True story: Some people are already making holiday plans.
We know, we know, the little glowing square on your phone, the one with the dates and months prominently displayed, says that the season of merrymaking was only a mere nine weeks ago. The flipside of that fact is, of course, that next Christmas is 43 weeks away from late February, and hotels and airlines and major to-dos are starting to look to the time of twinkle, travel, and tons of to-dos.
One of the biggest of the Southern California roster seems to be shaping up at Descanso Gardens, the historic oak-and-everything expanse in La Cañada Flintridge. The nature-filled landmark revealed, just days after Valentine's, that a new experience would debut at Descanso on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
It's called "Enchanted: Forest of Light" and it will run for 43 nights starting on Nov. 25.
Ready to be illuminated? We'll cast a bright beam onto what this will be: A dozen "unique lighting experiences" will lend the lovely spot some after-sundown shimmer, from the famous oak trees of Descanso to the botanic gardens. The Oak Grove, the Camellia Forest, and the Rose Garden will all take on a glittery resplendence, one that isn't just created by moonlight alone.
While a number of experiences are in mid-development, one that Descanso Gardens has shared is called Symphony of Oaks, which involves guests changing up the lights and music however they like, creating a visual and ear-nice treat among the trees.
And a "spectacular light display" is due for the Japanese Garden, which marks its half-centennial in 2016.
This isn't the first time that the 160-acre spread has greeted the holidays in a festive, post-twilight way; RISE of the Jack O'Lanterns alighted upon a good chunk of Descanso over the last two Halloween seasons. (The carved gourd extravaganza will not return in 2016, says the gardens.)
If you're among those who have to pin down your partying and must-dos of the yuletide season way, wayyyy ahead of time, well, your horses will need to be held: Tickets go on sale for Enchanted: Forest of Light on Sept. 1. Which is, all told, still pretty far in advance of the Thanksgiving Weekend kick-off.
Will Descanso become the evening destination for locals looking for a fresh-air diversion for visiting relatives? There do tend to be a few in town around November, December, and January. A fine stroll in brisk air, among twinkly lights and glowing hanging orbs, could be just the ticket to ease that tried-and-true seasonal stress.
To keep tabs on what other light-oriented experiences await, turn your eye to Descanso's online HQ. More information will flicker, like candlelight, in the months to come.