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‘Awe-inspiring’: Central Saanich’s Butchart Gardens brightens up for Christmas

The annual holiday celebration runs until Jan. 6

The magic of Christmas has returned to Butchart Gardens with thousands of twinkling lights on display.

The incredible collection of lights was turned on Friday (Dec. 1) to officially launch the holiday season at the gardens.

“Our team has been working hard over the past couple of months to illuminate the gardens, which I’m sure everybody’s going to enjoy,” Butchart Gardens chief executive officer Dave Cowen said. “It’s awe-inspiring. We take this beautiful landscape and feature it in a very different way with the lighting effects.”

Families also enjoyed free carousel rides and beautiful displays during the light-up event.

The Christmas celebration runs until Jan. 6 and also includes festive brass, traditional carollers and a Twelve Days of Christmas display.

“There’s lots of music in the garden throughout the evening,” Cowen said.

The gardens are open from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. with viewing until 10 p.m., and they will be closed on Dec. 25.

“It’s a very special time of year for us because we see all of the local families, our friends and our neighbours coming out to have their traditional visit,” Cowen added. We really do connect with the community. Maintaining those connections over the holiday season is important to us.”

Visitors can bring their pets from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The Dining Room restaurant is open for holiday high tea from 2:45 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and then for dinner from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Blue Poppy restaurant’s hours of operation are 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Staff at the Butchart Gardens are encouraging visitors to reserve a date and time at butchartgardens.com.

“Christmas is a very busy season for us,” Cowen said. “Sales have been brisk already. I would recommend giving us a call or checking the website, but don’t be afraid to show up at the gate. We’ll find a way to do our best and accommodate you.”

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