We took the kids to the Winter Garden aGlow at the Idaho Botanical Gardens on Monday. This year they've started "Carpool Mondays" so a van-load of people can get into the Gardens for $20. With adults usually costing $8 and kids $4, we'd normally have to pay $32. Good deal!
It's pretty out there at the gardens, lots of lights wrapped from trees, hanging from trees, sitting in bushes, lining walkways. It's not something I'd feel compelled to do every year, but it was nice. We stopped to see Prancer, who looked like the weight of his antlers was a bit much for him.
When I read online that there are 250,000 lights out there, I was a little uncomfortable. Once you're aware of the energy drain things create, you see it everywhere. Sometimes it's hard not to be a little Scrooge-ish if you focus on the green factor. I decided to use the trip as a research opportunity, to learn, rather than to judge. I wrote up my findings in a review. You can see it here. (Well, crud...it's awaiting review. I'll repost the link when it's functional.)
The kids had a great time tromping through the mud, seeing Santa, and ringing the big bell they have hanging in the middle of the gardens. I think it would make a really great trip in the summer, to show the kids the ecological diversity, and to teach them about local versus exotic plants. They've decided that a botanical garden is a zoo for plants, and they're kind of right.