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Parent Review: Galaxy of Lights Walking Nights

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Parent Review: Galaxy of Lights Walking Nights

huntsville botanical garden galaxy of lights displays

Like many Huntsville families, we’ve made the Galaxy of Lights a holiday tradition. Driving through a twinkling wonderland is fun for every member of our family, especially when we’ve got our favorite Christmas music playing in the background. And for every year we’ve driven through the lights, we say, “gee, we should walk through these” and then we NEVER do. I could say it’s because it’s too cold or our daughter was too young but the honest truth would be that we were being a little lazy.

Don’t be like us. Don’t be lazy.

The Galaxy of Lights Walking Nights are a totally different experience and children LOVE it. As magical as those lights are when you are driving, think of that times 10 when you are walking through them. The picture below is my daughter’s favorite “scene” on the trail, apparently it’s called the Icicle Forest. It’s pretty spectacular when you drive through it but imagine walking through it. Now imagine…wait for it…SNOW! Well, as close as we usually get in Alabama (i.e. the fake variety) but our children ATE IT UP.


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Some other details you should know about the Walking Nights. There is a Santa but the cool thing is that while there is a sign pointing you in that direction, the actual man himself is kind of hidden so if you want to skip the line, your child probably won’t even notice. Near that Santa is some coffee for Mom and Dad ($1 and $4 options available) and if you walk just a little further down the trail, there is hot chocolate and cookies! The kind ladies and gentleman who serve it even offer a kid version and an adult version. Adults over 21 can even purchase a hot toddy to warm up their walk!

I would recommend that if your children are smaller or tend to be whiney about a long walk, you may want to bring a stroller or wagon with you. The whole path is stroller and wagon friendly. It took us almost an hour and half to do the whole thing but when we got home our daughter was out like a light. That in itself is worth the price of admission!

PRO-TIP: This year, Walking Night tickets are ONLY sold in advance for a specific night. To ensure a positive experience for each guest, there are a limited number of tickets each night, so make sure you purchase yours early


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Galaxy of Lights Driving Nights

If you’ve never been to the Galaxy of Lights at all, you can get details about Driving Nights here. Driving Nights start Thanksgiving Night and run through December 31st. Admission is $25/car.

Galaxy of Lights Walking Nights 2019 Details

When: Walking Nights – November 15-18 & 21-26 from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. (last admission)
Where: Huntsville Botanical Garden  (map)
How Much: Adults $10 members/$12 non-members, Children ages 3-15 $5 members/$6 nonmembers; Dogs $3
More Info: purchase yours early


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View Comments (38)
  • not sure about the best neighborhood for christmas lights but a house across the street from Austin high school in decatur goes ALL out and has the lights coordinated to music – it’s great!

  • Doing the walking tour tonight! Can’t wait to see the lights again, it’s my favorite HSV Christmas attraction!

  • I’m not sure about the best neighborhood, but I enjoy seeing the houses along Whitesburg. If anyone else knows of a good neighborhood, I’d love to see it.

  • A neighborhood down south Huntsville used to be the best, but not sure if they still do it. And I can’t remember the street name! But it’s been popular for years and years.

  • We are still looking for the best neighborhood that has the best Christmas lights display. I like simplicity and white lights. However, we always enjoy the Botanical Garden’s Galaxy of Lights.

  • I don’t know about neighborhoods, but we have a neighbor who goes all out every Christmas. We have so much fun driving many by many times during the holidays, checking out their lights.

  • Jacob’s Landing in Meridianville ususally has beautiful lights. Hopefully, that won’t change this year after the tornado damaged so many houses. LOVE RCM!

  • I have a really stupid question…for walking nights, do you enter through the Space Center entrance, or the main garden entrance?

  • we just drive around and see what we see. we always go the the galaxy of lights at least once. i can’t wait for it this year. Maybe I won’t have to drive!!

  • I don’t know if they still do it, but as a child I used to enjoy the houses on horseshoe trail (I think is the name of the road ).

  • We have never driven around Huntsville to look at lights so I am not sure about the best neighborhood. Our family tradition used to be to drive around my hometown (Montgomery)on Christmas Eve and look at all the lights. This is something I want to do with my daughter. Maybe not Christmas Eve and more then likely here but not sure where to go. Knowing us we will just drive around and hope for the best.

  • We love Huntsville’s Botanical Gardens! Our favorite way to experience the lights is by walking but we always end up driving through as well when we have sleepy children. Love putting on the radio station and sitting back to enjoy!

  • We walked through last weekend and I have never seen my one year old so excited! He walked through a good chunk of it and sat in our wagon the rest of the way. Our family had a great time!

  • I’m “new-ish” to Huntsville so not sure the best neighborhoods. I know there is one of those timed light shows in my neighborhood and we always visit that one house off of Horshshoe by the golf course off of Baily Cove, my girls love that house and the owner has it up and running by Thanksgiving night!

  • I am still looking for the best neighborhood around Christmas time…but looking at these other posts it may be worth a trip to Old Decatur. Thanks RCM!

  • There is a house in the neighborhood off of Dorning Road (near Harvest Elementary school)and Wal Triana HWY in Harvest that you CANNOT miss–it is a must see. They do their whole yard front and back each year…

  • MY CHILDREN LOVE THE GALAXY OF LIGHTS & DR HIGGINBOTHAM’S DISPLAY ON HORSESHOE TRAIL! JUST FOUND OUT HE IS DOING IT THIS YEAR! YAY!

  • There used to be a great neighborhood–Horseshoe Trail in the Jones Valley area. Not sure if they still decorate. Blake Bottom Rd had a few houses that decorate. I love when Old Town does the luminaries.

  • This will only be our second Christmas in the area. We’re looking forward to finding some great lights this year.

  • We did the walking night tonight because of your recommendation. It was so fun! Thanks for your insight. I was always too nervous to take the kids before.

    • Alison – I’m so glad you went and enjoyed it. We really had fun too and I think it will be a new family favorite, my daughter had a blast with her friends.

  • Galaxy of Lights is one of my family’s favorite traditions. Can’t wait for the driving nights to start!

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