Nights of a Thousand Candles


Now in its 15th year, Nights of a Thousand Candles continues to delight guests with beautiful candle and lighting displays and exceptional entertainment. This year’s most exciting new feature is the 80 foot tall China Fir tree decorated with 60,000 lights. Located in the arboretum, this beautiful tree will be lighted each night in ceremonial fashion. Other new highlights include The Peppermint Forest in the Children’s Garden, The Ice Garden in the Lower Left Wing garden, and the addition of a garden by candle light.

“We always keep some of the favorite lighting displays from the previous year, “said Bob Jewell, President and CEO. “ But every year we add new lights, decorations, and entertainers to keep the event fresh and give our guests something to look forward to.”

Here are some suggestions to make of your Nights of a Thousand Candles experience the most enjoyable.

  • Carpool with family and friends. It supports our green initiative and helps reduce the number of parking spaces needed.
  • Come on a Thursday evening to avoid weekend crowds.
  • Arrive early (between 4 – 5 p.m.) and have time to see the candles being lit and map out where you would like to go, plus dusk is the best time to take pictures.
  • Dress warmly and wear comfortable shoes. It is not a drive-thru lights festival – it is a walk through the gardens.
  • A limited number of adult and child strollers are available at no charge one a first-come, first-serve basis. If you have mobility issues or difficulty walking or standing for extended periods of time please make appropriate arrangements.
  • Tripods are not allowed at this event.

Dinner, catered by Inlet Affairs, is available from 3:30 to 9 p.m. each evening and is served cafeteria-style in a large heated tent with inside seating. The menu features a variety of Lowcountry fare including seafood, BBQ, chicken bog and vegetarian options and is priced in addition to the event admission. Reservations are not accepted. (The Pavilion Restaurant is closed during the event.)

The Old Kitchen, located in the sculpture gardens, serves beverages, soup, and snacks. A beverage tent, located next to the main entertainment tent, offers hot and cold beverages.