Enchanted Airlie's Half-mile Walking Trail Features Holiday Light Displays, Singing Trees, Music & Santa  

Wilmington, N.C. - Elaborate light displays, along with hundreds of festive plants, seasonal music and “singing trees” will soon transform Airlie Gardens into Enchanted Airlie, a beloved holiday tradition.

Each year since 2005, visitors from across the U.S. and abroad have traveled to Wilmington, North Carolina to celebrate the holiday season at Enchanted Airlie. On select dates from November 25 through December 22, Airlie’s tastefully decorated half-mile, self-guided walking trail will bedazzle visitors of all ages with an estimated one million (yes, one million!) twinkling lights.

Enchanted Airlie is a holiday light extravaganza like no other with an enchanted nighttime forest of theatrically illuminated live oaks, small native trees, holiday flowers and elegant displays in a coastal garden setting. Volunteers and staff begin planning in January and decorating by early September so visitors can experience a 35-acre wonderland of seasonal sights and sounds. Each year Airlie expands the event, adding more exhibits. New for this year are “singing trees” that have been decorated with lights and choreographed to music.

Other highlights include live musical entertainment and visits with Santa, who will greet guests and pose for photos inside Airlie’s main building. Snacks and warm cocoa, as well as wine and a local craft brew will be available for purchase. The Airlie Gardens gift shop will also be open with one-of-a-kind gifts.

Want to go? Enchanted Airlie runs from Thanksgiving weekend through late December on select dates: November 25-26; December 2-4, 9-11, and 15-22, and in two time slots: 5:00-7:00 p.m. and 7:00–9:00 p.m. Enchanted Airlie tickets must be purchased in advance, no later than 4:00 p.m. the night of the event. Due to the popularity of this event (insider tip: many dates sell out in advance), visitors are strongly encouraged to purchase tickets for their preferred dates prior to travel. Tickets are available for purchase online at www.airliegardens.org or in-person at the Airlie Gardens service center (300 Airlie Rd., Wilmington) between 9am and 4pm. An economical option is the carload ticket for $27, which will cover as many people as will safely fit into an automobile (car, truck, SUV & mini-vans only). Groups arriving by bus, large van or limousine should contact Airlie Gardens for special group reservations.  

Airlie Gardens, located at 300 Airlie Road, is a 67-acre historic public garden bordering Bradley Creek in Wilmington, North Carolina. Visitors are encouraged to dress warmly and comfortably for the half-mile outdoor walking tour on gravel, sand, and mulch paths. For details about Enchanted Airlie, please call 910-798-7700 or visit the Airlie Gardens website www.airliegardens.org for event information, rules, restrictions and rain policy.   

City + Beaches: See where the water takes you this holiday season! From the river to the sea, more than 50 holiday-themed events help celebrate in Wilmington, North Carolina’s historic river district and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach. For seasonal specials and visitor information and to download a free Holiday Event Brochure, visit http://tinyurl.com/WilmingtonAndBeachesHoliday.  For a free official visitors guide, call 1-866-266-9690, email visit@wilmingtonandbeaches.com, or stop by the Visitors Information Center at 505 Nutt Street, Unit A, in Wilmington’s river district.