While the Redding Garden of Lights has only celebrated a few years in operation, this incredible holiday light display is quickly becoming one of the best in Northern California.
This curated light show features a walk-through path that leads you through over 10 acres and 10 million illuminating holiday lights!
This was our first time attending the Garden of Lights at Turtle Bay, and I have to say it exceeded our expectations.
If you are planning on attending this Holiday light display, I would 100% recommend it, you just need to plan to get your tickets in advance.
- Cost: $15-$22 per person (individual ticket prices vary based on age and date)
- Parking: FREE
- Open from mid-November to the beginning of January.
- Hours: Wednesday – Sunday 5 PM – 9 PM
- This information was from our visit in 2021.
- Location: 844 Sundial Bridge Dr. Redding, CA 96001
Purchasing Your Tickets
Tickets must be purchased in advance on the website. You will choose the number of people in your group, and the date and time that you would like to arrive.
After checking out, you will receive a confirmation email that includes your e-tickets. You will need to bring the e-tickets with you when you arrive at the entrance gate.
Since the Garden of Lights operates in all weather conditions, even if it’s raining, the tickets are non-refundable.
I would suggest checking the weather first before purchasing your tickets.
The light display is located inside the McConnell Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay.
The display is on the other side of the bridge, so you will walk across the bridge to get to the entrance.
If you have never walked across The Sundial Bridge at night, I would highly recommend it as it’s stunning. During the Garden of Lights, the bridge is lit up in red and green for the holidays.
Free parking is in the Sundial Bridge Parking lot. We arrived around 6 P.M. and the parking area was full.
We parked in the overflow parking area at the Redding Civic Auditorium. This overflow parking area is very large, so if the main parking area is full, you are almost guaranteed to find a spot here.
Getting to the Entrance
To get to the entrance of the light show you will have to walk across the Sundial Bridge because the light show is located on the other side of the river.
If you have never been to The Sundial Bridge, you will just enter at the Turtle Bay Sign.
You will see the bridge right after you pass the sign.
After you get to the other side of the bridge you will see pop-up tents and a check-in line.
While you have to arrive at the designated time on your ticket, the Garden of Lights is open until 9 PM so you are free to stay as long as you would like.
When we arrived there was a large line, but getting to the front didn’t take long.
At the front of the line, they will scan your tickets and stamp your hands, and you can enter the light display.
When you first walk through the entrance you will enter the “Holiday Village” area of the light display.
Right as you enter, there will be a map that shows the holiday village and all the different areas of the light show.
In the “Holiday Village” area you will find food trucks, a gift stand, and marshmallow roasting fire pits.
There were food trucks from Mosaic Restaurant that were selling wood-fire pizza by the slice, drinks, and treats.
They also sell marshmallow roasting kits that come with everything you need to roast marshmallows by the fire.
I loved this idea, and the kids had fun roasting their marshmallows in the fire pits.
Walking Through The Light Show
The walk through there is a pathway leads you through the curated sections. Each section had its theme, vibe, and coordinated sounds and music.
Here is a link to a map of the light display if you would like to check it out before you visit.
The first section that you enter is called “Candy Cane Lane”. Where they have lights that look like candy canes lining the path.
The lights then start to change to an outdoor forest theme as you enter the “Wintry Wildlife” section.
This was one of my favorite parts as they have some really pretty lizards and butterflies.
The music changes as you walked through each section, so the wildlife section had sounds of wildlife, which made the display feel more realistic.
After the wildlife section is the “Meadow Merriment” area where the lights covering the meadow are synced to fun holiday music.
It was fun to watch the lights change with the beat of the music. Next, you will pass by the Holiday Shop gift shop and restrooms.
After the holiday shop, there is a concession stand where they sell Beer & Wine, S’mores kits, Hot Chocolate, and Cider.
This section also had a very calm vibe and music that was the sound of a crackling fire.
As the path continues on there are some very pretty metal light displays before you reach the “Photo Pavilion”.
You can just keep walking, or stop and wait in line to get your photo taken at the pavilion that is covered in lights and had mistletoe hanging from the top.
They had a staff member at this pavilion that you could hand your phone to and she would take your photo.
The next section is the light tunnels where you walk through some red and blue tunnels covered in lights.
Walking through the light tunnels was also one of my favorite spots. It was also the perfect spot for taking some more photos.
The next section you walk through is the “Polar Path” where they had the Frozen song “Let it Snow” playing as you walk through a lit-up igloo filled with fog. As you exit the Igloo there is snow falling from a snow machine.
This was a fun touch and everyone (especially the kids) were so excited to see the snow falling.
The last section is called “Holiday Allee” where there are trees lit up and flashing to holiday music.
After we were done walking through the light display we got something to eat in the holiday village and roasted some marshmallows for smores.
There is also a stand that serves beer, wine, and hot chocolate in the Holiday Village area. It is located next to Santa’s Reindeer.
If you don’t want to worry about parking and driving the lights I would recommend staying at The Sheraton Redding Hotel at the Sundial Bridge.
Overall, we enjoyed The Garden of Lights. This is one of the best light shows that I have attended.
It was more of an experience, rather than just decorated lights. I loved the changing themes and curated music as we walked through each of the different sections.
The only thing that I didn’t like was that there were many more people than I was expecting. It was very packed and you do have to wait patiently as you are walking through the light show.
Try arriving a little later in the evening and it shouldn’t be as busy. We arrived at 6 PM and it was packed, but when we left around 7 it wasn’t as busy.
The fact that they have all the extras like food trucks, S’mores, and drinks made it even better.
While it is a bit expensive, it is worth it.
This is one of the best spots to see Christmas lights in Northern California!