The Sun News

Callaway Gardens’ “Fantasy in Lights” makes Christmas bright

Children make a snowman in the new scene “Snow Day” at Callaway Gardens’ “Fantasy in Lights.”
Children make a snowman in the new scene “Snow Day” at Callaway Gardens’ “Fantasy in Lights.”

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and for our family it wouldn’t be wonderful without Christmas lights.

Our fascination with Christmas lights is very one sided: We like to see them, not to string them. There are no displays in our yard, no lights on the house. Christmas lights for our family means riding around in a car and admiring the work of others. It also means making a trip to Callaway Gardens for “Fantasy in Lights.”

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Callaway Gardens’ “Fantasy in Lights,” which has won numerous awards, including the National Geographic Society’s “Top 10 Places to See Holiday Lights.” Located in Pine Mountain about 30 minutes north of Columbus, Callaway Gardens turns a large portion of its 6,500 acres into the ultimate Christmas experience.

First there are the lights. Separate holiday scenes are placed along about a 5-mile route and visitors can experience them riding through either on the Jolly Trolley or their personal vehicle. The animated displays include Snowflake Valley, a winter wonderland filled with enormous snowflakes and thousands of white lights, Magical Christmas Garden with a 24-foot wreath entrance, and Santa’s Workshop, showcasing animated lighted versions of Santa’s elves busy making all the toys for the big night.

This year, Callaway Gardens has added another scene to “Fantasy in Lights” — “Snow Day,” a homage to both the 25th anniversary and the two favorite words of every school aged child in the South. “Snow Day” has animated scenes that include building snowmen, sledding and even drinking hot chocolate.

Along with the lights, “Fantasy in Lights” includes the Christmas village, an indoor area that includes shopping, music, food and a chance to meet Santa Claus.

Tickets to “Fantasy In Lights” can be purchased three ways: online at www.callawaygardens.com/FIL, by phone at 800-463-6990, or in person at the Fantasy In Lights Christmas Village. The Christmas Village opens nightly at 6 p.m. Ticket prices on value dates are $21 for adults and $10.50 for children. Prime Date tickets are $28 for adults and $14 for children. Children 5 and younger are admitted free. Also available are overnight packages that include accommodations, “Fantasy in Lights” and Callaway Gardens admission and a collectible ornament.

Callaway Gardens makes our Christmas bright here in Houston County as well. Every year, I choose the “Best Lights in Houston County” and every year Callaway Gardens donates tickets to “Fantasy in Lights” for our winners. If you would like a home – or business - to be considered for 2016’s “Best Lights in Houston County” send me an email or give me a call with your address. I will be announcing the winners next week.

For more information about Callaway Gardens and “Fantasy in Lights,” visit www.callawaygardens.com or call 800-463-6990.

Alline Kent can be contacted at 478-396-2467 or allinekent@cox.net.

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