an evening at lewis ginter’s dominion gardenfest of lights: “H2Whoa”

Saturday, December 5:  After I fetch Mike from the University of Richmond football game, we sit in Starbucks drinking hot coffee for about an hour before we’re due to pick up Alex and his girlfriend, Ariana.

From Alex’s house in The Fan, we head over to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden for the Dominion GardenFest of Lights.  It’s quite a cold night, so we bundle up to walk through the 30-acre light and botanical display.  The “H2Whoa” theme showcases water in all its forms and highlights the many ways water shapes our world.

I apologize in advance for the poor quality of my photos, for without a tripod, I fear they’re pretty blurry!

blue fountain at Lewis Ginter
blue fountain at Lewis Ginter
Alex, me and Mike
Alex, me and Mike

Many of the flowers and fish throughout the gardens are made from recycled materials, especially plastic bottles — cut, painted and shaped into fantastical creatures and botanical features.

garden of recycled plastic
garden of recycled plastic
Pirate's booty, Purple Octopuses and Schools of Fish
Pirate’s booty, Purple Octopuses and Schools of Fish
Pirate's booty, Purple Octopuses and Schools of Fish
Pirate’s booty, Purple Octopuses and Schools of Fish
Winter Wonderland
Winter Wonderland
canopy of lights
canopy of lights

In the children’s area, we find a zoo of colorful animals.

Alex and Ariana are a cute couple, don’t you think?

Ariana and Alex
Ariana and Alex

We make our way slowly over toward the Conservatory.  The warmth inside beckons.

Conservatory
Conservatory
Fountain Garden
Fountain Garden
Fountain Garden
Fountain Garden

Inside the Conservatory, we’re greeted by a giant octopus and schools of fish on the “ocean’s floor.”

An underwater world in the Conservatory
An underwater world in the Conservatory
Gardens in the conservatory
Gardens in the conservatory

We find many garden features in the Conservatory, some real and some created out of plastic bottles.

In the Conservatory, we also admire the elaborate electric train dioramas.

Finally, we head back into the Visitor’s Center, where we wander around the gift shop to warm up.

heading back to the Visitor's Center
heading back to the Visitor’s Center
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octopus ornament
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sea creature ornaments
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cute owl ornament
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terrier ornament
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elk ornament
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butterflies
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lanterns in the gift shop

After our fun exploration of the GardenFest of Lights, we go to The Fan, where we wait in line for a Cuban dinner at Kuba-Kuba Restaurante y Bodega.   We enjoy a lively atmosphere, delicious meals and cold beers, after which we take Alex and Ariana back home and we drive home two hours to northern Virginia. 🙂

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29 thoughts on “an evening at lewis ginter’s dominion gardenfest of lights: “H2Whoa”

      1. Not much snow on the ground here.
        We didn’t get the big one. Not even a flake.
        Warmer than normal temperatures too.
        Not much going on around here. Next month thing will pick you.
        In 2 weeks there is a pond hockey tournament and the week after that a ice fishing tournament.

      2. Wow, isn’t it funny how we got all of the big storm and you up north didn’t get a thing! Have fun at the tournaments. They sound like lively events. Take care of yourself. It will be spring before you know it! 🙂

  1. What a fun way to spend an evening! Good thing you did that before you got hit by Jonas – and last night’s weather said another one might be heading towards you.

    1. Thanks, Carol! Yes, it was a lot of fun. Especially getting warmed up at Kuba-Kuba afterwards. It was very cold. Yes, Jonas has been a challenge, but also quite beautiful. However, I sure hope another one ISN’T heading our way!!! We need to get out from under this one first!

    1. Thanks, Jude. I was actually hoping to find a current winter garden to link to yours, but I really can’t get out for the walk I’d like to take. The roads are plowed but no walkways are, so it’s hard to visit a winter garden. Maybe by this weekend?? 🙂

      1. I only have some days like this one, Pauline. Most of my days are pretty uneventful. And of course, I’m way behind on my blogs and have trouble keeping up with anyone else! 🙂 But it sure is nice that you see it that way. xxx

  2. I’d forgotten about the lights so this was a lovely surprise when I decided to check if there was anything new on here. What a nice way to spend an evening! A couple of days later and it would have worked well for the WP challenge (Vibrant 🙂 )
    How long have Alex and Ariana been together? Is it serious, d’you think?

    1. This was such a nice evening, Jo. I really enjoyed it!

      I haven’t been doing the WP challenges lately because I still am trying so hard to play catch-up. I hope to participate again soon! Alex and Ariana have been together since September. It seems serious, but who knows?? They are both still in school and have a long time until they could make any kind of commitment. 🙂

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