by Laura Kocum
on Friday, November 16th, 2018 at 8:55pm.
As the holiday season begins and the snow starts falling, South Central Wisconsin is full of places to go to enjoy a night out.
Holiday Light Show in Janesville
Rotary Botanical Gardens in Janesville is just a short drive from Madison, but offers one of the largest light displays around. The gardens include 20 acres of beautiful scenery and, beginning this weekend, they will light it all up for evening enjoyment. This year's display will include more than 500,000 lights, a record for the gardens. Walk through the paths, enjoy more than 100 lit archways, search for the decorated evergreens (there are more than 100!), see decorated garden obelisks, and all kinds of individual displays. Santa occasionally makes a stop at the Rotary Gardens, and is happy to visit with little ones as they go through the displays.
More than 40,000 visitors take in the Holiday Lights each year, making it a significant fundraiser for the Rotary Botanical Gardens. Tickets are only $5/person, and can be purchased in advance (visitors under 2 are free). The Holiday Lights Show is open most weekends, and a few weeknights. Verify the schedule before going. A free shuttle is available to offset parking concerns- pick it up at Dawson Field.
Zoo Lights in Madison
Henry Vilas Zoo provides beautiful lights, playful animal themes, sweet treats and a vendor area for visitors to enjoy. Zoo Lights is open every Thursday-Sunday, beginning this weekend! Tickets are $7, with family pack deals (4 tickets for $25) available. Take a stroll through the zoo after hours, visit Santa at the carousel and enjoy the lights. This newer Madison event is growing each year, and becoming a popular stop during the holiday season. Plan to spend at least an hour here, in order to enjoy everything they have to offer.
Holiday Fantasy in Lights, Madison
The displays are up at Olin Park, and Holiday Fantasy in Lights is ready for visitors to enjoy. This Madison tradition is sponsored by the Electric Group, and features a display of lights stretching through the park and along the shore of Lake Monona. Drive through, and enjoy a stunning display of lights, characters and holiday fun. Admission is free and donations are accepted as you exit the park. This event can be a standalone outing, or easily added to other holiday events in town.
Take some time to enjoy the outings, and the views this holiday season!