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 bbg.org/lightinwinter.

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 bbg.org/illuminated or email communications@bbg.org.

DETAILED SCHEDULE: ILLUMINATED, JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2012

SATURDAY, JANUARY 26: ILLUMINATION CELEBRATION
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).

  • Noon–1 p.m.: Upside Down: A Handstand Class for Adults (LAVA Studio)
    Let Pippi Longstocking be your inspiration in a grown-up handstand tutorial led by Brooklyn’s best acrobats. Lack of coordination is a plus. Space is limited to 20 participants. Sign up in the Visitor Center from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.; first come, first served.
  • 1–6 p.m.: Lite-Brite Lounge
    Flop down on the rug and let your creativity shine with old-school Lite-Brites and other classic games.
  • 1:15–3:15 p.m.: Recycled Treasure Mandala (Kimberly Carmody, Urban Mandala)
    Grab a handful of pebbles, acorns, and old cassette tapes and contribute to this ever-changing, magical art installation.
  • 3:30–5:30 p.m.: You Light Up My Life: Lantern Making for Families (Brooklyn Craft Workshop)
    Create a unique glass luminary to light your path on the Moonlight Lantern Walk and on your way home.
  • 6–8 p.m.: Moonlight Lantern Walk
    Featuring the giant puppets and stilt dancers of Mortal Beasts & Deities
    Music by Gamelan Son of Lion featuring Indonesian angklung rattles and gongs
    Celebrate the full moon with an enchanting nighttime lantern walk around Cherry Esplanade.
  • 8–9:30 p.m.: Ljus och Musik (Lights and Music) After Party
    A party for all ages! Dance or kick back with your friends.

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.

  • Noon–1 p.m.: Lean on Me: Build a Human Pyramid (LAVA Studio)
    Join Magma, LAVA’s junior company, in this “hands on” acrobatic workshop.
  • 1–3 p.m.: Friendship-Bracelet-Making Party (Brooklyn Craft Workshop)
    Bring a friend (and make some new ones) and get crafty.
  • 1–5 p.m.: Lite-Brite Lounge
    Flop down on the rug and let your creativity shine with old-school Lite-Brites and other classic games.
  • 3–5 p.m.: Recycled Treasure Mandala (Kimberly Carmody, Urban Mandala)
    Grab a handful of pebbles, acorns, and old cassette tapes and contribute to this ever-changing, magical art installation.
  • 3:30–4:30 p.m.: Create a Human Mandala (LAVA Studio)
    Wackier than Twister! Join this acrobatic workshop led by members of Magma, LAVA’s junior company.
  • 4:30–5 p.m.: Spotlight on Nature: A Flashlight Tour
    Grab a flashlight and explore BBG’s dark side.


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.

  • Noon–12:30 p.m.: Swedish Schoolyard Games with Professor Magnus Ö. Lingonberry Put on your mittens and prepare to play outside as the professor leads visitors in rousing schoolyard games with a Swedish twist.
  • Noon–5 p.m.: Lite-Brite Lounge
    Flop down on the rug and let your creativity shine with old-school Lite-Brites and other classic games.
  • 12:30–1 p.m.: Stories and Face Paint: The Tiger That Went to the House of the Sun (Agostino Arts) Join Christopher Agostino as he brings stories to life on the faces of the audience.
  • 1:15–1:45 p.m.: Swedish Schoolyard Games with Professor Magnus Ö. Lingonberry Put on your mittens and prepare to play outside as the professor leads visitors in rousing schoolyard games with a Swedish twist.
  • 2–2:30 p.m.: Stories and Face Paint: The Tiger That Went to the House of the Sun
    Join Christopher Agostino as he brings stories to life on the faces of the audience.
  • 3–5 p.m.: Recycled Treasure Mandala
    Grab a handful of pebbles, acorns, and old cassette tapes and contribute to this ever-changing, magical art installation.


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.

  • Noon–1 p.m.: Winter Bird Stroll
    Spot winter birds around BBG with naturalist Brad Klein.
  • Noon–6:30 p.m.: Lite-Brite Lounge
    Flop down on the rug and let your creativity shine with old-school Lite-Brites and other classic games.
  • 1–3 p.m.: Pine Pillows and Evergreens: Workshop for Families
    Investigate winter evergreens and incredible pinecones and make a fragrant pine needle pillow to take home.
  • 3–3:30 p.m.: The Troll’s Garden and other Swedish Tales (Storyteller Robin Bady with musical accompaniment by Skip La Plante)
    Be enchanted as master storyteller Robin Bady performs traditional Swedish tales with live music on homemade instruments.
  • 4–4:30 p.m.: Skalunda and the Giant and other Swedish Tales Storyteller Robin Bady with musical accompaniment by Skip La Plante
  • 4:30–6:30 p.m.: Recycled Treasure Mandala Closing Ceremony Join artist Kimberly Carmody as she leads the closing ceremony for Illuminated's evolving art installation. Participants will take home a bag of beads, buttons, acorns, and other mandala treasures.
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