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.
Average User Rating
4.7 / 5
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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.
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.