Frequently Asked Questions


❅ Is this year’s show a walk-through?

Winter Lights is a walk-through experience in and around the gardens. We do not provide shuttles or trams.

❅ Do I need a ticket for each attendee?

No. Tickets are priced per vehicle, which means everyone in your vehicle can enjoy the show for one ticket.

❅ Can I bring my pets?

No. Pets are not permitted at Winter Lights. Service animals are always welcome.

❅ Will food and beverages be available for purchase?

Yes! The Cocoa Shack located in the Gardener’s Green Shed will sell hot cocoa, alcoholic beverages, and treats. The Bent Creek Bistro, located at the Education Center, will sell snacks, hot cocoa, alcoholic beverages and s’more kits. You can view The Bent Creek Bistro menu here.

❅ Will restrooms be available onsite?

Yes! Restrooms will be available in the Baker Visitor Center and Education Center, and there will be portable restrooms available for use.

❅ Is Winter Lights accessible for guests in wheelchairs/with mobility issues?

Yes. Winter Lights is designed with accessibility in mind, and displays are best viewed from the paved pathways throughout the gardens. Online map coming soon.

❅ Are wheelchairs available?

Guests who use wheelchairs are encouraged to bring their own. A limited supply of wheelchairs are available to borrow on a first-come-first-served basis.

❅ Are there any discounts available?

Arboretum Society members receive a $5.00 discount on tickets for all vehicle sizes when they buy in advance. The member discount does not apply to Flex tickets or tickets purchased at the gate on the night of the event.

❅ How do I purchase tickets?

Online, in advance – RECOMMENDED

The best way to purchase your Winter Lights tickets is in advance online at Email for assistance. Winter Lights evenings do sell out, so we recommend purchasing ahead of time through the website.

On-site, in advance

Beginning November 1, Advance tickets may be purchased on-site at the gatehouse from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. There are no discounts for purchasing in-person or for purchases made with cash.

On-site, during the event

Once the show opens each night, tickets for that evening’s event may be purchased at the gate between 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. if space allows. In some cases, visitors without pre-purchased tickets may be turned away. Ticket prices increase by $10 at the gate and Member discounts do not apply.

❅ When do advance ticket sales end?

Advance tickets are available for each date of the event until the show opens at 6:00 p.m. that night, unless they sell out first.

❅ Will tickets be sold at the gate/during the event?

Yes. Tickets may be purchased at the gate between 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. if space allows. In some cases, visitors without pre-purchased tickets may be turned away. Please note, ticket prices increase by $10 at the gate and member discounts do not apply.

We strongly recommend purchasing your tickets in advance online at

❅ Do I need to purchase a ticket if I will be using a rideshare like Uber or Lyft to enter the show?f

Yes. A valid Personal Vehicle ticket is required in order to enter the show and signs will be posted for drop off. For pickup, rideshare services will be allowed entry (without additional passengers) until 9:00 p.m. in order to pick up guests. We recommend scheduling pickups in advance. The GPS address to the front gate is 20 Frederick Law Olmsted Way.

❅ Are taxes and fees included in the ticket price?

Yes, ticket prices include all taxes and fees.

❅ Why are the ticket prices different on certain dates?

Tickets for Winter Lights are available in three different tiers: Pink, Blue and Yellow. These tiers reflect peak and off-peak pricing based on historical visitation data. The tiers and per-vehicle pricing allow visitors to pay less by choosing off-peak dates.

❅ I’m not sure about the length of my vehicle. Which ticket should I buy?

Personal Vehicle tickets are valid for vehicles up to 20’ in length. This covers nearly every private passenger vehicle. If you can park in a standard parking space, your vehicle falls within this category. For reference, a Suburban SUV is just under 19’ long.


❅ What is a Flex ticket?

Flex tickets are a great option for attendees who would like the ability to change their ticket date. Flex ticket-holders may change the date of their ticket to another non-sold-out night for any reason by using the Flex Ticket Change Request Form. Flex ticket prices do not vary based on Pink, Blue or Yellow dates.

Member discounts do not apply to Flex tickets.

❅ When do the gates open for the show?

Gates open at 6:00 p.m. and the last entry is at 9:00 p.m. Please refrain from lining up early for Winter Lights. Blocking the main gates poses a safety hazard and may inhibit the flow of outgoing traffic as well as traffic on the Blue Ridge Parkway entrance Ramp and N. C. Highway 191 (Brevard Road).

❅ Should I expect a line?

On weekends and around the holidays, we expect the show to be busy, which may result in a wait at the Gatehouse. Our staff will be working diligently to get folks into the show as quickly as they can, but to avoid lines, we recommend that guests arrive after 7:30 p.m. or join us on non-peak dates

❅ Does the event sell out?

Yes. In the event that we sell out of advance tickets for a given night, tickets may be purchased at the gate between 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. if space allows. In some cases, visitors without pre-purchased tickets may be turned away. All ticket prices increase by $10 at the gate and Member discounts do not apply. To get the best price and ensure that you are able to attend on your preferred date, we strongly recommend purchasing in advance.

❅ Can I purchase gift tickets?

We do not offer gift certificates or non-dated tickets.You are welcome to purchase a ticket as a gift and either email the e-ticket to the desired recipient or print it out to give to them directly. 

❅ Are group rates available?

There is no discount for multiple tickets purchased. Tickets are available for large vehicles and buses, based on vehicle size.

❅ Can I walk or bike into the show?

No. Winter Lights guests may only enter the property in a motorized vehicle, such as a car, truck, limousine, bus, van or motorcycle. Bicycles and pedestrian access will not be permitted.

❅ Can I bike or skate through the displays?

No. Only pedestrian traffic is permitted within the gardens.

❅ Can I drop my kids off at Winter Lights?

No. All attendees under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult for the duration of their visit.

❅ Will there be live entertainment?

Yes! Check the Event Info page closer to the event for the performance schedule. 

Contact Us

Need ticketing assistance or have a question regarding Winter Lights? Please fill out the contact form below or email 

❅ Purchase your tickets to Winter Lights here!