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Today's Family Magazine

GLOW: Annual event features a celebration of lights, trees and festive holiday experiences

Nov 23, 2020 03:27PM ● By Today's Family

Glow at the Cleveland Botanical Garden will delight the senses and transport visitors into a safe holiday wonderland outside and in, all season-long, running through Sunday, January 3, 2021.

“This year, the botanical garden is embracing the outdoor beauty of the winter holidays…twinkle lights in snow-covered trees and other outdoor elements expanding on traditional favorites of Glow,” said Jill Koski, president and CEO.  “We are delighted to provide a celebration that will capture the benefits of getting outside in a safe, yet magical way.”

Glow will feature plants that we use to celebrate the holiday season – whether conifer trees, poinsettias and holly, the herbs we use in cooking, the fruits and vegetables we feast on.  Our holiday traditions are filled with plants and trees and this year they will take center stage throughout the botanical garden’s holiday season. 

Timed entry tickets must be reserved in advance.  Please note that members must also preregister.  Registrations can be made up to three weeks in advance of your visit.  

Glow is a socially-distanced, one-way guided path through indoor and outdoor visual experiences with plenty of photo opportunities and self-guided engagement for all ages.  Visitors will be inspired by botanical holiday décor on front doors, in table settings as well as on trees and wreaths decorated by members of more than 30 affiliate garden clubs.  Stroll through the Glasshouse to spot the holiday gnome homes – how many can you find?  Clark Hall features a beautifully decorated 16-foot tall live white fir (Abies concolor) and community decorated gingerbread houses – vote for your favorites! 

Be sure to get outside this year to witness a festive display on the terrace complete with giant GLOW letters emblazoned with botanical décor in the reflecting pool.  Dynamic lighting and a self-guided story trail that connects four different winter garden vignettes.  The story trail leads guests out to the Hershey Children’s Garden, which will remain open through January 3 until sunset and contains holiday lights.  For seasoned winter explorers of all ages, an evergreen tree identification activity that will surprise and delight you is in the Inspiration Gardens. 

New this year are Glow Nights with special evening hours and unique experiences for the whole family or a fun date night.  All times are to be determined.  Glow Nights programming includes:

• Krampusnacht with the Ohio Krampus Society and DJ Kris Koch on Saturday, December 5. 
• Ice sculpting by Elegant Ice Creations, Inc. on Terrace on Saturday, December 12.
• Live music from Diana Chittester on Terrace – Saturday, December 19.
• New Year’s Dance Party on the Terrace with DJ Kris Koch on Saturday, January 2.

Marigold Catering will serve a fresh, grab-and-go menu of soups, salads and café sandwiches in the Garden Café.  They are also the exclusive event caterer.

And don’t forget the nature lovers on your holiday gift list!  Avoid the lines and find hundreds of one-of-a-kind gifts in the Garden Store.

Glow hours are Wednesday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday 12 noon to 8:30 p.m., Friday 12 noon to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday 12 noon to 8:30 p.m. and Sunday noon to 6 p.m.  The Botanical Garden will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays except for Dec. 21, 22 , 28 and 29 when Glow will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Please note that these hours are subject to change.  Please check for updated information.  The Botanical Garden is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

Glow admission is $15 per adult, $10 per child age 3 to 12 (free for children 2 and under). Admission is free for Holden Forests & Gardens members. Glow tickets are available online, at or by calling (216) 721-1600, ext. 110.  Advance reservations are required to control capacity for the safety of our members and guests.  The Botanical Garden is located at 11030 East Blvd. in Cleveland's University Circle.  Indoor parking is available for a fee based on availability.  For complete details about Glow, visit