Half-mile Walking Trail Features 750,000 Lights, Music, Santa and Superheroes
One enchanted evening can create lasting holiday memories. Each year since first illuminating in 2005, visitors from near and far have made the trek to Airlie Gardens to celebrate the season during its Enchanted Airlie event. On select dates from late November through December 22, Airlie’s tastefully decorated half-mile, self-guided walking trail features elaborate holiday displays with more than 750,000 twinkling lights.
Enchanted Airlie is a holiday light extravaganza like no other, featuring an enchanted forest of lighted oaks and dazzling displays in a coastal garden setting. It’s a 67-acre holiday fantasy with whimsical exhibits suitable for all ages. This year, superheroes will join Santa to greet guests and pose for photos. Other highlights include: a Poinsettia Paradise with more than 400 holiday plants, live musical entertainment and visits with Santa. Airlie’s 2,400-square-foot floral conservatory provides a festive backdrop for family photos. Warm holiday refreshments are available for purchase and the Airlie gift shop is open with one-of-a-kind gifts.
A Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Event, Enchanted Airlie continues to add new exhibits and the light count is fast approaching one million! Volunteers and staff begin planning in January and start decorating by early September so visitors can experience a stunning wonderland of theatrically illuminated large oaks, small native trees, holiday flowers, and elegant displays.
Want to go? Enchanted Airlie runs from Thanksgiving weekend through Christmas on select dates. Additional dates have been added to accommodate all who want to experience Enchanted Airlie’s magical evenings: December 4-6, 10-13, and 16-22 and 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 the 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 pass 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 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.
City + Beaches: See where the water takes you this holiday season! From the river to the sea, more than 50 holiday-themed events help celebrate in Wilmington, North Carolina’s historic river district and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach. For seasonal specials and visitor information 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 email@example.com, or stop by the Visitors Information Center at 505 Nutt Street, Unit A, in historic Downtown Wilmington.