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.