Gardens Aglow Opens November 25th

Heritage Museums and Gardens annual event

Heritage Museums & Gardens’ highly anticipated annual family holiday event, Gardens Aglow, opens on Friday, November 25, and runs each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening through December 18, from 4:30-8:30 pm.

More than ten miles of holiday lights will adorn Heritage’s 100 acres of gardens and woodlands to create a twinkling wonderland. Throughout the grounds and buildings, visitors can enjoy festive holiday displays, family-friendly activities, marshmallow-roasting, music and special performances, visits with Santa Claus, displays of model trains—and even a visit by some baby animals.  

Sponsors for Gardens Aglow include the Arbella Insurance Foundation, The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod, The Casual Gourmet, Missy and Dave McGraw, Nauset Disposal, Rogers & Gray Insurance, Eastern Bank, Horsley Witten Group, Inc., Cape Air/Nantucket Airlines, Café Chew, and Robie’s Heating and Cooling.

“The winter holiday season offers a unique time to experience Heritage in a new way, and to join with friends and family to create lasting memories,” said Ellen Spear, President & CEO of Heritage Museums & Gardens. “We’ve added some wonderful elements that make this season all the more special. We thank our sponsors for working with us to bring memorable experiences for everyone who visits.”

Gardens Aglow visitors will benefit from Heritage’s creation of a new visitor arrival experience this past summer, which enhances ease of parking and entry through ticketing. Members and those with pre-purchased tickets will gain easy entry to the event through their own admissions lines.

Among the features of this season’s Gardens Aglow:

  • Festive lights throughout the gardens and grounds will create a total of 10.5 miles of twinkling displays.
  • From December 2-4, Farm Visits traveling petting farm will be at Heritage with cuddly baby goats, piglets, chickens and chicks, bunnies, and more.
  • The “Heritage Holiday Express” features two levels of model trains traveling through replicas of well-known bridges. One, suspended seven feet above the floor in the Special Exhibitions Gallery, will pass through the George Washington Bridge and Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge, each made of natural elements such as moss, twigs, and branches gathered from the Heritage property. The other, at visitor level, will pass through a replica of the Sagamore Bridge, also made from natural elements.
  • Festively decorated table scapes assembled by some of the region’s best interior designers that showcase holiday table decorations from various regions of the country will be featured. Designers include Irina MacPhee, award-winning interior designer of Pastiche Cape Cod, and Olive Chase of The Casual Gourmet. 
  • Holiday-themed music and dance performances will take place in the Automobile Gallery.
  • On Saturdays, award-winning artist and carver Chip Koser of South Cape Ice Sculptures demonstrates ice carving. Visitors will see an ice sculpture created, and have opportunities for photos with the sculptures.
  • On most Sundays, “Bubble Guy” Vinny Lovegrove will create giant bubble displays as he roams throughout the grounds.
  • Heritage’s popular antique carousel will be decked with festive trimming for visitors’ holiday rides. 
  • Families can create crafts together to take home.
  • Santa Claus will meet families for pictures in Heritage’s vintage Model T.
  • An exhibit of Currier & Ives winter scenes will be displayed.
  • A Reindeer Scavenger Hunt will delight the little ones. 
  • Marshmallow roasting will be available at cozy outdoor fire pits.
  • The Magnolia Café will offer soup, hot dogs, Christmas Whoopie pies, chocolate chip cookies, S’mores kits, and gingerbread men, along with hot chocolate, mulled wine and cider, soda, and coffee.

“Our goal is to highlight the natural beauty of the Heritage gardens,” said Les Lutz, Director of Horticulture and Facilities Management at Heritage Museums & Gardens. “Though the summer blooms get all the attention, there is something magical about the quiet stillness of the gardens in winter that the lighting helps enhance.”

For the third year in a row, Heritage Museums & Gardens is partnering with the Sandwich Food Pantry to assist area families. This season, visitors are asked to bring school supplies, including glue sticks, pencil boxes or pouches, spiral notebooks, highlighter markers, thumb drives, three-ring binders, and #2 pencils. Donation boxes will be set up in The Shop at Heritage. The Shop will also be open, offering great gifts for family and friends.  

Gardens Aglow will take place from 4:30 to 8:30 pm on the following weekends: November 25, 26, 27; December 2, 3, 4; December 9, 10, 11; and December 16, 17, 18. 

Tickets are $15 for member adults, $5 for member youth, $18 for non-member adults, and $7 for non-member youth. Children ages 2 and younger are admitted at no charge. Group discounts are available. welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on