The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix offers beautiful scenic views during the day, but it also has a special mystique at night. During Flashlight Nights this summer, guests can walk the garden’s paths and enjoy activities and entertainment.
Flashlight Nights will be held on Saturdays through Sept. 3.
Dana Terrazas, director of marketing and communications for the garden, says the event is meant for people of all ages.
“What originally started as something we thought of as a family activity, we’ve seen evolve into a fun date night and all-ages experience,” Terrazas says. “We are excited to see that it continues to be popular, and we keep adding new and different elements to it.”
Each year, the series attracts returning guests, who sometimes come out multiple times during a season, and new visitors who are just discovering the garden.
“It might be their entry point to the garden. They realize it would be fun to come back and check out the garden during the daytime,” Terrazas says.
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What to expect at Desert Botanical Garden’s Flashlight Nights
Flashlight Nights offer visitors a chance to be outdoors during the summer at a time of the day when it’s a little cooler.
“You’ve been locked in the air conditioning for your whole day. It’s fun to get outside and enjoy something different,’ Terrazas says. “Sometimes with the monsoons, it cools down in the evening. You’re not too warm out there. I think people really like getting out and walking around.”
Visitors have a chance to explore the garden‘s flora and fauna. Sometimes they will encounter toads, quail, roadrunners or lizards. Activities include a free children’s book station and chances to paint a bracelet or necklace with mesquite pitch paint.
Check the garden’s website for a schedule of themed activities, such as when the Phoenix Herpetological Society brings reptiles or when Liberty Wildlife brings birds. Artist Lisa Brethour will lead a glow-in-the-dark chalk mural activity on four evenings in July and August.
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Music, dance and cultural explorations
Pop-up experiences and performances throughout the summer include Native American hoop dance, poetry and music, Latin American orchestral music, ballet folklorico dance and puppet theater.
“The garden is a great natural setting to see music and dance. We have seen people really enjoy that experience, to be outdoors and take that in. Any opportunity where we can highlight local and national artists in different ways, we love that opportunity,” Terrazas says.
On five dates this summer, vendors from Spaces of Opportunity will sell produce, honey, soaps and other handmade items during nighttime farmer’s markets. Spaces of Opportunity is a collaborative effort to bring fresh fruit and vegetables and farming opportunities to south Phoenix.
“We all partner together to be able to cultivate that space and change it from a food desert to a food oasis,” Terrazas says.
Guests are encouraged to bring their cellphones or flashlights. There will be a limited supply of flashlights available for purchase at the garden shop, which will be open until 8 pm
Pop-up stands will sell ice cream and other treats. Guests can also grab a bite to eat or a drink at Gertrude’s Restaurant, which has a last seating at 7:30 pm and closes at 8 pm
What to expect at Desert Botanical Garden’s Sonoran Sippin
The Desert Botanical Garden also is presenting its Sonoran Sippin events this summer.
There will be live and DJ music, board games available to borrow, Ask a Gardener stations, a complimentary alcoholic or nonalcoholic beverage and chances to stroll the garden.
Sonoran Sippin takes place on July 22, Aug. 26 and Sept. 23.
Music includes the Jerry Garcia tribute band Legion of Mario in July, surf and ska band Moonlight Magic in August and pop/rock artist Wheelwright in September.
Desert Botanical Garden summer events
Flashlight Nights: 7-9 pm Saturdays, July 16-Sept. 3. Admission is $14.95. Activities are included; food and beverage costs extra.
Sonoran Sippin: 6:30-9:30 pm Fridays, July 22, Aug. 26 and Sept. 23. Admission is $14.95 ($9.95 for ages 3-17) through August. In September, admission is $29.95.
Where: Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix. Advance ticket purchase is required.
Details: 480-360-8351, https://dbg.org.
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