We went April 29, 2021 to check out the CW Lights at Colonial Williamsburg. This is a new exhibit offered in Governor’s Palace Gardens and I couldn’t decide if I would be a let down after our recent trips to the gardens at Biltmore Estate. Turns out it was just as lovely. Enjoy the sounds of the finest 18th-century entertainments on your stroll through the enchanted gardens!
Check out Military Discounts Colonial Williamsburg!
How To Get Tickets
If you are interested in visiting in 2021 you should hurry- the exhibit only runs through May 2nd. You can purchase tickets directly through Colonial Williamsburg. Tickets are $19 for adults and $12 for youth. Based on my experience I think those prices were very fair.
I suspect with the investment and how busy it was the night we were there we may see this event again in 2022.
The CW Lights at Colonial Williamsburg
When you walk down the Palace Green in Colonial Williamsburg it’s already a beautiful view- even during the day. I think maybe I have been in the gardens behind the palace once so I have no idea what they usually look like. Visiting during the CW Lights exhibit they are truly stunning.
When we first arrived it was still lighter outside than I wanted it to be. Thankfully as we waited to be let into the gardens in small groups (both for enjoyment and social distancing) we had two distinguished British gentleman to keep us entertained. They were hilarious and made the wait seem quick.
The event had begun at 7 but I had purposely gotten our tickets to enter at 8 p.m. in hoping the sun would be down. I was delighted when the person at the entrance told us if after we did the first walk through we wanted to do it again to see it after dark we could. Just re-enter after we finished. That way I was sure to see everything I wanted. By the time we finished it was dark but we did go back and do the first little bit again so I could get better pictures and we could drink in the whole view.
The best way I could figure to do this was kind of a photo essay so just read the captions below for information:
On the side of the garden is a beautiful structure with shade from the trees. Inside on the ground are small, black mats. When you step on them the lights change color and a pitch rings out that corresponds with the mat. It’s fun making music and changing the colors.
When you turn around toward the back of the first garden you get a stunning view. The beautiful lights matched with the spectacular building make for a stunning moment.
A few steps more and you get a level path to see the house. Additionally there is live music floating through the air, setting a perfect atmosphere.
After walking through some additional spaces I will keep secret you come across the giant maze built out of hedges. You can absolutely walk around it or you can go through it as we did. Yes I relied on a boy who looked like he was about 8 to get me out.
After you go through the maze you climb a small set of stairs in the back and get a view of the maze from above. It’s STUNNING. The lights in the trees above and the moving lights in the maze are lovely.
Since the musicians were part of the background and not a feature it was difficult to get good pictures. But the music was fantastic and made the experience much more interesting.
After a great walk by the pond (no pictures taken) you hit a fun mosaic sidewalk.
There are some beautiful lights on the buildings as well.
A Chick’s Opinion
I thought for $20 this was an excellent event. It’s not really for kids who would honestly probably just ruin the tranquil environment with all the fun they would have running through the gardens. We had a perfect night weather wise which absolutely helped. We had to wear masks which did not help.
The only suggestion I would have it to add a bar at the beginning. It would have been even more delightful with a glass of cold Moscato as I walked around!
Just a few additional discoveries from our visit. If you are exploring this in the spring there are baby lambs! Check out the corner of Nassau and Francis Street to possibly see them running around.
Check out Chowning’s Tavern. The food was top notch!