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Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Gardens

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CALLAWAY GARDENS FANTASY IN LIGHTS KICKS OFF FOR ITS 21st YEAR

Priceless Holiday Memories; Extend the Enjoyment with Overnight Packages Starting at $99; Award-Winning Light & Sound Show

PINE MOUNTAIN, GA (11/15/2012) – This holiday season marks the 21ST anniversary of Fantasy in Lights® — named one of the “Top 10 Places to See Holiday Lights” by National Geographic Traveler – at Callaway Gardens, a year-round destination south of Atlanta.  Fantasy in Lights features 8 million lights stretching more than five miles, creating 15 larger-than-life holiday scenes.  Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Gardens sets Pine Mountain, Ga., ablaze from November 16 through December 30, 2012.  Advance ticket prices range from $16 to $22 for adults and $8 to $11 for children, with children 5 and younger always admitted for free. Same-day, first-available tickets are $25 for adults and $12.50 for children.

Unlike All of the Rest

Visitors experience the light and sound extravaganza on the “Jolly Trolley” or by driving through the lighted scenes in their personal vehicle.  The sparkling, animated displays include Snowflake Valley, a winter wonderland filled with enormous snowflakes and thousands of white lights; Magical Christmas Garden with a 24-foot wreath entrance; and Santa’s Workshop, showcasing animated versions of Santa’s elves busy making toys for the big night.  Two “don’t miss” scenes are on Robin Lake Beach and are both narrated: ’Twas the Night Before Christmas and The Nativity.  Each lasts approximately 10 minutes.

Ninety-nine percent of the frames used to create the scenes in Fantasy in Lights are custom designed and built just for Callaway Gardens, taking 3,900 man-hours to install.  In keeping with Callaway Gardens’ mission of connecting man and nature, every kilowatt of power used to light up Fantasy In Lights is compensated with “green” power. Callaway Gardens was the first destination in the Southeast to offset 100 percent of its electricity use by purchasing wind power credits.

Families experience the Christmas Village, a 22,000-square-foot indoor, heated area featuring opportunities to visit Santa and other holiday characters.  Inside the Village, guests have the opportunity to shop for specialty food items from the Callaway Gardens Country Store®, unique gifts, nostalgic toys from simpler times and an assortment of holiday ornaments.  An array of Georgia crafters are on hand making and selling their wares.
New for 2012

New for 2012 are two children’s activities to add some Christmas cheer.  Children can partner with an adult family member to join “Storytelling with Mrs. Claus,” where guests can listen to Christmas stories, decorate cupcakes and more, or “Build a Natural Birdfeeder,” with some of Santa’s elves.  These activities are available on Saturdays at 3 p.m. from November 24 through December 23.  For advance reservations, call 1-800-CALLAWAY (225-5292).  Seating is limited.
Relax and Enjoy More Than One Day

A variety of Fantasy In Lights overnight packages provide the opportunity to enjoy Callaway Gardens at a more relaxing pace.  Packages start as low as $99* per night in the Mountain Creek Inn and include:

•  Fantasy In Lights admission

•  Accommodations

•  Special Jolly Trolley loading area dedicated for overnight guests

• Admission to the world-class Gardens and its many attractions including the Day Butterfly Center, Sibley Horticultural Center, Callaway Discovery Center, live Birds of Prey Shows, seven miles of nature trails and our 10-mile Discovery Bicycle Trail.

Additional package options include breakfast and a 2012 commemorative Fantasy In Lights ornament.

Callaway Gardens’ central location in the Southeastern United States and convenient location to Hartsfield International Airport make it a unique and accommodating location for family gatherings, corporate holiday outings and more.  Fantasy In Lights packages in the more spacious Southern Pine Cottages (sleep up to eight) and Mountain Creek Villas (sleep up to 16) are available as well.


Award-Winning

This National Geographic recognition marks the latest for Fantasy In Lights, adding to a long list of honors received through its 20 years.  Additional recent honors include Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) Access Atlanta’s “Best Place to See Holiday Lights;” The Weather Channel’s “Top 10 Places to See Holiday Lights” and the American Bus Association’s “Top 100 Events in North America.”  Fantasy In Lights also has been recognized numerous times by the Southeast Tourism Society (STS) as a Top 20 event.

Callaway Gardens®, is in Pine Mountain, Ga., 60 minutes southwest of Atlanta and 30 minutes north of Columbus.  To experience nature at its finest, call 1-800-CALLAWAY or visit www.callawaygardens.com.

To experience the most spectacular holiday light and show in the South, visit www.callawaygardens.com or call 1-800-CALLAWAY (225-5292).

*Based on availability.  Some restrictions apply.  Not applicable to groups.

 

About Callaway Gardens

For almost 60 years, Callaway Gardens has provided “a place of relaxation, inspiration and a better understanding of the living world” for millions of visitors.  Owned and operated by the non-profit Ida Cason Callaway Foundation, Callaway Gardens includes a garden, resort, preserve and residential community on thousands of acres in Pine Mountain, Georgia.  Highlights include a butterfly conservatory, horticultural center, discovery center, chapel, inland beach, nature trails and special events throughout the year.

In addition, Callaway Gardens offers nearly 80,000 square feet of meeting space, 684 guest rooms, restaurants, shops, golf, tennis, fishing and more.

Five unique, close-knit residential communities — with custom home sites, lakefront properties and cottages on the golf course — offer an ideal home away from home or full-time residence.

