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Show illuminates the Botanic Garden for the Holidays.

BioPark Crews Prepare for River of Lights

Close-up of a River of Lights sculpture. Photo courtesy of Eliska Broes/NM BioPark Society.

November 13, 2013

The ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden is getting ready for River of Lights, New Mexico's biggest walk-through holiday display. Set-up is almost complete (VIDEO) and the popular attraction will feature more light sculptures than ever before. River of Lights will shine bright every evening starting at 6 p.m. from Nov. 30 through Jan. 5 (closed Dec. 24, 25, 31 and Jan. 1). Tickets are on sale now online or from any BioPark cashier.

At this annual fundraiser hosted by the New Mexico BioPark Society, guests can enjoy millions of twinkling lights, live music, hot food and drinks and unique holiday gifts. River of Lights artisans have been busy creating new original light sculptures. Look next to old favorites for new artwork, including a unicorn (near the flying Pegasus), Stegosaurus (near the T-rex), zebra (near the roaring lion and ready-to-charge rhino) and a synchronized laser light show in the Fantasy Garden's giant pumpkin.

"We have about 400 light displays decorating the Botanic Garden from the plaza back to the Heritage Farm," said Maryann Torrez, BioPark Operations and Events Manager. "Three-dimensional sculptures ranging in size from one to 22 feet make River of Lights a feast for the eyes. We love hearing from families who have made a visit part of their holiday tradition."

On select evenings, guests can enjoy additional activities. Watch for the special luminaria train at the Garden Railroad, Wednesdays-Sundays. Get creative during Holiday Nature Crafts on Dec. 4, 11 and 18. Have Supper with Santa or enjoy holiday dining in the Shark Reef Café. Hop onto the Polar Bear Express for a train ride with lots of treats (advance tickets required).

Early Bird Special! Take advantage of special prices during the first few weeks of the event. From Nov. 30 - Dec. 19, tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children (ages 3-12) and the event is open nightly from 6-9 p.m.

From Dec. 20 - Jan. 5, River of Lights will be open from 6-10 p.m. and tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children. As always, children under 3 are free. Senior and member discounts are not available for this special fundraiser. Groups of 50 or more may qualify for a group discount; please contact us for details. Free park & ride from the Zoo will be available many nights.

To keep with the BioPark's commitment to conservation, LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are used in many of the displays, including all of the new ones. LEDs conserve power and
burn out less often than traditional bulbs, ensuring an eco-friendly River of Lights experience. For more information, email biopark@cabq.gov or dial 311 locally (505-768-2000).

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