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The Magic of Christmas from Callaway & Longwood

Callaway Gardens, Longwood Gardens
by Donna Dawson
December 12, 2010

Two incredible experiences await you…the spectacular light and sound production at Callaway Gardens and a Longwood Christmas at Longwood Gardens. I remember the first time I visited Longwood, it was in the fall and I was amazed at just how beautiful this place was. The conservatory was full of tropical and the aroma was intoxicating. I cannot imagine how exquisite it must be for Christmas. Dancing fountains and Christmas trees soaring 75 feet into the sky…wow, how magical is that! They will even have a giant art nouveau tapestry made from pink poinsettias and ferns to see … these two places are must visit places to see the magic of Christmas.

Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Gardens, a Spectaular Light and Sound Production Featuring 8 Million Lights, is the Perfect Holiday Experience

This holiday season marks the 19th Annual Fantasy in Lights® -- named one of the top 48 events in the world by Chicago Tribune -- at Callaway Gardens, a 13,000-acre destination south of Atlanta. Fantasy in Lights features 8 million lights stretching more than five miles, creating 14 larger-than-life holiday scenes. As the most spectacular holiday light and sound show in the South, Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Gardens sets Pine Mountain, Ga., ablaze now through December 30, 2010. Ticket prices range from $16 to $22 for adults and $8 to $11 for children, with children five and younger always admitted for free.

Visitors experience the light and sound extravaganza on the “Jolly Trolley” or by driving through the lighted scenes in their personal vehicle. The sparkling, 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. Be sure to see the two scenes on Robin Lake Beach that are both narrated, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and The Nativity. They each last about 10 minutes.

Ninety-nine percent of the frames used to create the scenes in Fantasy in Lights are custom designed and built just for Callaway Gardens, taking 3,900 man-hours to install. With a mission of connecting man and nature, every kilowatt of power used to light up Fantasy In Lights is compensated with “green” power as Callaway Gardens recently became the first resort in the Southeast to offset 100 percent of its electricity use by purchasing wind power credits.

Families experience the Christmas Village, an indoor magical Christmas wonderland shopping with opportunities to visit Santa Claus and other holiday characters. Inside the Village, guests have the opportunity to shop for specialty food items from the Callaway Gardens Country Store®, unique gifts, nostalgic toys from simpler times and an assortment of holiday ornaments. An array of Georgia crafters are on hand making and selling their wares.

The American Bus Association has once again selected Fantasy In Lights at Callaway Gardens as a “Top 100 Events in North America” for 2011. Fantasy In Lights also has been recognized numerous times by the Southeast Tourism Society (STS) as one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast and by America’s Best and Top Ten as one of the Top Three Light Shows in America.

For those interested in exploring the entire destination, Callaway Gardens offers a Fantasy In Lights overnight package that starts at $159* per night in the Mountain Creek Inn and includes:

  • Fantasy In Lights admission
  • Accommodations
  • Special Jolly Trolley loading area dedicated for overnight guests
  • Fantasy In Lights commemorative ornament
  • Breakfast for two
  • Admission to the world-class Gardens and its many attractions

    This package also is available in the Southern Pine Cottages, Mountain Creek Villas the Lodge and Spa.

Callaway Gardens®, is in Pine Mountain, Ga., 60 minutes southwest of Atlanta and 30 minutes north of Columbus. To experience nature at its finest, call 1-800-CALLAWAY or visit http://www.callawaygardens.com .

To experience the most spectacular holiday light and show in the South, visit http://www.callawaygardens.com  or call 1-800-CALLAWAY (225-5292).

*Rate is per night based on double occupancy in the Mountain Creek Inn. Based on availability. Some restrictions apply. Not applicable to groups.

Top 10 Reasons to Visit Callaway Gardens’ Fantasy In Lights in 2010

  1. To enjoy the sparkle of 8,000,000 lights in a woodland setting
  2. To make wonderful holiday memories with your family and friends
  3. To enjoy a romantic evening or weekend getaway with your special someone (some have even proposed)
  4. To enjoy the famous Fantasy In Lights Gingerbread and yummy hot chocolate on a cold night
  5. To visit with Santa and have your picture made – regardless of your age
  6. To see the excitement in the eyes of young children, and adults alike, as they see a myriad toy soldiers, elves, dancing ladies, and more through 14 larger-than-life scenes, even the feeling of traveling over-the-hill and through the woods in a snow drift
  7. To feel the joy of the season, especially as you enjoy The Nativity scene
  8. To sing Christmas carols on the Jolly Trolley as loud as you can
  9. To shop for unique Christmas gift items and hard to find nostalgic toys
  10. To continue, or create, your family tradition

Fantasy In Lights admission includes day admission to enjoy the seasonal beauty in the Gardens and its many attractions such as the John A. Sibley Horticultural Center and the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center.

  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row