Enchanted: Forest of Light

Things to do, Festivals Descanso Gardens , La Cañada Until Sunday January 6 2019
Recommended
5 out of 5 stars
(3user reviews)
 (Photograph: Michael Juliano)
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Photograph: Michael Juliano
 (Photograph: Michael Juliano)
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Photograph: Michael Juliano
 (Photograph: Michael Juliano)
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Photograph: Michael Juliano
 (Photograph: Michael Juliano)
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Photograph: Michael Juliano
 (Photograph: Michael Juliano)
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Photograph: Michael Juliano
 (Photograph: Michael Juliano)
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Photograph: Michael Juliano
 (Photograph: Michael Juliano)
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Photograph: Michael Juliano
 (Photograph: Michael Juliano)
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Photograph: Michael Juliano
 (Photograph: Michael Juliano)
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Photograph: Michael Juliano

Discovery and wonder abound across the 10 illuminated installations in Descanso Gardens’ holiday tradition.

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.

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.

This year, “Celestial Shadows” has been upgraded with even more sculptures, including a particulalrly mesmerizing disco-ball–like one, while the layout of “Aqueous” has been slightly reconfigured, 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 whiskey bar adjacent, 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.

Posted:

Venue name: Descanso Gardens
Contact:
Address: 1418 Descanso Dr
Los Angeles
91011
Opening hours: 9am-5pm daily
Price: $28–$30
Event website: https://www.descansogardens.org/programs-events/enchanted/
Static map showing venue location
    • Descanso Gardens $28–$30 Book online
    • Descanso Gardens $28–$30 Book online
    • Descanso Gardens $28–$30 Book online
    • Descanso Gardens $28–$30 Book online
    • Descanso Gardens $28–$30 Book online
    • Descanso Gardens $28–$30 Book online
    • Descanso Gardens $28–$30 Book online
    • Descanso Gardens $28–$30 Book online
    • Descanso Gardens $28–$30 Book online
    • Descanso Gardens $28–$30 Book online
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Average User Rating

4.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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LiveReviews|3
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moderator

This exhibit was far beyond what I expected it to be - in a good way. I felt like a little kid wandering around the space, watching beautiful tulip gardens light up in a rainbow of colors and trees twinkle like a million fairies were living in their branches. It's definitely worth a visit, whether or not you have little ones in tow. 

tastemaker

Overall, a fun night when you need a change of pace from going out and painting the town. Each exhibit has a theme, and the gardens are set up to take you on a journey through these themed areas. Some are better than others with my personal favorite being flower power: tons of lit up tulips (they're fake *no nature was harmed in the making of this attraction) that change colors and create patterns along to bells and music. All of them have something unique to the species there or style of garden though. The crowd is mostly couples and some families, but don't let that deter you. It's certainly something I'd recommend checking out, especially with tons of discount codes floating around.

moderator

A Christmas lights display without much Christmas—it's a crazy idea but boy does it work wonders here. Enchanted is one of the coolest holiday light attractions in L.A., and maybe one of the best interactive experiences period. Wandering the gardens feels magical, with a sense of curiosity and adventure awaiting at every station. I particularly loved the interactive spotlights and the fern lights. Also, I wish I could give this an extra star just for its well-lit, easily legible wayfinding signs.