Event Review: “Enchanted Forest of Light” Lives Up to Its Name

Kevin Taft reviews the Enchanted Forest of Light, one of his very favorite holiday events, which is back and better than ever.
User Rating: 10

One of my very favorite holiday events is back and better than ever.

“Enchanted Forest of Light” at the Descanso Gardens in La Canada opened this past weekend, giving visitors a peaceful eye and earful that truly has to be experienced.

Set amongst the trees and open gardens of the Descanso Gardens, guests take a one-mile journey through nine different spaces, each with a different theme and lighting display.

You begin with a field of poppy lights (“Flower Power”) that quietly change color in streaks and waves. As you continue, you’ll come across an earthbound moon glowing transcendentally across a pond – its soft light illuminating the water below it.

Returning guests will see favorite experiences, including the “stained glass” town created by sculptor Tom Fruin, the Pixel forest with trees dazzled by small green projected dots that look like fireflies dancing on the leaves, and old oak trees surrounded by interactive lights.

There are plenty of selfie opportunities, like the light cage that offers perfect lighting for all your social media posts. The Ancient Forest takes you through massive old trees illuminated in greens, purples, reds, and blues, making them seem even more majestic.

The Japanese Garden is always a beautiful spot to relax and reflect, and the giant LED screen filled with hypnotic moving images is a “trip” without the hallucinogens.

At two spaces in between, there are opportunities to grab snacks, wine, hot chocolate, coffee, and a variety of themed cocktails. Not to mention there are gift shops and souvenir kiosks for all your holiday needs.

“Enchanted” is hard to write about because it has to be experienced to get the full effect. Aside from the occasional noisy child or loud guest, the event is a Zen-filled night of gorgeous colors, soft music, and nature. The lighting design is truly out of this world. So much thought and care have been put into how visitors will experience it; it’s hard to imagine how it’s done with such precision and perfection.

It’s a definite must this holiday season, and since it’s non-denominational (and not in any way celebrating any particular holiday), it can be appreciated and enjoyed by anyone, young or old.

“Enchanted” lives up to its name and should be put at the top of your seasonal to-do list!

“Enchanted Forest of Light” runs through January 8, 2023.
For more information and tickets, visit www.descansogardens.org.

Enchanted Forest of Light 2022–2023

Dates: Nov. 20–Jan. 8 (Closed Nov. 24, Dec. 24 & 25), open 5:30–10 pm
Entry times: 5:30 pm, 6 pm, 6:30 pm, 7 pm, 7:30 pm, 8 pm & 8:30 pm
Tickets: $22–$28 for Descanso Gardens members, $34–$40 for non-members
Phone: (818) 949-4200

Written by
Kevin is a long-time movie buff with a wide variety of tastes and fixations in the film world. He cried the moment Benji appeared onscreen in “Benji,” and it took him about four times to finally watch “The Exorcist” (at age 24) without passing out. “Star Wars: A New Hope” was the movie that changed everything and when his obsession with films and filmmaking began. A screenwriter himself (one long-ago horror script sale to New Line remains on a shelf), his first film "Two Tickets to Paradise" that he co-wrote premiered in June 2022 on Hallmark. He is currently working on another for the iconic brand.

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