Ticket Information

Merry + Bright is included with General Admission, but some of its offerings may be an additional fee, including classes and food and beverage.

Come Be Merry + Bright at South Coast Botanic Garden This Holiday Season

Experience the joy of the holidays with a variety of events at the Garden from November 25 through December 24. There will be new seasonal plantings from the moment you walk through the Garden’s gates and can’t-miss photo opportunities, including our twist on iconic pine trees. Shop for the holidays, or for yourself, at our kiosk in Palm Circle, which will have a whole new look and merchandise for the season. Merry + Bright will be sprinkled through all of the Garden’s offerings during this time, including Nature POP! and food and beverage at Dottie’s. Tis the season to be ‘merry’ and ‘bright,’ no matter what holiday you celebrate! See the full schedule of events below.

Share your photos with us using hashtag #MerrySCBG

Our mission is to be a Garden for ALL! Know of a great way we can incorporate other holidays? Email us at info@scbgf.org.

Merry + Bright Schedule of Events

Merry + Bright Kiosk

Holiday Shopping
Daily, November 25 – December 24

Whether you’re buying a gift for someone on your list or treating yourself, you’ll want to stop by our kiosk in Palm Circle this holiday season. Our team has been hard at work picking out the perfect gifts, including bulbs, seasonal plantings, containers, bonsai starter kits, ornaments, magnets and more. While our Director of Living Collections has hand selected many of the plants that will be available, some of the other items have been handmade by our Garden staff members. These are truly unique gifts you won’t be able to find anywhere else!

Elf in the Garden
Daily, November 25-December 24

Poppy is back! Our popular Elf in the Garden will return November 25. Come find this sneaky scout elf – and maybe a few friends – in a new location within the Garden every Friday until Christmas day. Each week, come see what hijinks Poppy is up to, take a picture and post on Instagram using #ElfintheGarden. If you post a picture of Poppy at each of the four locations, you’ll be entered to win tickets to Astra Lumina.  Elf in the Garden is included with General Garden Admission.

Sean Kenney’s Nature POP! – Winter Edition
Daily, November 25 – December 31

Sean Kenney’s Nature POP! opens in the Garden on November 5, but starting December 1, some of the 40 sculptures will be transported to a winter wonderland. Come see four of the vignettes, included 21 rabbits, become Merry + Bright. These new winter wonderland backdrops will offer all new photo opportunities for visitors! Nature POP! is included with General Garden Admission.

Santa Photos
Select Dates

Santa is coming! Come tell the jolly ol’ man what you’d like this holiday season and snap a photo for the memory books. Santa will be at the Garden on December 9 from 2 to 4:30 p.m. and December 10 and 11 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. All guests will receive a digital file of their photos at no cost to them! Included with General Admission.

Dog Walking Hours
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. December 18

Our Dog Walking Hours traditionally take place on the last Sunday of the month, however, in December that lies on the one day the Garden will be closed – December 25. We still want to invite our four-legged friends to the Garden though, so we are moving our Dog Walking Hours to December 18 and adding a little holiday fun to the mix while we’re at it. Our Howl-o-ween Costume Contest was such a hit, we’ve decided to invite all our fur friends (and human friends) to our Howliday Costume Contest! Come to the Garden on December 18 with your pups and/or yourself dressed in your best holiday outfits and costumes. Santa, elves, reindeer, snowmen, menorahs, dreidels, ugly holidays sweaters and more… all are welcome! 

Winter Prelude 
Invitation Only – December 4

This annual Member event is for Sustainer and above levels. This year’s theme is a 1950s’ holiday gathering and will include live entertainment by the doo-wop trio, The Sugarplums, as well as food, beverage and crafts. Santa will also be in attendance so guests can have the first opportunity to snap a photo with him. If you’d like to attend but you’re not a Member, now’s the time to become one… or to upgrade to Sustainer level!

California Winter Wreath and Hot Cider Workshop
2 – 4 p.m. December 3, 7, 11, 13 and 15

Get into the festive cheer with our brand-new California Winter Wreath and Hot Cider Workshop! With a cup of hot cider in hand, you’ll learn how to create your own holiday wreath using California native plants, which are pivotal to California’s ecology. What better way to showcase the extensive beauty of these plants than with cheerful holiday decor? We will walk you through the steps of wreath-making and share the importance and history of the native plants being used. Each ticket comes with all the hardware and tools needed to create your wreath, as well as access to an array of plant material. Feel free to also bring any clippings or your own equipment if so inclined to help make your wreath uniquely yours! If you would like to add some live native plants to your collection, be sure to stop by the kiosk in Palm Circle on your way out. (Includes 1 wreath). Price: $59 for Members, $69 for non-members