Ready to get in the spirit of the holiday season with Callaway Gardens’ lights? Then it’s time to schedule your visit to Callaway Gardens’ Fantasy in Lights adventure!
Voted one of National Geographic’s Top 10 Light Displays in the world, Fantasy in Lights is a must-do if you love Christmas lights. (And we do!)
Whether you drive through in your own car, or take the Jolly Trolley — you won’t regret taking a ride through the illuminated forests at Callaway Resort Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia. Here’s everything you need to know to make the most out of your visit to one of the best holiday lights shows in the South.
FANTASY IN LIGHTS
Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Gardens is an amazing drive-through lights experience! It takes about an hour to see all the lights they have here.
In 2020, they introduced a new scene — the Magical Field of Lights. The scene is nearly two-football fields long, featuring a Christmas tree over 10 stories tall, which makes it the tallest Christmas tree in the South.
In addition to the Magical Field of Lights, you’ll also find other amazing scenes like Christmas Tree Lane, Snowflake Valley, the Enchanted Rainbow Forest, the 12 Days of Christmas, and many more. You can choose to drive through the lights in your own vehicle, or take a ride on the Jolly Trolley. We have more on that below.
In addition to the drive-through lights scenes, they also have two 10-minute light “shows” at Robin Lake Beach near their Christmas Village — The Nativity and Twas’ the Night Before Christmas.
Now, let’s talk about dates. This year, Fantasy in Lights will be held November 19, 2021 – January 3, 2022.
There are also two chances to the see the lights from a different perspective, before opening night, during their specialty nights.
On November 13, 2021, Callaway Gardens will be hosting a March of Dimes walk that will begin at the Christmas Village at Robin Lake Beach. Guests will walk either 5 miles to the shuttle pick-up, or 7 miles back to the start. Not only do you get to be one of the first to enjoy Fantasy in Lights, but you also raise money for March of Dimes.
And on November 14, 2021, Callaway will be hosting Bike Night. Experience Fantasy in Lights on two wheels by riding your bike 7 miles through the course — no cars allowed!
FANTASY IN LIGHTS TICKETS
How much is a Fantasy in Lights ticket? Well…that depends on when you go.
Prices for adults and children vary, and the day you pick also changes the price. The prices range from $16.95 for a child on a value day, to $34.95 for an adult on a super prime day. Children 2 and under are FREE.
The tickets are per person — not per vehicle. Our recommendation? Purchase tickets in advance to make sure you get the date and time slot you want. Tickets are sold on the hour for Jolly Trolleys and the half-hour for personal vehicles.
And keep in mind, your ticket doesn’t just include seeing the Christmas lights. So…what does it include?
- Lights. Your ticket includes a ride through the dazzling illuminated forest in either your own vehicle, or on the Jolly Trolley. The price is the same, no matter which mode of transportation you go with. Masks are required on the trolley. The Jolly Trolley is the name they give their open-air trolleys! They play Christmas music, offer great views of all the lights, and just really make the experience super special.
- CHRISTMAS VILLAGE. Your ticket also includes a visit to the Callaway Gardens Christmas Village located at Robin Lake Beach. I’ve spent the summer season at Robin Lake Beach before, and I cannot believe this is the same place! It gets completely transformed, and really makes you feel like you’ve stepped into the North Pole. You can make merry in the Christmas Village and enjoy Santa, shopping, dining and more. The Christmas Village opens daily at 4 p.m. and closes one hour after the last trolley departs.
- CALLAWAY GARDENS TICKET. You also get one complimentary day admission to visit Callaway Gardens during the Fantasy in Lights season with your lights ticket.
WHERE TO STAY
At Callaway Gardens, you can extend the celebration with an overnight stay, enjoy mouthwatering meals or cozy cups of cocoa in their beautiful accommodations.
Callaway Gardens offers a variety of Fantasy In Lights overnight packages that include admission to Fantasy In Lights, shuttle service to the Christmas Village, as well as day admission to the Gardens throughout your stay.
You can stay at their Lodge and Spa, or in one of their cottages or villas.
FDR State Park also offers campsites and cottage rentals, and is only a quick 5 minutes away.
Or, if you really want to go all out for the holidays — you could stay at Great Wolf Lodge in LaGrange. It’s only 25 minutes away, and will also be decorated for the holiday season.
Want to visit another Christmas Lights Award Winner on the East Coast? Check out Longwood Gardens Christmas!
TIPS FOR A GREAT EXPERIENCE
Take the Jolly Trolley rather than your own car. The festive narration, Christmas carols and just being with a group really gets you into the holiday spirit.
Stay at one of the Callaway Gardens Hotels for easy access to all the fun holiday offerings.
Jolly Trolley tickets are timed for a specific hour. You can begin lining up for your scheduled time fifteen minutes before. So if your ticket is for 8 – 9 pm, you can board anytime between 7:45 and 9 pm. My guess is the closer you are to the beginning of this window, the shorter the lines.
Dress warm and bring a blanket. Get close and ride! It was a balmy evening the night I went and the trolley ride was still a bit cold, probably because you are just sitting and since it’s an open air trolley, just driving creates some chilly wind. Bundle up like you would on a real sleigh ride and you’ll be fine.
Take care of business before you leave. Fantasy in Lights takes approximately one hour to go through, maybe a bit longer on really busy nights. Be sure to go to the bathroom, eat a snack or whatever you (or your little party members need) to be comfortable on the ride.
Fantasy In Lights Includes Callaway Gardens Admission. Plan to spend the day at Callaway Gardens. You can enjoy the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Gardens, as well as miles of biking and hiking trails. For an additional fee you can also schedule a TreeTop Adventure.
Holiday Happenings at Callaway Gardens Christmas
You could pretty much find a different event every day during the holidays at Callaway Gardens. Remember, at Callaway Resort — there is just so much to do! Here are few we think are extra special.
Organ Concerts. Marvel as the majestic sounds of their custom-built Möller pipe organ ring out from the Ida Cason Callaway Memorial Chapel overlooking Falls Creek Lake. Stop in for a moment of serenity or enjoy the full concert inside or around the beloved Memorial Chapel. (Sundays, 1-3 p.m.)
Magical Christmas Canvas Painting. This workshop is for anyone who has always wanted to pursue painting. Working with acrylic paint, you will paint a magnificent Christmas painting with step by step instruction. Paint and canvases will be supplied. Attendees should bring an apron or old shirt. This is a great opportunity to begin the wonderful experience of creating art. (Dec. 4, 2021, 10 a.m. -12 p.m. Cost: $35)
Go Shopping. No ticket is required to visit the Christmas Village which features photos with Santa, unique gifts shipped from the North Pole, and the Village Cafe.
Step into this heated haven of holiday cheer, treat yourself to a cup of hot chocolate, and take advantage of great Christmas shopping opportunities. Located in the Robin Lake Beach Dome, the Christmas Village offers something for everyone.
Just outside the Christmas Village, grab a bite to eat at the Christmas Pavilion, roast a s’more over open-flames or peruse Vendor Valley, which includes The Pretzel Lady, Hobbies Pop Kettle Corn, many fried treats and more.
Enjoy a Meal and a Show. NOTE: The character experiences are not taking place in 2021. For something a little different, come for breakfast with Junie B. Jones or other holiday characters or dinner with the Grinch! The Junie B. Jones breakfast show is every Saturday. After a visit to the Christmas Village, meet holiday characters up close at the character breakfast! Characters could include — but may change — Rudolph, Frosty, the Gingerbread Man, and more. These breakfasts are held on Sunday mornings. Want dinner with the Grinch? They’re held on Saturday evenings.
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