Enchanted: Forest of Light
Time Out says
Discovery and wonder are set to inhabit the illuminated installations once again in Descanso Gardens’ holiday tradition.
After having to cancel the 2020 edition, Enchanted: Forest of Light is set to return from November 21, 2021 through January 10, 2022. The botanical garden’s nighttime experience masterfully mixes hands-on art installations with atmospheric, luminescent forests, all against a background of uplit trees and shimmery sound effects.
Expect most installations to return, while sculptor Tom Fruin’s kaleidoscopic stained-glass–inspired house will now multiply into an entire village of structures in the rose garden. Tickets go on sale in September for members and October to the general public.
Check out our review of 2019’s edition below.
Enchanted is intuitively immersive: You can tap columns that change color according to your touch; spin a dizzying swirl of kaleidoscopic patterns with HYBYCOZO’s “Celestial Shadows” pendants; and stomp your way across Jen Lewin’s “Aqueous,” a serpentine Candyland-like path that changes colors as you meander along its winding walkway. And, true to its botanical garden location, most of the installations highlight the natural beauty of Descanso’s flora.
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This year, “Celestial Shadows” has been upgraded with even more shapes (last year saw the addition of a particulalrly mesmerizing disco-ball–like one) while sculptor Tom Fruin’s kaleidoscopic stained-glass–like house is anchored in the Mulberry Pond. The event has also added Enchanted with Entertainment evenings (Dec 6, 7, 13, 14) with student performances as well as ambient DJ sets on the main lawn. Also, note that the dates around Christmas are for members only this year (Dec 20–23, 26–28).
Some of last year’s chances stuck around: “Aqueous” if flanked with glowing benches around the perimeter. At “Lightwave Lake,” you can no longer control the swirl of colorful spotlights atop the foggy water, but there are far more stations to change the colors of the lighting on the trees (And bonus: There’s a bar right next to it, with an especially delicious spiked cider).
Elsewhere, “Enchanted” (delightedly) looks much like it has in the past: a field of faux tulips ripples with waves of twinkling color changes while the mist-filled “Ancient Forest” still beckons visitors with its straight-out-of-E.T. setting.
You’ll want to wear comfy shoes as it’s about a mile walk around “Enchanted.” The route is clearly marked and the grounds are mostly level, though some of the paths can get a little spongey if it’s rained recently. Make sure you bundle up before you go; average lows in La Cañada Flintridge this time of year can hover around the mid 40s and you’ll need at least an hour to explore all “Enchanted” has to offer.
|Venue name:||Descanso Gardens|
1418 Descanso Dr
La Cañada Flintridge