Thursday, November 20, 2014

Brookgreen Gardens rolls out holiday illumination Dec. 4

Brookgreen Gardens, just south of Myrtle Beach in Pawleys Island, S.C., is about to launch its annual "Night of a Thousand Candles" holiday presentation.

It's Dec. 4-6, 11-13 and 18-20, and is staged from 3 to 10 p.m. so visitors can better enjoy the outdoor illuminations, both candles (more than 5,500)  and displays.

New this year: an 80-foot holiday fir decorated with 60,000 lights; the switch is ceremonially flipped at 5:45 p.m.

More new highlights? The Peppermint Forest in the Children's Garden, the Ice Garden in the Lower Left Wing Garden.

Admission is $18, $10 for children; 3 and younger, free. Tickets are available at, at the gardens, and by phone at 843-235-6016. All entertainment is included in admission; dinner there is available at an additional cost. 

Also new this year: a free mobile app that has performance details and info on food and beverage locations, a map for the event and more. Get it by searching Brookgreen Gardens in the App Store and in Google Play.

The event will draw crowds, and the staff there offers these suggestions:

* Carpool with family and friends. This makes for easier parking.

* Consider checking out the event on a Thursday evening ‑- Brookgreen Gardens will be less crowded.

* Arrive early between 4 and 5 p.m. so you can see the candles being lit. Dusk is also the best time to take photos. Also, a limited number of adult and child strollers are available at no charge on a first-come basis. Reservations for them are not taken, so get there early if you need one.

* Dress warmly and wear comfortable shoes. "Night of a Thousand Candles" is a walk- not a drive-through.