The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens has filled its latest exhibit with specialty nights and themed weeks designed to create unforgettable memories for all ages.
Organizers said, “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 Jan. 20 and will continue from 5:30-9 p.m. Jan. 27-30, Feb. 2-6, 9-10. It continues from 6-9:30 p.m. Feb. 14-27, March 2-6, 9-12.
A press release noted, “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.”
Kicking off “Love Week” on Saturday, Feb. 12, will be a brand-new progressive dinner experience called “Courses in the Conservatory.” Patrons can eat and drink their way through the Botanical Gardens and enjoy a progressive four-course meal provided by Salvatore's, with a cocktail in hand and live music from Jazz Buffalo. Course progressions begin at 5, 6:30 and 8 p.m. 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.
“Galentine's at the Gardens” will take place on “Galentine's Day,” Sunday, Feb. 13, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dress up and get the gals together for 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. They can get their hair styled by BFLO Beauty Bar and enjoy more fun in the conservatory. This event is included with regular admission, with the vendor offerings at 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 host its first “Singles' Night” on Singles Awareness Day – Tuesday, Feb. 15. From 6-9 p.m., mix and mingle and maybe meet someone new. Games and activities will be spread all throughout the conservatory to help break the ice as guests 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), plus 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 from 6-9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16, 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 from 6-9 p.m. Feb. 3, 10 and 17. 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” Friday, Feb. 18, from 6-9:30 p.m.
“Kids' Week” will take place from 6-9:30 p.m. Feb. 21-25. Bring the whole family while the kids are off from school and enjoy a relaxing evening under the lights. Joining the Botanical Gardens on these nights will be some other Buffalo friends with some activities to keep little ones' minds and hands busy. Monday, Feb. 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.
Rounding out the run of “Enchanted Winter Escape” will be a brand-new experience. The Orchid Show will return 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 take place from 6-9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 4-5. This event is included with “Gardens After Dark” admission.
Tickets for all events must be prepurchased online at buffalogardens.com. 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.