Artists have transformed Descanso Gardens into an enchanted forest of light for the holiday season. Descanso’s annual event, Enchanted, is running from November 19, 2023, to January 7, 2024.
Enchanted features a nighttime stroll through the botanical gardens, glowing with fantastical, festive light sculptures. The mile-long path takes visitors through popular areas of the gardens decorated with special light features. Returning favorites include the town of magical stained glass houses on the main lawn by contemporary sculptor Tom Fruin and the thousands of lighted tulips that make up the “Flower Power” display on the Promenade. The oak trees in the garden’s Ancient Forest create the Symphony of Oaks, where visitors can create their own music by stepping across lit platforms around the trees to trigger different sounds. Red lanterns illuminate the Japanese Garden, turning it into Enchanted’s Garden of Good Fortune.
Those who frequent Descanso Gardens will be excited to learn that a new attraction has been added to Enchanted this year. The Rose Garden is now open during the event, with beautiful, twirling sculptures created by Los Angeles artist HYBYCOZO. The ornate, geometric shapes cast spirals of pink light across the garden. The arbor has been transformed into an entryway to the “Starlight Garden,” with large, sparkling stars hanging from above. Strings of moving lights that appear to follow those on the pathway complete the Rose Garden’s decor.
Jennifer Errico, marketing manager for Descanso Gardens, explained to Los Angeles Daily News that the decision to open the Rose Garden during Enchanted hinged on construction planned for the garden’s lake in the upcoming year. “Enchanted is all about us showing off the gardens at night, and we’ve never really been in the Rose Garden, and that is one of our most beloved places,” Errico commented.
Enchanted also offers food and drinks that can be brought into the walking path. Descanso recommends that visitors bundle up, as temperatures can drop into the 40s at night. Advance tickets are required for entry and are timed for every half-hour between 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. seven days a week until January 7, 2024, with the exception of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Member tickets are $30-$40 each and non-member tickets are $35-$45.
Descanso Gardens is a botanical garden with a living museum located in La Canada Flintridge, approximately twenty minutes away from downtown Los Angeles. The 150-acre property is nestled between mountains, allowing visitors to escape the urban landscape and enjoy an oasis in nature. Their Rose Garden and Camellia Forest are famous for their beautiful blooms that showcase years of history. The Stuart Haaga Gallery is an onsite museum that rotates exhibitions and is free to explore with admission to the gardens. The Boddy House, home of Descanso’s founder, is also on the property. The estate was designed by prominent Los Angeles architect James E. Dolena in the 1930s.
Aside from the Enchanted Forest of Lights, Descanso also puts on an annual event for the month of October called Carved, featuring spooky lights and jack-o-lanterns on the garden path.