There are some new features in the sixth-annual “Winter Nights Winter Lights,” at the Quad City Botanical Center, opening on Nov. 18.

The outdoor gardens at 2525 4th Ave., Rock Island, will be in winter bloom with over 160,000 glowing lights, featuring new, entertaining experiences. You can explore the Sun Garden, Children’s Garden, lawns, pond, and pocket gardens of the outdoor light exhibit as you take in the Botanical Center’s largest fundraiser of the year.

Photos by Trent Foltz

Among new features this year, visit the Conductors’ Garden for a dancing light show featuring a live recording from the Quad City Symphony Orchestra. There will be hot cocoa in the outdoor events canopy for purchase by Rozz-Tox, a downtown Rock Island business.

You can bring the kids for free crafts to make and take or plan your visit on one of our special event nights.

Botanical Center members and FunBundle members will enjoy free admission Wednesday nights during the exhibit — which will run Nov. 18 to Dec. 11 Wednesday to Sunday. 5 to 9 p.m., and daily 5-9 p.m. Dec. 14 to Jan. 1.

Memberships can be purchased at the QCBC website.

Event schedule

  • Opening night — Friday, Nov. 18, 5:30 p.m. lighting. Be amongst the first to experience this year’s light display. Guests will gather around the pond for the first lighting of the season after a short introduction of presenting sponsor, MidAmerican Energy Company.
  • Opening night Lights & Flights — Friday, Nov. 18, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. This new event is the first Lights & Flights of the season, featuring Wake Brewing, which is located across from the Botanical Center. Wake will be serving up sample flights of their riff infused, artistic brews. Enjoy live music by Roger Carlson and friends. This requires a separate ticket — $20 per person, $12 designated driver.
  • Sensory-friendly night — Sunday, Nov. 20, 5 to 9 p.m., timed entry every half hour. Also new, this night is designed for those who may benefit from a sensory-friendly experience, including a calmer, less crowded environment.
  • Member free admission — Members get in free Wednesdays from Nov. 18 to Jan. 1. Members must show membership card upon entry. Advanced tickets not required.
  • Santa and Mrs. Claus visit –Friday and Saturday, Dec. 9-10, 5-8 p.m. Visit Santa and Mrs. Claus and take your own photos. Advanced ticket purchase highly recommended.
  • Lights & Flights — On Thursdays, Dec. 15 and 29, 6-8:30 p.m., experience the light display and sample locally-crafted brews from Wake Brewing, with live music by Roger Carlson and friends. $20 per person, $12 designated driver
  • ImpactLife blood drive — Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2-4:30 p.m. Donate blood at the donor bus in the parking lot, and get two free tickets to the light exhibit plus a pair of light glasses. Schedule an appointment HERE or call 800-747-5401, group code 4072a. Hosted in collaboration with Visit Quad Cities.

General admission

General admission to QCBC is $10 for adults, $6 for youth 2-15, and free under 2. Center members and FunBundle members receive $2 off admission. For tickets and more information, click HERE.