Friday, December 13, 2013

Brookside Gardens Christmas Lights 2013

On Saturday afternoon, I met with friends to go to Brookside Gardens, MD, for the Christmas Lights. I'd been here a few years ago to see a butterfly exhibition and the lights display has always had rave reviews. It's different from Bull Run as those lights are geared for drivers, lots of space in between the displays so the show isn't over too fast. Here, the display is to be walked around so the lights are much closer together. 
It's extremely well planned. We walked into the visitors' center first where you could buy hot drinks with snacks to enjoy there or to take with you as you wandered about the gardens. I had brought hand warmers stuffed into my pockets so I was ready. It was a cold night but thankfully there was no wind to bring the temperatures down even further.
A caterpillar tunnel was the entrance to the display.
A rainbow arched over the path with rain clouds, lightning and snow flakes. Dragonflies flitted above us.
The display was not made up of the usual drummers, reindeer, snowmen or other traditional Christmas ornaments but instead was made up of creatures and plants, fitting for a garden environment. Butterflies and bees flew in the branches of the brightly lit trees.
A wolf howling at the moon. Some of the displays were close to the path and could be inspected close up. I was very impressed with the details and at how many lights were used. This wolf looked so realistic as did many of the other light displays.
A giraffe with a tree monster, a lion and some fire ants.
Inside a large green house was one of the best model railways I've ever seen. Built in  a 50's theme, it was made up of kit and custom made buildings, some were made to look like local establishments. There were 50's cars parked and steam trains chugging around the tracks.,
There was also a Glen Echo display, very well made, with a working carousel and the entrance to the park accompanied with moving trams, as it had been many years ago.
This was one of my favorite scenes. I have no idea if it had some deep hidden meaning but just seeing Yoda looking down on a picnicking 50's family made me chuckle.
The Loch Ness Monster, and an elephant ear plant. Many of the animals also had sound accompanying them.
All too soon we were back at the visitors' center. This was easily the best display of holiday lights I've seen in a long time, and I would probably say they were the best in the area. Obviously a lot of thought and preparation had gone into these creations.
We even chosen the best day to come as just for tonight a renaissance choir were singing carols and we were encouraged to join in. Drinking hot chocolate with a slice of homemade chocolate cake while enjoying the beautiful songs really put us all in a festive mood. The wonderful gift shop also had some fabulous crafts made from local artisans so I managed to purchase a couple of Christmas presents. I think this may become a tradition for me, I'll certainly be back again.

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