Location: 666 Bellevue Ave, Oakland, California The Gardens at Lake Merritt
Hours: One weekend in October
Description: For one magical weekend in October the Lake Merritt Gardens come alive with bright lights, music, and odd glowing garden decorations. If you have never attended this event you will be amazed at the wonderment that you are missing out on. Autumn lights is fun for the whole family. Children will be totally entranced and engaged by all of the bright lights glowing in different colors hanging from every tree limb and surrounding every bush. The giant glowing artichokes are a must see and sort of staple of the event. Last year there was a small car shooting out fire that kids could sit in and take control of. My daughter had the most fun at a station with disco music that allowed little kids to play with glow in the dark toys/ wands/ whips as they danced. We had to literally pull her away from that when we had to move on. There are a couple of food trucks and adults will appreciate that there are wine and beer offerings. Families will have a blast just walking the grounds under the cover of night amidst the glowing lights- it is truly an incomparable experience.
Highlights: My children had so much fun running around the dark night amid the glowing gardens. Not too many family friendly events take place at night and this is for sure one your children will love. There is so much to see it is hard to leave when it is time to go.
Tips: The tickets are fairly priced, easily affordable for a whole family. Check and buy your tickets online. The first year we missed it because tickets sold out. This event is very popular and is getting more attention by the year, so get your tickets early. It gets crowded, so go early with your little ones. Or later if you are not bringing your kids. Also feel free to bring anything that glows or lights up from your house- you'll be in good company. This event only happens once a year so keep a look out in my 'Upcoming Events' section- you don't want to miss it!