photo, Mario Garcia

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Hot Springs National Park Arkansas. Garvan Woodland Garden the "Winter Garden Festival" kicks off this weekend and runs through December 31.

Garvan Woodland Gardens will not be open during the night this year, this winter festival will strictly be a daytime event with the Evans Children's Adventure Garden, the Evans Tree House, the Hixon Nature Preserve, and the Perry Wildflower Overlook, all of which are normally closed during the evening hours. The Winter Garden Festival will feature dazzling displays of light and sound, a 50 ft. Rose Tree, Train Garden, kid-favorite James the Train, and the frozen light world. The Garvan Pavilion will be transformed into a life-sized Snow Globe and the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design at the University of Arkansas has created light art installations designed by students that will coincide with dusk in the gardens. The Winter Garden Festival will take the place of their annual Holiday Lights.

The Winter Garden Festival opens this Saturday, November 21, and tickets can be purchased for $15 for adults, $5 for children 4-12, and age 3 and younger are free.  Admission to garden members is free. The gardens will be open daily 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., (Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas)

The Chipmunk Café will be open from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. serving up fresh gourmet sandwiches, salads, and seasonal treats, according to their Facebook page.

I'm not really sure why they opted to do this during the day this year because lights look so much better at night but it will still be worth the 90-minute drive from Texarkana.

Social distance and masks are required when attending the Winter Festival at Garvan Woodland Gardens.