December 2021: Reiman Gardens Winter Wonderscape

After the incredible holiday light display we experienced in Chicago, I wondered if Reiman Gardens’ light show in Ames would be a disappointment. But we’d purchased tickets, and the lights looked pretty great from the road. So one night just before Christmas, we walked through our own local version of twinkling holiday magic.

2021 was just the second year that the 17-acre botanical center was decorated for a holiday walk. In past years, the gardens always featured some lighted trees, but they were intended to be viewed from a distance. Now it was a full-blown immersive extravaganza, with paid admission to walk through lighted tunnels, sparkly diamond-encrusted trees, disco balls, stars, whimsical figures, snowflakes, and a giant fountain of lights.

We loved it!  The air was chilly, so we walked quickly through the displays, but it was really eye-popping. Like the Chicago version, this is one of those events that’s truly perfect for the whole family. Kids will love the lights, and adults will appreciate the artistry and technical expertise involved.

Afterwards, inside the (heated) Hughes Conservatory, kids and adults will also enjoy a holiday train display and tropical plants.

Last year, Winter Wonderscape was open Thursday through Saturday evenings in December, plus Jan. 1. I haven’t seen any dates for this year, but I assume it will be a similar schedule. Go and enjoy! Just remember to bundle up.

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