November 18, 2022 - January 8, 2023
Returning to the gardens this year, the popular The North Carolina Arboretum's Winter Lights show will welcome members and guests back to the traditional outdoor walk-through open-air format with glowing landscapes and plenty of new displays. The show will include the 50ft lighted tree, Quilt Garden, many of your favorite lighted designs, and new ones for 2022! This is the Arboretum's largest annual fundraiser, benefitting its mission-driven programming.
Tickets go on sale on October 1! You must buy tickets in advance. To reduce the number of visitors congregated in the gardens at one time, this year's event will offer designated entry times (6 PM, 7 PM, or 8 PM). Incoming gates close at 9 PM and the event ends at 10 PM. Winter Lights tickets are sold per vehicle (not per person) and in a three-tier system (Bronze, Silver and Gold) based on on and off-peak dates. See the ticket info and link to buy below!
Look for several new features and design elements this year! The new display will offer some fun twists, including new nature-themed displays like winter wildlife, colorful butterflies, special insect lantern exhibit, and a giant daisy "garden." It's sure to delight guests and create new holiday memories!
Guided by green principles, the design team created a show composed of energy-efficient LED lights, which use 80% less energy than conventional lights. Proceeds generated from the Winter Lights fundraiser help the Arboretum continue to expand its educational programs, exhibits, and facilities. It takes 12,500 hours of labor to design, set up, and remove the lights and manage the crowds.
Tickets & Hours
- Tickets for standard-size vehicles will be $30 (Bronze), $45 (Silver), and $60 (Gold) when purchased online in advance. The tiers allow you to choose lower off-peak admission cost. Admission at the gate will be an additional $10.
- You must reserve your date and time slot when you buy your ticket. However, you can arrive any time on or after your time slot, up to the last entry at 9:30 PM.
- Members of The North Carolina Arboretum Society get a $5 discount on advance tickets only.
- Commercial vans and motor coaches will be charged a premium, apply to the Bronze, Silver, and Gold tiers.
- Open nightly from 6 to 10 PM, including Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
- Many nights will sell out in advance.
- Weekends and Holidays will be busy with a longer wait time. Avoid crows by using the three-ticket tier to choose a lower-cost admission by coming on off-peak nights.
- Click here to buy tickets on their website.
Things to Know
For other questions, call the Arboretum 9 AM-5 PM, 7 days a week, at 828-665-2492.
The North Carolina Arboretum is located next to the Blue Ridge Parkway entrance ramp at Milepost 393. From I-26, take Exit 33 and follow NC 191 South for two miles to the entrance on right.
Street Address: 20 Frederick Law Olmsted Way (but don't rely on your GPS only)
Go to our North Carolina Arboretum Guide for daytime visits year-round.