HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (News release) – Garvan Woodland Gardens will open its annual Holiday Lights display in November with a week full of special events, including an inaugural tree-lighting ceremony, a visit with reindeer and concerts by the Village Big Band and other groups.
Reserved time tickets for “Holiday Lights” will be available on the Garvan Gardens website beginning Nov. 1.
Work by two prominent pastel artists, Robin Hazard and Charles Peer, remains on exhibit in November. Hazard has exhibited work throughout the United States and in China. Her work is included in many corporate and private collections and is represented by galleries in Arkansas, Florida and Texas. Peer is a professor of visual arts at John Brown University in Siloam Springs and director of the Fine Arts Gallery at the university. His work has been included in numerous juried exhibitions and featured in several fine art magazines, as well as winning numerous awards. The show will be displayed in the Magnolia Room from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Nov. 22 and from 5-9 p.m. Nov. 23-30 (except for Thanksgiving Day).
The garden will host “Fall Photowalks” at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 2 and 17. The Nov. 2 session will focus on the iconic Joy Manning Scott Full Moon Bridge and the Sunset Bridge in the Garden of the Pine Wind. The Nov. 17 session will focus on the elegant blend of native wood, glass and stone in the Anthony Chapel. Participants of all skill levels are invited, and any kind of camera, including smartphones and tablets, may be used. Walks last from 90 minutes to two hours, with a brief classroom session to discuss lighting, composition and focus tips.
The “Herbalist Series” will continue from 2:30-3:30 p.m. Nov. 3 and 17 in the Magnolia Room. Tami Sain, a local natural herbalist, will lead these workshops. The Nov. 3 class will cover herb harvesting, drying and storage. The Nov. 17 class will cover planting for winter, with a focus on growing winter savory, rosemary, sage, thyme and horseradish.
Docent training in forestry and late fall interest in the garden will be held from 12:30-2 p.m. Nov. 5. This docent training session is open to all and will meet in the Welcome Center.
“Art and Wine” will take place from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Nov. 8 in the Magnolia Room. Dee Garrett will lead this acrylic painting workshop for beginning artists, with the subject derived from seasonal blooms. Participants will create finished pieces on canvas. Complimentary wine and cheese will be served, and participants must be age 21 or older.
“Bonsai for Beginners: Nursery Stock to Pot” will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Nov. 9 in the Weyerhaeuser Bonsai Learning Center. Bryan Carlan, garden horticulturist, will discuss plant selection, container and materials sources and techniques. Each participant will produce a potted Bonsai style tree.
“Fall Color Photography: Woods, Water, Trails” will take place from 1-4:30 p.m. Nov. 10 in the Magnolia Room and garden. Julia Mann will emphasize tips and techniques for capturing the autumn color display as well as photographing trees and smaller landscapes. The workshop will also explore photographing the numerous water cascades and reflections in the garden koi ponds. Participants are asked to bring tripods if they have them.
“Mrs. Garvan’s Tea” will be held at 3 p.m. Nov. 12 in the Magnolia Room. Susan Harper will play the role of Verna Garvan, the garden’s benefactress. Traditional tea fare will be served.
The “Holiday Lights” display will begin Nov. 23 and continue through Dec. 31 (except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, when the garden will be closed). The display will run from 4-9 p.m. each evening. A new ticket admission system will help streamline long waits and overcrowded trails, with reserved time tickets available on the Garvan Gardens website beginning Nov. 1. The Chipmunk Café will be open each night until 9 p.m., serving soups, sandwiches and snacks. Visitors can conclude their walking tour with free hot chocolate. Dogs are not allowed in the garden during Holiday Lights, except for the Jingle Dogs Pup Parade on Dec. 2.
Opening week events for Holiday Lights will begin with the first “Schueck Rose Tree Lighting Ceremony” at 5 p.m. Nov. 23. The “Reindeer Stable with Santa’s Sleigh” will be on the grounds from 4-9 p.m. Nov. 25-27. Visitors are invited to feed the reindeer and have their pictures taken with them.
Several free holiday concerts will be held in Anthony Chapel during the opening week of Holiday Lights:
The Village Big Band Holiday Lights Opening Night Concert – Nov. 23, 6 p.m.
Lake Hamilton First Grade Choir – Nov. 24, 5:30 p.m.
Dance Arts Performance – Nov. 25, 5:30 p.m. The Village Chorale Concert – Nov. 26, 5:30 p.m.
“Photographing Holiday Lights” will begin at 4 p.m. Nov. 25 in the Magnolia Room and garden. Julia Mann will teach participants how to capture the unique nighttime images of the Holiday Lights display. The class will start with an hour-long presentation and then move into the garden to practice the new skills.
“Group Health Walks” will take place at 9 a.m. three days a week through Nov. 22. On Mondays, Sharon Turrentine will lead a three-mile walk in 52 minutes. On Wednesdays, Ginger Ladehoff or Dee Garrett will lead the two-plus-mile “Halfway Hike.” On Fridays, Rush Fentress will lead a two-mile walk called “The Weekender.” Walks will be held rain or shine. Participants should meet in the Welcome Center, and pets and strollers are welcome. No reservations are needed.
The Tai Chi Series “Strength in Motion” will have several options available this fall. Yang Tai Chi will meet from 10-11 a.m. each Wednesday through Nov. 20. Beginner Tai Chi will meet from 1-2 p.m. each Thursday through Nov. 21. Advanced Tai Chi will meet from 2-3 p.m. each Thursday through Nov. 21. All classes meet on the Great Lawn. The Oaklawn Center on Aging leads this ancient, low-impact practice that increases flexibility, balance and strength. Loose, comfortable clothing and comfortable footwear are recommended.
“Yoga at the Gardens” will be held from 10-11 a.m. Nov. 2 and 16 at the Klipsch Amphitheatre. Diana Esanu, a yoga instructor, will teach the series, incorporating stretches, gentle poses, breath work and affirmations. A 10-minute guided meditation will follow. Participants are asked to bring their own mats.
Garvan Woodland Gardens is the botanical garden of the University of Arkansas and part of the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design. The garden is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Admission is $15 for adults, $5 for children ages 4-12 and free for children ages 3 and younger. Some events and activities are free. Some require a fee, advance registration or prepayment.
For more information about these events or to check on upcoming events, call 501-262-9300 or 800-366-4664.