Sunday, December 19, 2010

Luminaria 2010

The Devonian Gardens held Luminaria on December 11 and 12. It was chock full of people! We had to park in Devon and take a free school bus to the gardens.

I was very excited for our family to attend this event: I imagined it to be fantastical and magical. In fact, we ventured out all bundled up in full winter gear and out into the cold just to make it.

I must say, for all our efforts and the cost, I was terribly under-whelmed. Sure, it was beautiful but there were too many people detracting from the intended peaceful atmosphere. Luminaria was held in the Japanese Gardens and the decor was appropriately minimalistic. Perhaps too minimalistic in too small of a space for the crowds. Thousands of white paper bags with votive candles lined the pathways and decorated certain features. There were several fire pits and apple cider stations (free). It sounds lovely, and it was, but, not quite worth it. Unenthusiastic "Snow Sprites" strolled the gardens all lit up while the crowds did their own strolling and photo-taking. Oh, and there were singers caroling.

The craft sale in an adjacent building was ok, if you are into really really kitchy items or love candles packaged with napkins.

If they want to keep the Japanese Gardens simple and desire a " quiet oasis of peace and light" then I suggest branching out! How about a wooded corridor of multi-coloured lights and decorations into the forested area near the gift shop. North Pole theme? Candy Cane Lane concept perfect for children? Having a minimum of two areas to explore would thin the visitors out and provide a more varied experience for all, it'd be so much more fun! And family friendly.


  1. I'd have to agree with you! Your review was excellent and beautiful pictures, but I would be underwhelmed too.

    Your reviews are getting very good - you should consider writing for the Journal :)

    Thank you for "bringing" us there.

  2. You are too kind ;-)
    And you are welcome!

  3. I trust your review, but at the same time I think my family would love to go to that, even just as it is. Maybe it's because we are use to small town Ontario and this City seems to have so much to offer that we never have ever seen before. It's like we are babies just opening our eyes here in Edmonton. :)

  4. I think it's wonderful that you take my review with a grain of salt, Our Pace! I'm not trying to discourage anyone from going. Besides, it was very lovely and I'm glad I went once-- I wish we could go back for a more private event where there are way less people in attendance. And I think it's be age dependent. My son was disinterested and his only desire was to have me push him into the snow banks, lol.

  5. And they only had apple cider. I got tired apple cider after three helpings. but it kept my fingers warm!


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