.org or in-person at Airlie Gardens service center (300 Airlie Rd., Wilmington) between 9am and 4pm. Single admission tickets are $12 for individuals over the age of 4. Children under age 3 are free. Couples arriving in the same vehicle can purchase a couples ticket for $17. An economical green option is the carload ticket for $27, which will cover as many people as will safely fit into an automobile; no individual tickets or parking passes are required for this option (excludes buses and large, multi-passenger vans).
Airlie Gardens, located at 300 Airlie Road, is a 67-acre historic public garden bordering Bradley Creek in Wilmington, North Carolina. Visitors are encouraged to dress warmly and comfortably for the half-mile outdoor walking tour on gravel, sand, and mulch paths. For details about Enchanted Airlie, please call 910-798-7700 or visit the Airlie Gardens website www.airliegardens.org for event information, rules, restrictions and rain policy.
See where the water takes you this holiday season! From the river to the sea, more than 50 holiday-themed events help celebrate inWilmington, North Carolina’s historic river district and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach. For seasonal specials and to download a Holiday Event Brochure, visit www.wilmingtonandbeaches.com/seasonal-page. For a free official visitors guide, call 1-866-266-9690, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop by the Visitors Information Center at 505 Nutt Street, Unit A, in historic Downtown Wilmington.