Exploring Rotary Botanical Gardens was one of my cherished family experiences when visiting Janesville in the past. After learning about their Holiday Light Show the garden hosts in the winter, I couldn’t wait to return for another visit.

Featuring over 1.5 million lights, the Holiday Light Show transforms the serene garden into a dazzling wonder. The delightful stroll through the illuminated display seems to have transformed every nook and cranny of the garden. Having attended numerous light shows and displays, I must admit, this one is truly impressive—perhaps even my favorite. Its magic is simple yet creative with the warm glow of traditional lights adorning every corner.

Disclosure: Our family was provided complimentary tickets for review purposes. I was not required to express a particular point of view, and all opinions are my own. Some links may be affiliate links. See disclosure policy here.

GETTING STARTED AT Holiday Light Show

The Gardens offers free parking in their parking lot. On our particular day, it was crazy busy but we still managed to find parking on the side streets. There is someone that helps direct traffic.

STROLL Through the Gardens

The garden’s one-way trail was illuminated by beautiful different colored luminaries. As we wandered through the garden, we encountered enchanting lights, adding to the beauty of the experience.

Lighted tunnels are my favorite and I was happy to find plenty to walk through.

Fun fact: It takes staff and volunteers about 6-8 weeks to create the display!

I especially liked the lights reflecting on the water. What a breathtaking scene!

 

Make a few stops

Along the way, there are plenty of stops to take like these mini houses with scenes inside or a kaleidoscope.

Make sure you bring your camera and smiles, there are numerous photo opportunities scattered all throughout.

GET TREATS

Their new comfort station houses flush toilets and concessions like cookies ($2), hot chocolate ($3), as well as 3D glasses. We opted for the 3D glasses and it was well worth the $2. All reflected lights turn into the specific shape you choose (snowflake, reindeer, snowman.)

 

TIPS

  • Wear the right shoes. On our visit, it was muddy, muddy, muddy. Wish I brought my snow boots!
  • Lines were long and winding on a Saturday night. Maybe go on a weekday for a shorter wait.
  • Strollers are welcome (but can be muddy at places)
  • The Gardens recommends arriving after 7:30 p.m. and later for a shorter wait.
  • Get the 3D glasses! We only got one and the kids were fighting (of course!) to use that one.
  • We walked two-thirds of a mile (0.67 miles) taking about an hour. It was the perfect length in my opinion.

FINAL THOUGHTS OF HOLIDAY LIGHT SHOW

Oh, what fun! The Holiday Light Show is a must-do holiday experience. Whether you opt for a day trip or decide to spend a holiday-filled weekend, it’s a must for the entire family.

Nitty Gritty

Website: https://rbgholidaylightshow.com/
Address: 1455 Palmer Drive, Janesville, WI 53545
When: Nov. 24-26, Nov. 30-Dec. 3, Dec. 7-10, Dec. 14-23, Dec. 26-30 from 4 – 9 p.m.
Cost: $12/adult; $5 youth
Bathrooms: Comfort station with flush toilets and portable potties located throughout