Oh it’s been so long since I’ve posted on here! Between my family coming down with Covid for two weeks, recovering the week of Christmas, then trying to tackle all the Christmas stuff in a few days it’s been a hectic few weeks. I have had some residual breathing symptoms from Covid and I am now on medication to help with that but I am finally well enough to be up and moving around. Prior to contracting Covid, my husband and I went out to Dazzling Nights at Leu Gardens on opening night. Which was forever ago since it is now January.
As soon as I saw the advertisements for this event I knew I wanted to go! I am not big into decorating my house outdoors for Christmas however, I love a good light display. Upon arriving at Leu gardens we were checked in at the first entry point which ensured that we weren’t there too early. There was a waiting area with a very large tree, some photo ops, and a stand selling drinks and glow wands. We were running a bit behind so we didn’t have to wait in this area and instead headed straight for the entrance to the gardens. Here we were greeted, checked in officially, and offered a ring light for our phones.
10 themed locations
Throughout Leu Gardens there were ten different themed locations. Being the nerd that I am, I adored the random facts that related something from each theme with a body/health fact. While this random fact might seem like a weird thing to have at a holiday light event, it makes sense when you realize the sponsor for this event was Advent Health. The first area was a dark area filled with red and green laser lights. Not my favorite area but not my least favorite either. Next up was a tunnel of lights. This was a hot spot for photos.
Once we were through the tunnel there was this cool pathway. Again, not a favorite but very cool to walk over and interesting for photos. I imagine this lit up walkway would be very popular with young kids. After this location, things became far more interesting and I was quickly enamored. The hanging lights in the next location reminded me of wisteria. I want to walk under wisteria trees so bad and this was a wonderful substitute for that.
Beyond the wisteria light trees (which are actually called electric showers) was another drink and light up wand stand that led to a path of lit trees. I am a sucker for tree lined paths and having the lights wrapped around the trees was stunning! I also appreciate the classiness of the white lights lining the path instead of using colored lights.
This was my second favorite area of Dazzling Nights. Truly, it could be my first but I am a complete weirdo and you will see why shortly. This art installation was made by artist Synthestruct (Find their artwork here on Instagram). These triangles were connected to a pulse scanner so we could see our heartbeat in real time. We met the artist and they were super friendly and offered to take our photo while we were here. As someone who has watched my artwork become something a little more than I imagined, seeing their face light up when they explained this piece to us and their excitement about it finally being opening night was awesome!
Auroras and Angels
Here it is. My favorite area of the whole night…. a garden path filled with fog. Yes you read that correctly. First off, the music here was Nightmare Before Christmas which is one of my favorite movies. As in I wore out a VHS tape of that movie when I was a child. VHS!!! I am so old. So, I am immediately emotionally invested in this area. Beyond that, fog. I am the kind of person who wakes up to a foggy morning and does a little happy dance. My husband got a kick out of watching me hop around in the fog and jokingly said he was going to buy me a fog machine for Christmas.
Visions of Light & Love + Snow
After the foggy wonderland we happened upon giant ornaments which felt a bit like we had shrunk during our time in the fog. This was my least favorite area. I loved the idea of monstrous ornaments when I saw it on the brochure but this particular execution was a bit lackluster. These giant ornaments appeared to be reflective oversized beach balls. I was left a little underwhelmed because trying to take a reflective photo against a puckered surface isn’t great. I was truly hoping for big plastic ornaments with pristine surfaces. The other people in this area seemed to thoroughly enjoy everything about this area though! It’s not that it was bad it just wasn’t what I was expecting.
This brings us to the final area of our trip, the snow! This area was a big empty grassy area with tons of faux snow. My husband and I took selfies here because well, faux snow in Florida!
Overall, I would absolutely recommend this event. Date night or family night it is a good experience for both. If you want to keep up with new events from the Creative City Project you can find their Instagram here. Their next work of art is an Alice in Wonderland event at Mead Gardens and I am so freaking excited for that one! Alice in Wonderland is up there as one of my favorite stories so I cannot wait to see that brought to life!