A trip to Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens during December is a must for many Valley residents. For 28 years, the Gardens have helped people get into the Christmas spirit during this special time of the year.
This year is no exception as the gardens have once again been decorated with a Christmas light display that is sure to delight visitors of all ages. From the moment you enter the parking lot you are greeted with a stunning display of lights that festoon Santa’s Barn, trim the entrance arbour and are hanging from literally every tree and shrub. A walk along the many pathways will get you into the holiday spirit as you are treated with one spectacular display after another.
“Originally Woodland Gardens started off as a cut your own Christmas tree farm, we would decorate the barn area and have a roaring fire going to add to the atmosphere,” said Bryan Zimmerman, owner of the gardens. “These days, because we wanted to create a lasting legacy with the Gardens, we don’t have trees for cutting anymore but what we have done during December is turned the Gardens into a wonderland of lights and activities that for many has become one of those must do holiday traditions.”
Zimmerman’s description is somewhat modest because his Christmas display involves literally thousands and thousands of lights that have been hung from trees, line pathways, spotlight water fountains and light up the Gardens in a way that would even make Mother Nature envious.
Each year Zimmerman seems to outdo himself as he keeps on adding string after string of new lights. Spread out along a few kilometres of trails, this eye popping, jaw-dropping display literally turns the Gardens into the biggest showcase of Christmas lights in the Valley.
For those who are very young and those who are still young at heart, Santa himself will be on hand in Santa’s Barn, every weekend right up to Christmas. From 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Dec. 9, 10, 16, 17, 21, 22 and 23 Santa will be available to visit with the children to find out what is on their wish lists.
In addition on the days Santa is in his barn, you’ll be able to warm up with hot drinks and help ward off the cool weather by sitting on the log benches that surround a real roaring holiday fire.
For those who like to sing, Dec. 21 will be a special day as the Cantiamo Singers will be on hand from 7-9 p.m. to lead everyone in Christmas songs as they walk the lighted pathways.
A special Canada 150 destination
In celebration of Canada’s sesquicentennial, 150 gardens and garden experiences across the country were jury-selected to receive the ‘Canada 150 Garden Experience’ designation.
“We’re really proud to have been selected as one of those gardens that provide visitors with an opportunity to celebrate Canada’s birthday year,” said Zimmerman.
This gives Valley residents and visitors alike a great opportunity to not only celebrate Canada’s birthday but also brighten their holiday festivities with an experience that will truly help light up the season.
Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens is located on Whittaker road just 15 minutes north of Courtenay off the Old Island Highway. For more information visit woodlandgardens.ca or call 250-338-6901.