BBG Presents Illuminated, a New Four-Day Winter Festival for All Ages

Saturday, January 26; Sunday, January 27
Saturday, February 2; Sunday, February 3

BBG Presents Illuminated, a New Four-Day Winter Festival for All Ages
BBG’s Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden in winter (photo by Mike Ratliff).

Release Date: January 15, 2013

Brooklyn, NY—To help brighten the dark months of the year, Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) presents Illuminated, a new festival inspired by Swedish seasonal traditions that offers indoor and outdoor activities against the dramatic backdrop of the garden in winter. Over four days—including one unique day created especially for tweens and teens—special activities including a moonlight lantern walk, vivid storytelling, acrobatic workshops, and nature crafts will be offered. Mellower choices involve fun with an old-fashioned Lite-Brite or a contribution to BBG’s visitor-made mandala created from natural materials and old cassette tapes. Or simply cozy up in the Mitten Lodge with a mug of mulled wine or Stockholm hot chocolate and a few pepparkakor cookies. The Garden’s own pirate station Northern Lights Radio will provide a soundtrack of songs about light and the winter season, plus other themed tunes to enhance the event.

Each day of Illuminated is distinctive, offering something for every visitor:

Saturday, January 26: Illumination Celebration (kickoff event)
Sunday, January 27: Do It Yourself (for 9- to 15-year-olds)
Saturday, February 2: Inner Child (for families)
Sunday, February 3: Birdies and Trolls (nature event)

Illuminated is part of Light in Winter , an event series presented through February and inspired by winter traditions from around the globe. Enlivening activities include bird walks, seasonal garden tours, winter yoga, children’s workshops, and culinary classes for adults—all fostering community and fellowship in a sometimes solitary season. Light in Winter events are offered on an ongoing basis, with special programming on the first Sunday of each month and variously thereafter through the end of February. More information is available at

All Illuminated activities take place in (or depart from) the Lillian and Amy Goldman atrium at the Visitor Center and are free with Garden admission. For more information, visit or email [email protected]


The first day of Illuminated introduces visitors to some of the sights, sounds, and activities of the festival and offers an afternoon full of interactive activities, culminating in an enchanting moonlight lant ern walk with live music, stilt dancers, and giant puppets—followed by the Ljus och Musik (Lights and Music) after party for all ages! The Terrace Café will offer a special Swedish-inspired menu this evening, featuring ärtsoppa (Swedish pea soup); gravlax, pumpernickel, and pickled beets; and Kanelbulle (cinnamon buns).

SUNDAY, JANUARY 27: DO IT YOURSELF, a pop-up clubhouse for 9- to 15-year-olds
Tweens and teens alike are invited to enjoy a day of special workshops, or to just nibble on Swedish Fish, play with a Lite-Brite, and chill in the Mitten Lodge.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2: INNER CHILD, a pop-up winter lodge for families
This afternoon features performances by the unforgettable storyteller and face painter Christopher Agostino, Swedish schoolyard games for children, and mulled wine and Scandinavian nibbles for adults.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 3: BIRDIES AND TROLLS, featuring the nature around us
Stroll BBG's grounds in search of birds; hear Swedish stories set to music; and say farewell to the Illuminated mandala, built over all four days by the hands of hundreds of visitors.

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