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Gardens After Dark: Enchanted Winter Escape Returns to the Botanical Gardens with Date Nights, Family Nights, and More!

Erin Grajek

Buffalo, NY
- The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens has filled their latest exhibit with specialty nights and themed weeks that that will create unforgettable memories for all ages. Whether it’s a family activity or a date night, the exotic plants, lights, and enchanting environment will make for a perfect tropical escape from the brisk Buffalo weather.

Gardens After Dark: Enchanted Winter Escape opened January 20 and will continue on January 27-30, February 2-6, 9, and 10 from 5:30-9pm and be open again on February 14-27, March 2-6 and 9-12 from 6pm-9:30pm. The Botanical Gardens and the plant collection will be highlighted with soft, colorful lighting to enhance the shapes, sizes, textures and colors of all the plants and the larger-than-life glass conservatory. Visitors will enjoy this Enchanted Winter Escape as light bounces off the glass and onto the plants, rocks glow through the desert and twinkling light installations create a new, magical world. Specialty theme weeks and specialty nights will be happening throughout this run of Gardens After Dark, so be sure to see what's happening before purchasing tickets. 

Love Week will return for another romantic and beautiful time to share with your valentine, a family member or a friend! Kicking off Love Week on Saturday, February 12 will be a brand-new progressive dinner experience called Courses in the Conservatory. Courses in the Conservatory is the all-in-one Valentine's Day experience that locals won't get anywhere else in Buffalo. Eat and drink your way through the Botanical Gardens filled with the beautiful lights of the Gardens After Dark exhibit and enjoy a progressive four-course meal provided by Salvatore's with a cocktail in hand and live music from Jazz Buffalo. As guests make their way through the 12 greenhouses filled with exotic plants, water features and twinkling lights under the grand glass conservatory, they will fill their bellies with delicious food and drinks for a romantic, intimate, unforgettable evening. Course progressions begin at 5pm, 6:30pm, or 8pm. Tickets are $125 per person and include the four-course meal, open bar, champagne toast, the Gardens After Dark exhibit and coat check. Guests must be 21 years old or older to participate.

Following Courses in the Conservatory will be Galentine's at the Gardens on Galentine's Day, Sunday February 13, from 10am-4pm. Dress up and get the gals together for a girls' day and celebrate Galentine's at the Gardens. Explore the Botanical Gardens with good friends and good food with a build your own waffle bar with The Grazeful Gatherer. Guests will also indulge in some self-care with body scrub making by Julia Einink. Guests can also get their hair styled by BFLO Beauty Bar and enjoy more fabulous fun in the conservatory. This event is included with regular admission, and the vendors are additional prices. 

The Botanical Gardens will then be open day and night on Valentine's Day for a romantic day or evening out. Don't have a Valentine? No problem. The Botanical Gardens will be hosting their first ever Singles' Night on Singles Awareness Day! On Tuesday, February 15 from 6pm-9pm, mix and mingle in a beautiful, relaxed, pressure-free environment and maybe meet someone new. Start the evening off in the Main Palm Dome with a fun, large group activity to get the night started, and then you'll be off to explore and make connections. Games and activities will be spread all throughout the conservatory to help break the ice as you get to know some new people. Enjoy beer and wine from Fat Bob's and quick bites to eat from The Grazeful Gatherer. Tickets are $35 per person and include one glass of wine/beer from Fat Bob's (with a cash bar following) and crudites and small bites from The Grazeful Gatherer in a souvenir Botanical Gardens cup. Guests must be 21 years old or older to participate.

Love is Love Night will be happening Wednesday, February 16 from 6-9:30pm with the Pride Center of WNY to celebrate Buffalo's LGBTQ+ community. All are welcome to join and celebrate. The Pride Center of WNY will be on site throughout the night to chat and mingle. This event is included with Gardens After Dark admission. 

Thurs-Date Nights are back and will be happening on February 3,10, and 17 from 6-9pm. Escape the winter blues with a special romantic date night at the Botanical Gardens. Make the most of the Gardens After Dark experience by strolling through the tropical conservatory of lights with that special someone with a drink in your hand and a bite to eat for an enchanting, romantic evening guaranteed to create magical memories. Tickets are $35 per person and include one glass of wine/beer from Salvatore's Hospitality (with a cash bar following), cheese & charcuterie from The Grazeful Gatherer in a souvenir Botanical Gardens cup, and a chocolate sample from Dark Forest Chocolate. Guests must be 21 years old or older to participate.

Finally, to round out Love Week, there will be a BOGO Night on Friday, February 18 from 6-9:30pm. Get the best deal at Gardens After Dark with buy one, get one free admission during Love Week. It's the perfect deal for a pair. Use coupon code BOGO at checkout on this special night. 

Kids' Week will be happening during Gardens After Dark the following week, February 21-25, from 6-9:30pm. Bring the whole family while the kids are off from school and enjoy a relaxing evening under the lights filled with fun for all ages. Joining the Botanical Gardens on these nights will be some other Buffalo friends with some cool activities to keep little ones' minds and hands busy. On Monday February 21 will be the Buffalo Museum of Science, Tuesday will be the Botanical Gardens Education Team, Wednesday will be New York Project Hope, Thursday will be Explore & More and Engineering for Kids, and Friday will be the Superhero Alliance of WNY. All activities are included with regular Gardens After Dark admission. 

To round out the entire run of Enchanted Winter Escape will be a brand-new experience that Western New Yorkers will not want to miss. The Orchid Show will be returning with a twist. For the first time ever, visitors will be able to experience the Orchid Show at night during Orchids After Dark. This special event will be taking place on Friday, March 4 and Saturday, March 5 from 6pm-9:30pm. Visitors will not only enjoy the spectacular Gardens After Dark exhibit, but will also enjoy the beautiful orchid displays lit up for an even more magical After Dark experience. This event is included with Gardens After Dark admission. 

Tickets for all these fun events must be pre-purchased online at buffalogardens.com. Gardens After Dark 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. Specialty nights such as Courses in the Conservatory, Singles Night, and Thurs-Date Nights are not included with regular Gardens After Dark admission and are a separate ticketed price listed above. 

Masks are required for all visitors, staff, and volunteers at all times inside any building on the Botanical Gardens campus, regardless of vaccination status. Masks may only be removed when seated with meal and drink.  

Use #GardensAfterDark 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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