One of the many displays at Winter Lights at the Elizabethan Gardens.

Outer Banks Marathon weekend is almost upon us. Always held on Veteran’s Day Weekend, it has become a great part of Outer Banks traditions.

Tradition is very much a part of what makes this time of the year on the Outer Banks so special. Over the years there are so many events that have become a part of how this strip of sand along the Atlantic Ocean celebrates the holiday season that it’s tough to list everything at one time.

And yes, the holidays are right around the corner with Thanksgiving falling on the 22nd this year—which is pretty early.

So…rather than write about everything, we’ll just pick out one right now—Winter Lights at the Elizabethan Gardens.

Beginning the Sunday after Thanksgiving, Holiday Lights runs through January 19.

That tells when it happens, but it says nothing about what a wonderful event it is. The Elizabethan Gardens on Roanoke Island is a wonderful place to just visit and wander about. But during Holiday Lights the trees, the topiary, the plants, everything is ablaze with lights.

It is beautiful and it is magical.

And it’s fun.

There’s always a roaring fire in the center of the Gardens with marshmallows waiting to be roasted. On some nights there is music and there is always the magnificent light show of thousands of lights illuminating the paths.

Winter Lights is an outdoor event, so dress accordingly. If there is a breeze, it will probably be coming off Croatan Sound and it can be decidedly chilly. An extra layer of clothing will make walking around the Gardens much more enjoyable.

Some Particulars

November 24, 2018 – January 19, 2019. 

Tuesdays to Saturdays in December; Friday and Saturdays in January. (Closed on Dec 24, 25, 31 and Jan 1); 

Time: 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Price: Adults $11, Youth (ages 6-17) $9, Child (5 and under) $6.WinterLights Season Pass is $17.00 for adults, $14.00 for youth and $11.00 for a child.

If the weather is too bad, the event may be called off for the evening. Call ahead to be sure: 252-473-3234.