Enchanted: Forest of Light and Culinary Delights

For the third year now, walk along a one-mile long pathway to see 10 beautiful areas in Descanso Gardens decorated with different luminescent experiences. Lights are projected onto water features, plants, and trees nightly until Jan. 6, 2019.

It’s an interactive, family fun time where guests can manipulate joy sticks to make the lights change, jump on colorful lit pads to change colors, and stand under grand oak trees to hear a symphony of sound.

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  1. Flower Power –Just like the tulips that appear every Spring at Descanso Gardens, the Promenade has hundreds of multi-colored tulip lights rising from the ground. They dazzle in waves with a rainbow of colors from white, pink, orange, red, green and blue.IMG_5774
  2. Rainbow Sycamores – see a swirl of colored lights illuminate ancient Sycamore trees. A wood platform with pillars changes colors by human touch.IMG_5786
  3. Starlight Garden features Celestial Shadows spinning polyhedrons by HYBYCOZO, Celestial Shadows by HYBYCOZO. It’s spectacular as the lighting spins around the rose garden.IMG_5799
  4. Lightwave Lake offers a dazzling light show on the lake. The lakehouse is open for holiday stocking stuffers and gifts. Nearby is the Enchanted Whiskey Bar for a classic signature cocktail, beer, wine and select Patina hot and cold drinks and snacks.IMG_5802
  5. Symphony of Oaks is where ancient live oak trees “sing” with color and sound. Guests can compose their own symphony of hues by stepping on the lit platforms under each majestic tree.IMG_5809
  6. Fantasy Forest has a beautiful Illuminated chandelier along the pathway. Descanso’s famous forests of camellias are lit up in gorgeous shades of color.
  7. Luminous Lawn featuring Aqueous by Jen Lewin also is another opportunity to purchase a beverage or a snack before moving on to the last three light displays. Kids and adults love the “Candy Bar” where they can choose a variety of nostalgic candies. This is where Maple beignets are sold, along with hot chocolate, beer, wine and a few snacks.
  8. Ancient Forest – find a bench and sit to admire trees aglow in a technicolor light show with sound. Under a canopy of towering redwoods, lights shine on tree ferns, cycads and ginkgoes from the Jurassic and Cretaceous period, millions of years ago.
  9. Pixel Grove has glowing reeds of prismatic lights illuminating the lilac garden.
  10. Garden of Good Fortune is filled with hundreds of brilliant reds lanterns. Walk past trickling streams of water in the iconic Japanese Garden to the Garden of Good Fortune. Glowing red lanterns contrast with the traditional blue and green colors in Descanso’s Japanese Garden filled with plants that originated in Asia. Not only are the camellias blooming, but the garden has black pines, mondo grass, flowering cherry trees and Japanese maples. There is a stroll garden, stream-and-pond garden, tea garden, and raked-gravel garden (karesansui).

Culinary Delights at EnchantedIMG_5748

Maple has undergone a full interior refresh and Chef Philip Mack of Patina Restaurant Group is preparing a soulful Enchanted: Forest of Light menu now through January 6, 2019. The new Maple Restaurant at Descanso Gardens The special seasonal menu is available exclusively to Enchanted ticket holders before or after exploring the Forest of Light. A la carte items include a warm farro salad; baked mac and cheese; Maryland fried chicken with blue crab stuffed beignets; Whiskey short ribs with garlic mashed potatoes; mushroom and cheese tortellini; Tomahawk pork rib chop with sweet potato and collard green gratin; and herb broiled salmon with roasted root vegetables.

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Enchanted: Forest of Light Winter Cafe is a more casual and affordable dining venue offering a variety of hot and cold items. The menu even offers vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes. Starters include chili, butternut squash or chicken noodle soup. There is a Cobb and grain salad, short rib and Gruyere sandwiches, hot dogs and chicken tenders for little ones.

For dinner and Enchanted reservations, go to https://www.descansogardens.org/programs-events/enchanted/. 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge (818)949-4200.

Enchanted: Forest of Light runs daily from 5:30 to 10pm, November 18, 2018 – January 6, 2019. Enchanted: Forest of Light is closed on November 22 (Thanksgiving), December 24 (Christmas Eve), and December 25 (Christmas Day).

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