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Magical Winter Fun at the Botanical Gardens 

The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens has filled the month of December with magical holiday experiences that will create unforgettable memories for all ages. Whether it’s a family activity or a date night, the seasonal plants, lights, and train displays will bring joy to all visitors. Make the most of this holiday season with a stunning tropical oasis filled with plants, lights and joy. 

The Poinsettia and Railway Exhibit is a holiday favorite that has become an annual traditional for many in the Buffalo area. This year the poinsettia collection features hundreds of bold, bright colors in deep reds and whites, including the gorgeous Winter Rose Red poinsettias that the Botanical Gardens haven’t featured in years. There are also unique bright yellows, deep pinks, and even autumn leaf colors to complement the traditional varieties that you won’t see at the stores. Visitors will also enjoy the return of a popular peacock made out of bright white and red poinsettias! The notorious railway exhibit by the Western New York Garden Railway Society is filled with whimsical characters and holiday trains that are on the move during the day and night, and even have some special lighting features that can be experienced during Gardens After Dark: Magical Poinsettias. The exhibit is open daily from now through January 1, 2023 and is included with regular admission to the Botanical Gardens.  

Make the most of a daytime visit with the return of Winter Wonderland, a Wegmans Day of Play, happening December 10 and 11 from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Frolic around the festive Botanical Gardens this winter with play-based learning activities and a themed activity book including a scavenger hunt! Families can also enjoy a magical carriage ride around the exterior of the conservatory to experience the view of the Botanical Gardens the way visitors in the 1900’s did when they first opened the Botanical Gardens! Also joining the fun for the weekend will be Prehistoric World Zoo and the Buffalo Science Muesum on December 11. Don’t forget to bring toys for kids in need! The Botanical Gardens is a designated Toys for Tots drop-off location again this year. Winter Wonderland is included with regular admission and e-tickets are strongly recommended.  

Admission tickets for the Poinsettia and Railway Exhibit and Winter Wonderland are $14.00 for adults, $12.50 for seniors (62+) and students (13+ with ID), $7.50 for kids 3-12 and kids 2 and under and Botanical Gardens Members are free. Tickets are available online now at  

Gardens After Dark: Magical Poinsettias will be returning for a magical winter experience filled with gorgeous lights, soothing music, and of course the spectacular poinsettias. The After Dark exhibit will be taking place December 9-11, 16-18, 20-21, 23, and 27-30 from 5:00pm to 9:00pm. The beautiful plants will be dazzled in twinkling lights that will bring warm feelings of holiday joy as visitors walk into the grand structure of the Main Palm Dome. Escape the winter chill and be greeted with a blast of warm air filled with holiday magic. Gardens After Dark can be enjoyed by all ages for either a family night, and evening with a friend or a date night. Pre-purchased e-tickets are required for Gardens After Dark and can be purchased at 

. Walk-ins may be turned away if capacity has been reached. Tickets are $15.00 for adults, $13.50 for seniors (62+), $13.50 for students (13+), $7.50 for kids 3-12. Tickets for Garden Members are $13.00 for adults, $11.50 for seniors (62+), $11.00 for students (13+), $7.50 for kids 3-12. Guest passes, coupons and Arts Access passes are not valid at Gardens After Dark.  

To make the most of the Gardens After Dark experience, visitors over 21 can indulge in the return of Thurs-Date Nights at the Botanical Gardens for the most romantic rendition of the series yet. Grab a glass of wine and put on your best holiday outfit for an evening of live jazz music, drinks, charcuterie and chocolate for the ultimate wintertime date night. Stroll through the Botanical Gardens to enjoy the Gardens After Dark: Magical Poinsettias exhibit with an intimate, romantic setting with that special someone or some friends. Tickets are $45 per person and $40 for Botanical Gardens Members and include the live, jazzy musical stylings of Alex McArthur, one glass of wine or beer from Salvatores or the Bubble Bar with a cash bar following, a cheese and charcuterie date box from The Grazeful Gatherer, and chocolate from Dark Forest Chocolate. Thurs-Date Nights are happening December 8, 15 and 22 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. Pre-purchased tickets are required and can be reserved at Walk-ins will not be permitted for Thurs-Date Nights. 

Use #GardensAfterDark and #ThursDateNights and tag @BuffaloBotanicalGardens when posting on social media. Proceeds benefit the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens Society Inc., a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization with a mission to inspire curiosity and connect people to the natural world through its historic living museum.  

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Jamie Moses

Jamie Moses founded Artvoice in 1990

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