Prospect Heights

Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Lightscape opens

November 21, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
Lightscape at Brooklyn Botanic Garden
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PROSPECT HEIGHTS — Brooklyn Botanic Garden officially opened Lightscape, a mile-long illuminated trail, on Friday. 

Returning for its third year in Brooklyn and featuring 1 million-plus lights in immersive installations across the Garden, Lightscape has fast become a contemporary classic for the holidays. 

NYC dignitaries and special guests marked the opening of Lightscape with a special “Lights On” moment on BBG’s famed Cherry Esplanade. Brooklyn residents and visitors alike gathered as BBG president and CEO Adrian Benepe flipped the switch on the spectacular light exhibition, turning tens of thousands of moving lights on across Cherry Esplanade.

The expanded and reimagined trail builds on the natural beauty of BBG’s landscapes, trees, water features, and architectural details, taking visitors on an otherworldly nighttime journey through 18 installations by international light artists and design collectives.

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Lightscape 2022. Photo by Liz Ligon

“Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers have already fallen in love with Lightscape over the past two years, and we’re delighted to invite the city back this season with the most exquisite trail yet,” said Benepe. “Illuminating the ‘Sea of Light’ on Cherry Esplanade for the first time this season was a moment of pure joy.”

“For the past two winters, Brooklynites have been enchanted by Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG)’s Lightscape,” said Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “I am delighted to see Lightscape make a return to BBG this year and hope it will bring joy to many Brooklynites and visitors alike as they explore one of Brooklyn’s most beautiful gardens in a new light.”

“For the past two years, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden has brought light, joy and hope to visitors during the holiday season with its breathtaking Lightscape display. I’m thrilled BBG is bringing it back for a third year,” said state Sen. Zellnor Myrie, who represents the area. “Lightscape has quickly become one of New York’s iconic holiday experiences.”

“I have enjoyed this amazing Brooklyn seasonal highlight for many years and encourage my constituents to do the same, but I am particularly thrilled this holiday season to bundle up my one-year-old son and introduce him to a Brooklyn tradition,” said state Assemblymember Robert C. Carroll, who also represents the area.

Lightscape 2022. Photo by Liz Ligon

This year’s Lightscape is complete with a newly curated playlist featuring Taylor Swift, Elton John, Philip Glass and Viter Ukrainian Folk Choir, among others, as well as a Brooklyn hip-hop zone celebrating the 50th anniversary of the genre with music by Mos Def, MC Lyte, Digable Planets and more. 

Pop-up dining areas throughout the trail will offer hot buttered rum, s’mores in a jar, homemade donuts, and other seasonal treats and warm beverages.

New installations for 2023 include:

  • Submergence, an immersive, interactive experience created with thousands of individual points of suspended light, created by renowned British collaborative Squidsoup.
  • Sea of Light, by Ithaca, which illuminates BBG’s famous nearly 100,000-square foot Cherry Esplanade end to end with a moving sequence of light.
  • Trinity, by Novak, featuring dozens of botanical illustrations from the Garden’s own archives come to life as 22-foot-high projections on three 100-year-old horse chestnut trees,
  • Supernova, a 24-foot-high illuminated Moravian star, by Studio Vertigo.

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