#COVIDchaos – Illuminations holiday lights

Each winter, Botanica Gardens transforms its grounds into a spectacular display of more than 2 million lights. We usually go with my parents and whomever else is in town.

Because of the pandemic, the process was a little different this year and included a drive thru and a walk thru option with limited, timed tickets for each. We opted for the walk thru option, and lucky for us, the weather cooperated. December in Kansas can be anywhere from sunny and 55 degrees, to sleeting and windy with a “feels like” temperature of -8.

We had to coordinate between work and school schedules (although we are fully remote so it’s not regular “school”), plus many dates were already sold out. It’s a popular event!

In a normal year, we would have all ridden together in our van, but this year we took two cars and met at Botanica. We saw lots of people with festive clothes and lighted accessories. I wish I would have thought of that and worn my Christmas bulb necklace or holiday headband! The boys would have been embarrassed by such a “mom” move.

Walking traffic in the gardens was limited to one way, and Santa was behind a plexiglass box (no sitting on Santa’s lap this year). There was lots of places to rest, get a treat or two and warm up.

I actually like the limited and timed ticket idea. Some years it has been packed, but with timed and limited tickets, crowds aren’t an issue. My favorite display was the large area where the lights are synced with music.

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