Callaway Gardens is home to a forest preserve which is under conservation easement.  This conserved, sustainably-managed land is used for biological studies and environmental education programs.

Art

Rain and Fire in Sedona

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Ange Alex

A rainy day in Sedona? What are we going to do. Everything we have planned is outdoors. I am pretty sure that is why people come to Sedona, for the beautiful OUTDOOR activities, like hiking, biking, Jeep tours, viewing the red rocks and photography. 

What to do, what to do.

Oh, I know. I had the privilege of meeting some great artists that work in fire and glass! The perfect indoor activity when your outdoor plans are washed away!

The Melting Point in Sedona, conveniently located across the street for the Whole Foods (two birds with one stone, yeah!), is a group of artist focusing on creating and teaching others how to create as well.

When we entered the facilities, it was like entering a fine arts gallery. So many beautiful works of glass art. Jordan Ford is the general manager and one of the Artists. He came out of the workshop and told us the rules, then brought us into the fold. 

We were about to become glass blowers! 

Jordan had a love for the natural world from a very early age. He went on to study geology in college but that is when he discovered glass. He currently has Bachelor’s Degrees in both Earth Science/Geology and Visual Arts/Glassblowing.

Jordan says , “It’s the process of blowing glass that drives me. I find the physical act of making glass so overwhelmingly fascinating. I approach most of my work with a consideration for the more classical techniques – it’s the framework that I use as a jumping point for experimentation.”

Not only is Jordan incredibly talented, he is really personable and extremely funny. He made everyone in the room feel at ease and we all often irrupted in bouts of laughter.

Another artist that was helping us is Austin Littenberg. Austin became interested in the art of glass blowing at age 16 after watching a documentary. He spent over 12 years developing his craft and learning the technical precision needed to work at this level.

Austin views the many ways Art presents itself and is in tune with it all, and it shows.

Clearly these two artist love what they do, and I for one am grateful for their expertise and their willingness to show the world their art.

They worked with us to create a beautiful cactus, complete with three flowers, one for each kid, and a Sedona rock like base. We loved the patience they showed and the skill to make us feel at ease. We never felt like  we were about to do something we just couldn’t. It felt like we had been doing this before. That is the measure of a true instructor. 

Our work of art was complete and we left there feeling accomplished and quite honestly, amazing! 

Both Austin and Jordan have remarkable skills but also wonderful comedic timing. They were a absolutely pleasure to meet and I look forward to keeping up with their art in the future.

If you find yourself in Sedona and want to meet some really wonderful people, stop by The Melting Point and say hello! While you’re there, blow some glass!

How could I forget one of them most important things; They have a studio dog! Austin brings his sweet baby girl to work with him and she is an angel! We loved her! Make sure you give her some love when you visit!

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Family Fun

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents Legends!

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Behold the living legends! Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey brings the unbelievable to Children Of All Ages in an all-new show – – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS. Experience unimaginable family fun as amazing performers from around the globe perform awe-inspiring feats of daring, spectacles of strength and thrills of wonder to summon the mythical and the mysterious visions that have only existed in your imagination and now materialize before your eyes: the Unicorn, Pegasus and a Woolly the Mammoth! Join us for an unforgettable family night of legendary proportions at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS!

Free to all ticketholders, the All Access Pre-show allows circus fans to learn juggling and balancing skills, meet the performers of The Greatest Show On Earth, get autographs, take photos and enter to win a one-of-a-kind Pachyderm Painting.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents LEGENDS SM, playing Amway Center January 14-18, 2016. Save $4 off tickets using promo code 4MOM. Live tweet to us while you are there! @RinglingBros #BestGiftEver  @BackstageBeat

 

 

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Family Fun

NEW Children’s Museum of Atlanta Re-opens December 12!

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Families will soon experience more STEAM-style activities and exhibits when visiting the newly renovated Children’s Museum of Atlanta, which re-opens to the public on Saturday, December 12. This iconic downtown attraction, which has been busy renovating since August of this year, now features targeted science, technology, engineering, arts and math education programming woven through almost every aspect of the enhanced space. Whether children build and shoot their own rocket launcher in the new “Gateway to the World” exhibit or design their dream home in the enhanced “Tools for Solutions” exhibit, the increased focus on STEAM learning enables the Museum to further prepare young children to be problem solvers and lifelong learners.

We got a sneak preview this week and I can honestly say it was the most fun my kids have had in a long time! They amount of things there are to do is mind boggling!

One of our favorite areas was Tools for Solutions – This enhanced, multi-layered zone reaches all ages and explores the science of building through four learning environments: the giant ball machine, Built-It Lab, Construction House and City Blocks. Using six simple machines, visitors can move balls through the Museum’s beloved giant ball machine. Children can also learn how to use real tools and materials in the new Build-It Lab, which will feature building workshops and more. This lab will also house a “Maker Space” to empower young children to harness their own ideas to build inventions and artistic creations. The Construction House, designed to showcase what is “behind the walls,” features a solar panel and incorporates activities on how to attach make-believe wires, connect pipes and insulate walls. City Blocks enables children to create skyscrapers and design the city of the future. Through this revitalized exhibit space, children can hone early and more complex math skills, as they learn the importance of processes and sequencing. They also utilize creativity, social emotional and gross and fine motor skills, while discovering that even the most intricate problems can be solved step-by-step with a solid strategy and through the use of tools.

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