Monday, November 4, 2013

Callaway Gardens’ Fantasy In Lights Kicks Off Its 22nd Year

This holiday season marks the 22nd anniversary of Georgia's Callaway Gardens Fantasy In Lights! Named one of the “Top 10 Places to See Holiday Lights” by National Geographic Traveler, Fantasy in Lights features 8 million lights stretching more than five miles. In all, creating 15 larger-than-life holiday scenes! Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Gardens sets Pine Mountain, Ga., ablaze from November 22 through December 30, 2013. Purchasing tickets in advance, meaning prior to the day of visit, is strongly advised and provide discounted price. Advance ticket prices* starting at $17* for adults and $8.50* for children, with children 5 and younger always admitted for free. Tickets purchased on the same-day of visit are $28* for adults and $14* for children, and will be sold on a first-available basis.

Unlike All of the Rest

Visitors experience the light and sound extravaganza on the “Jolly Trolley” or by driving through the lighted scenes in their personal vehicle. The sparkling, animated displays include Snowflake Valley, a winter wonderland filled with enormous snowflakes and thousands of white lights; Magical Christmas Garden with a 24-foot wreath entrance; and Santa’s Workshop, showcasing animated versions of Santa’s elves busy making toys for the big night. Two “don’t miss” scenes are on Robin Lake Beach and are both narrated: ’Twas the Night Before Christmas and The Nativity. Each lasts approximately 10 minutes.

Ninety-nine percent of the frames used to create the scenes in Fantasy In Lights are custom designed and built just for Callaway Gardens, taking 3,900 man-hours to install. In keeping with Callaway Gardens’ mission of connecting man and nature, every kilowatt of power used to light up Fantasy In Lights is compensated with “green” power. Callaway Gardens was the first destination in the Southeast to offset 100 percent of its electricity use by purchasing wind power credits.

Families experience the Christmas Village, a 22,000-square-foot indoor, heated area featuring opportunities to visit Santa and other holiday characters. Inside the Village, guests have the opportunity to shop for specialty food items from the Callaway Gardens Country Store®, unique gifts, nostalgic toys from simpler times and an assortment of holiday ornaments. An array of Georgia crafters are on hand making and selling their wares.

Saturday visits with Mrs. Claus add Christmas cheer. Guests can join “Storytelling with Mrs. Claus,” where guests can listen to Christmas stories, decorate cupcakes and more. For advance reservations, call 1-800-CALLAWAY (225-5292). Seating is limited.

New in 2013!

Specialty Nights will add some additional excitement to this year’s festivities. Between November 15 through the 21, guests can choose from a variety of unique ways to experience the millions of lights. November 15 is University Night. Those connected to a University or College can purchase specially priced discounted tickets, and can represent their higher learning organization by wearing their school colors. November 16 will be Bicycle Night. We tested the concept last year with a Final Night Ride. It was so successful this year we are dedicating an entire night to bicycle riders. November 17 is the 20th anniversary of the March of Dimes Night Walk to benefit healthier babies. November 18 is Motorcycle Night, which will be the first chance in Fantasy In Lights history to ride a motorcycle through the lights. November 19 is Golf Cart Night. November 20 is reserved for the Callaway Gardens Connection, a social member organization, for their traditional private golf cart night. November 21 is open for Corporate Night so businesses can buy an hour slot to entertain their clients or team members, or purchase the entire night. And, then it will be time for the grand opening for the 22nd Fantasy In Lights season.

Relax and Enjoy More Than One Day

A variety of Fantasy In Lights overnight packages provide the opportunity to enjoy Callaway Gardens at a more relaxing pace. Packages start as low as $99** per night in the Mountain Creek Inn and include:

* Fantasy In Lights admission
* Accommodations in the newly renovated Mountain Creek Inn
* Special Jolly Trolley loading area dedicated for overnight guests
* Admission to the world-class Gardens and its many attractions including the Day Butterfly Center, Sibley Horticultural Center, Callaway Discovery Center, live Birds of Prey Shows, seven miles of nature trails and our 10-mile Discovery Bicycle Trail.

The best value is the Fantasy In Lights Bed & Breakfast package which includes a hot, Southern buffet breakfast and a 2013 collectible commemorative Fantasy In Lights ornament starting in the Mountain Creek inn for $127** per night.

Callaway Gardens’ central location in the Southeastern United States and convenient location to Hartsfield International Airport make it a unique and accommodating location for family gatherings, corporate holiday outings and more. Fantasy In Lights packages in the more spacious Southern Pine Cottages (sleep up to eight) and Mountain Creek Villas (sleep up to 16) and a variety of luxury vacation homes are available as well.

This National Geographic recognition marks the latest for Fantasy In Lights, adding to a long list of honors received through its 20 years. Additional recent honors include Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) Access Atlanta’s “Best Place to See Holiday Lights;” The Weather Channel’s “Top 10 Places to See Holiday Lights” and the American Bus Association’s “Top 100 Events in North America.” Fantasy In Lights also has been recognized numerous times by the Southeast Tourism Society (STS) as a Top 20 event.

Callaway Gardens®, is in Pine Mountain, Ga., 60 minutes southwest of Atlanta and 30 minutes north of Columbus. To experience nature at its finest, call 1-800-CALLAWAY or visit

To experience the most spectacular holiday light and show in the South, visit or call 1-800-CALLAWAY (225-5292).

*Ticket prices are subject to change. Tax and service fee are additional.

**Based on availability. Some restrictions apply. Not applicable to groups.

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