Belmont, NC – Holidays at the Garden is now in full swing.One of Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden’s most-anticipated events in which the Garden glows with holiday spirit from the twinkling trees to the sparkling fountains and is transformed into a natural winter wonderland filled with unique festive décor including a towering tree of orchids, more than 600,000 lights, and illuminated displays.

In addition to the lights, visitors can enjoy the following.

Children can visit with Santa from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday til Dec. 18, then daily from 6 to 9 p.m. from Dec. 19-23. Mrs. Claus will also visit the Garden on select nights from 6 to 9 p.m. including Monday through Wednesday through – Dec. 21 and also Dec. 22 – 24. The Children’s Holiday Discovery Trail and either karaoke or live music will entertain guests each night.

Horse-drawn carriage rides will be available from Southern Breezes Carriages from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday through Dec. 31 (excluding Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve) and also Dec. 19-21. Carriage rides are $6/adult, $4/child 3-12, and free for children under 3. The Garden Tram will be available for rides when the carriages are not available and rides are free with admission from 6 to 9 p.m.

Visitors can enjoy hand-crafted coffee and espresso beverages from Crowders Creek Coffee Co., s’mores over the outdoor campfire, dinner from a food truck (select nights only), and beverages from the Garden’s bars.

A special model train display created by the Metrolina Model Railroaders depicting North Carolina’s Saluda Mountain Grade, the steepest mainline railway gauge in country, provides a particular fascination for children and train enthusiasts alike. Various model train displays can be found throughout the Garden.

Admission for Holidays at the Garden is $14.95/adult, $13.95/senior 60+, and $8.95/child 2-12. Members receive a 30% discount for themselves and up to four guests. Discounted tickets are available for groups of 15+. The Garden is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. through  Jan. 1 and the lights illuminate at 5 p.m. nightly. The Garden will be closed on Christmas. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit or call (704) 825-4490. A special thank you to sponsors including David Belk Cannon Foundation as the presenting sponsor, Duke Energy and Gaston Travel & Tourism as the supporting sponsors, and K104.7 and 103.7 WSOC as the media sponsors.

Visitors can also register for special events throughout the holiday season during Holidays at the Garden. Advance reservations are required one week prior to each event and can be made online at or by calling (704) 829-1252. Special events include:

Capture the Magic with Santa on Dec. 11 & 18; 3 – 5 p.m.

Packages start at $40

Rick Belden Photography will be available to take professional photos of your children/family with Santa. View photo packages and pricing below which also include a free hot chocolate, special gift from Santa and a fun craft activity. Please note, personal photography is not permitted. Santa will be available for all guests and personal photos 6 – 9 p.m. No discounts apply to photo packages.

Celebrate the holiday season with an afternoon of traditional tea paired with scrumptious snacks. Sample a variety of teas and learn the benefits of each.

Holiday Wine Pairing on Saturday, Dec. 10; 3 – 5 p.m.

$50/guest (admission to Holidays at the Garden included)

Local wine expert Kimberly Forrester of Johnson Brothers Distributors will present an array of wines that will pair with a delicious variety of foods from local vendors. You’re sure to enjoy this afternoon of wine, food and great company.

Sparkle & Glow New Year’s Eve on Saturday, Dec. 31; 6 – 9 p.m.

Free with admission to Holidays at the Garden, no registration required

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with a family-friendly early event featuring New Year’s Eve traditions from around the world. Wish lanterns are available for purchase for a luminary release at the end of the night for wishes in the New Year! Sparkling wine tasting available for an additional $20 per guest.

Hair of the Dog Hike on Sunday, Jan. 1; 11 a.m.

Free with admission to Holidays at the Garden, no registration required

Kick off the new year with a refreshing guided Garden hike on New Year’s Day! A specialty Bloody Mary bar will be available at noon (additional cost).

In addition to special events, a variety of continuing education classes are also offered during the holiday season. Guests can register online at or call (704) 829-1252. Classes include:

Pop-Up Holiday Card Making on Sunday, Dec. 11; 3 – 5 p.m.

Instructor: Lore Spivey of Art with Pop

Learn the art and technique behind paper pop-ups! Create two intricate and exquisite holiday pop-up cards for your family and friends. Cost: $20

Holiday Sip & Paint on Saturday, Dec. 17; 3 – 5 p.m.

Try your hand at painting in our holiday inspired class while sipping on a glass of wine. Cost: $30

Holiday lights at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden