Christmas Garden Berlin – Christmas lights and mulled wine
There is something very magical about Christmas lights. Add in equal parts of Christmas music and servings of hot glühwein (German spiced mulled wine), and you have the recipe for an enchanting evening. That is what you get with Christmas Garden Berlin at the Botanic Garten.
The organizers bill the numerous displays and illuminations as “1.5 million points of light,” and while I didn’t count every LED bulb, there are dazzling displays at every turn and bend along the approximately two-kilometer (1.25 mile) walking path.
This is not a Christmas market, and it really isn’t a place to come if your only goal is to duck in to see some pretty Christmas lights and leave. To fully enjoy the experience (and get your money’s worth from the nearly 17-19 euro ticket), you really need to plan on spending several hours to wander slowly, take photos, share the experience with friends, and become immersed in a very peaceful world full of Christmas magic and Christmas carols.
Voices, for the most part, become hushed (other than the delighted giggles, oohs and aahs from children – oh, and adults, too) as each display creates a relaxed, joyful holiday mood with dancing lights, lasers, or simply twinkling bulbs, all accompanied by sounds of nature and Christmas music.
I must admit I became completely entranced by the Christmas Garden Laser Garden, as lights danced in the forest amid the sounds of hooting owls and ethereal music. Every so often, mist would appear illuminating lines of light from lasers mounted in the trees. Wandering through the dangling lights and tiny bells of the Glockenspiel display was also truly wonderful.
HITT Tip: Dress warmly as Christmas Garden Berlin is an open-air event and stays open rain, snow, mist or bitter cold. Of course, there are numerous glühwein stands along the way to ensure you are able to warm your body and soul as needed. The trail is level but can be muddy or have puddles so do wear appropriate footwear. And you may want to consider a tiny flashlight for sections that are less well-lit, or you feel less steady in the dark.[/box]
If you start to feel a bit hungry, there is a small rustic Alpine-style hut located near the ice-skating rink near the entrance that is called, appropriately, Santa Clause. Inside you will find a heated escape from the chill of the Berlin night, and a few basic German dishes designed to warm the body – such as spaetzle and fondue. And, of course, glühwein, hot chocolate, beer and other drinks. Reservations are recommended which you can make online at the Christmas Garden Berlin website. There are also outdoor food stands with crepes, soups and light fare – and firepits to warm hands.
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