The Meadowlark Winter Walk of Lights
The Meadowlark Winter Walk of Lights is a perfect change of pace from the typical, drive-through Christmas light show. This light display allows guests to leisurely walk through the light displays. Guests can get a little more up close and personal than you could in a car. Plus, the location in Vienna near Tysons makes in a fun pit stop if you are trying to avoid the traffic on your commute home.
COVID-19 Update November 17, 2020: Meadowlark Winter Walk of Lights is still scheduled as planned but the number of guests allowed in has been limited per CDC and Virginia health recommendations. All tickets must be purchased in advance and no tickets will be available at the gate. The park is taking extra sanitation precautions but please consider bringing your own hand sanitizer. Face masks required for everyone over 5 years old. This blog has been updated for 2020 but we visited in 2013.
When we visited in 2013, we had never been to a walking light show or to the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, we were not sure what to expect. But it was just as beautiful as we were told. Upon arrival, lines of trees decorated with hundreds of lights greeted us. A regiment of nutcrackers guided us to the entrance of the visitor center where we began our journey. This set a festive mood for the light show before it even began.
The walk around the botanical gardens is only a little over a half-mile. However, the 500,000 lights captured our attention for over 45 minutes. Displays include flowers, animals, holly fields, and even a stream with jumping fish! About halfway through the walking trail, there is a mini light show that blinks in sync to popular holiday music. The show only runs for a few minutes but repeats so you can catch it multiple times. In addition to the nature-inspired displays, there are also holiday snacks such as candy canes, carolers, and a gingerbread house.
Overall, the Meadowlark Winter Walk of Lights impressed us. The walking path keeps guests engaged and the displays are designed to work well together no matter where you are. This makes the walk through the gardens feel like you are exploring a magical forest instead of just walking from display to display. This event is great for all ages – we saw plenty of families enjoying the sights to couples out on a romantic date. In previous years, you could warm up by the fire pit – bring some extra cash if you would like to purchase hot chocolate, coffee, or marshmallows for roasting! The fire pits should be back next year.
The Meadowlark Winter Walk of Lights runs from November 11, 2020 to January 3, 2021 including holidays. Timed entry is available from 5:30 to 10:00 pm. Online ticket purchase is required.
The gardens are open daily year-round. There is an entrance fee of $5.00 for adults over 18 and $2.50 for children and seniors over 55. Children under 6 are free. Parts of the property can also be rented for wedding ceremonies, receptions, or other special events. Hours vary by season so check the website before you go. Admission to the Winter Walk of Lights does not require the entrance fee. You can find prices for the light show below or on the website.