The NightGarden at Fairchild: Miami’s Botanical Light Show


Isabella Hewitt

Tropical Rainforest light display at the NightGarden at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens. Photo Courtesy of Catalina Forwood.

From Nov. 12 to Jan. 2, the NightGarden, an award winning holiday light display, returns to Miami’s Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens. The show consists of beautiful light decor, special effects and interactive activities for those of all ages.

The NightGarden, a 45-minute walk through the gardens, allows families to enjoy the spectacular lights and interact with a talking tree as well as special light effects. 

‘Archie,’ the talking tree, has captivated many with his skill of chatting and answering any question guests may have. Archie even captured the attention of famed rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, in December of 2018 when he visited Fairchild. 

The event’s augmented reality game, where one searches for the seven markers of the NightGarden, is a new aspect of the event. Once one finds the markers, they can use the FairyScope app to discover the seven hidden Fairchild fairies, allowing children to experience a Fairchild adventure.

After a two-year hiatus, a new feature of the winter tradition includes COVID-19 precautions to keep guests safe. This is all while Fairchild staff and volunteers set up the rainforest filled with over 125,000 lights, which takes much preparation. 

“It takes a lot of hard work and production from Fairchild to plan and complete the display. It is not something that just takes setting up a few lights,” Fairchild volunteer and Miami Palmetto Senior High School sophomore Catalina Forwood said. “There are over 100,000 lights set up and the park must make new accommodations around COVID-19 and focus on other aspects of the event.” 

This Miami winter tradition has always played a huge role in the community and raises spirit and excitement within the community after two years of uncertainty.

“This event is really beneficial to the community as it allows for new friendships but also brings friends together. As a volunteer I was able to see my old volunteering friends after a long period of time and enjoyed the beautiful and prosperous gardens,” Forwood said.

General admission prices start at $24, while Fairchild member tickets start at $19. Tickets for children 2 years old and under are free. For more information on tickets, visit the Showclix NightGarden ticket website