'Winter Wonderscape' light show returns to Reiman Gardens for December weekends through New Year's
The "Winter Wonderscape Holiday Light Show" is returning to Reiman Gardens in Ames for its second year with some new flair.
Reiman Gardens has had holiday lights up before, but last year featured the first show of a much wider scope.
Many of last year's light features are returning, according to a news release — brightly lit tunnels to walk through, falling star lights, disco balls lit by laser lights, a fountain of lights and lit sculptural forms including Peter Rabbit, a luna moth's metamorphosis, penguins on skis, sleds, ice skates and a giant snowflake.
The walk-through show at the 17-acre site this year will also include "new and improved features and elements including motion and music," according to the release.
The Winter Wonderscape returns from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and will continue during that time on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings Dec. 2-4, 9-11, 16-18, 23, 24, 30 and 31, and Jan. 1.
Reiman Gardens will close early at 4 p.m. on those days to set up for the show. On New Year's Day, the Gardens will be closed during the day and open for the show at 5 p.m.
Visitors will also be able to see the "RG Express Holiday Train" display in the Hughes Conservatory on their way out through the main building — a "custom-built garden-scale train, which was created by Applied Imagination, an internationally recognized company whose train displays meld botanical design and architecture," according to the Winter Wonderscape's website.
Live music will also be offered on select evenings, and light-up mementos will be available to shop for.
The live music will be performed in the Garden Room:
- Friday, Dec. 3: Coffee Shop Romance, a husband-and-wife acoustic duo who "uses lush harmonies and beautiful chemistry to reimagine music from yesterday and today."
- Saturday, Dec. 4: Tom Box will be "featuring the best in oldies and rock and soul music."
- Thursday, Dec. 9: The Bluestem Bellows Band is five musicians who have "found great joy in making music together using that world music wind instrument the accordion."
- Friday, Dec. 10: Ames High School Madrigal Singers
- Thursday, Dec. 16: Jennie Mulgaard’s Recorder Group
- Friday, Dec. 17: Britches & Hose Ukulele Club, an "all-ukulele all the time ensemble."
- Saturday, Dec. 18: Barb Evenson on the Harp
- Thursday, Dec. 23: Emil and Caleb Polashek
Tickets for the Winter Wonderscape must be purchased online in advance, and prices are $10 for adults in the general public, $8 for adult members and Iowa State University students, $5 for children ages 2 years old to 12 years old, and admission is free for children under the age of 2 years old.
Reiman Gardens is also accepting donations to help local organizations on certain days of the Winter Wonderscape. Needed items can also be dropped off at the the Gardens' lobby daily during standard business hours, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Making a donation will not affect admission price for the Winter Wonderscape.
The list of organizations and the requested items, as well as more information about the Winter Wonderscape, is available at reimangardens.com/events-programs/winter-wonderscape-holiday-light-show/.
Phillip Sitter covers education for the Ames Tribune, including Iowa State University and PreK-12 schools in Ames and elsewhere in Story County. Phillip can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is on Twitter @pslifeisabeauty.