Night Lights is Tower Hill Botanic Garden’s largest annual event and helps fund our nonprofit museum’s four season operations as well as our efforts to connect people and plants. More than 40,000 people visit in roughly a 30 day period, and it takes a lot of planning, creativity, and hard work to ensure each guest has a safe and joyful experience. We’re extremely grateful so many people choose to connect with friends and family at Tower Hill during this special time of year.

Tower Hill has roughly 60 regular employees, lots of volunteers, and also seasonal workers. And each contributes to the success of Night Lights. What follows is a sampling of responses from employees when asked, “What is your favorite part of Night Lights?”

“The fire pits are what I like most about Night Lights. They’re so simple, yet a powerful community builder. It’s that ancient, instinctual longing for warmth and light that we all have in common and that draws us close.” ~Robert Burgess, Tower Hill’s public relations manager

“My favorite thing is when guests connect what they are seeing with our mission. It always takes a little nudge, ‘This is more than a train table, it is a train garden! Every plant has roots and is planted here, and tended by our horticulture staff.’  ‘Wait, what? Those are flowers made from water bottles??’ ‘Butterflies!!'” ~Jane Ellis, Tower Hill CFO

“My favorite thing about night lights is seeing the look of amazement on all of the kids faces as they play, explore, and imagine!” ~Marissa Gallant, Tower Hill manager of Youth Education

“My favorite thing about Night Lights is the feeling of wonder from everyone who visits. It is a perfect way to step into the joy of the season and magic of Tower Hill.” ~Kyle Jacoby, Tower Hill manager of Exhibitions & Events

“I look forward to Night Lights every year to get me in the holiday spirit. Being able to facilitate a magical experience and holiday tradition for so many people is the greatest gift I could ever give or receive.” ~Ali Kane, Tower Hill Grants Manager

“My favorite part of Night Lights is watching children and adults pretend to be fairies and dance in the Forest of Flowers.” ~Jessica Pederson, Tower Hill director of Education

“My favorite thing about Night Lights is watching the collective vision of Tower Hill’s staff come to life. We’re lucky to have some very talented people working here and I can’t help but be impressed and amazed at their creativity and ingenuity. Following along as visitors post their own Night Lights pictures on social media, I think they agree!” ~Mark Richardson, Tower Hill director of Horticulture

“My favorite thing about ‘Night Lights’ are people’s reactions to the various displays. Someone is always enchanted by a specific piece of the light display: the fairies in the woods, the garden within reach flowers, the train, the indoor flowers. People’s moods brighten the moment they walk into the night time garden. Ruth Seward, Tower Hill director of Outreach & Community Engagement