Shore Acres garden lights up the south coast Nov. 24-Dec. 31 (2011)
At 4 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, more than 300,000 lights will sparkle with the opening of the 25th Holiday Lights at Shore Acres. The lights are on daily 4-9:30 p.m. through New Year’s Eve.
Each year, nearly 1,500 volunteers string lights through the seven-acre garden’s shrubs, trees and coastal-themed sculptures. The popular Santa in the Bathtub display returns this year to the delight of everyone. Look for a new display that features a hummingbird with wings that move. Other can’t-miss sculptures include the Shore Acres cranes, a life-size leaping orca and a spouting Gray whale.
The Holiday Lights tradition began with only 6,000 miniature lights. Today, it’s a community event with local businesses sponsors, volunteer firefighters and entertainers. The walk-through display is accessible to people with disabilities. Stop by the Garden House for hot cider, coffee, punch and cookies.
The event is free, but you will need a state park day use parking permit ($5 daily). For an in-depth look at the Holiday Lights preparation, watch this Grant’s Getaways, filmed in 2009.