Winter Wonderland at Tower Hill
- Matthew Myers
During the holiday season, the beautifully landscaped grounds of Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston come alive with “Winter Reimagined,” an elaborate and colorful light show.
Each year, tens of thousands of visitors enjoy strolling the garden paths to view the artistically illuminated trees, shrubs, walkways, fountains, and sculptures, which make for a true winter wonderland.
The Spirit of the Season
“Winter Reimagined is an activity where people of all ages can enjoy the spirit of the season together,” says Tower Hill public relations manager Robert Burgess.
“The lights highlight the trees, shrubs, and landscape in a magical way to celebrate the arrival of winter in New England.” The display, consisting of 265,000 lights spread over 15 acres, requires months of planning and more than 1,700 hours of staff time to set up.
In addition to brightening the cold, dark evenings, the event is Tower Hill’s largest annual fund-raiser.
Many more amenities await inside the Stoddard Education and Visitor Center, including festive indoor decorations, two greenhouses with subtropical and winter plants, hot chocolate stations, and a cafe with local food. The Woodland Fairy Train, a model railroad, winds through an intricately crafted garden of plants, mosses, and miniature houses created by staff and volunteers. Children can enjoy a scavenger hunt, crafts, and an igloo built out of 500 recycled milk jugs. The gift shop offers a variety of gardening and nature-themed items.
Wait! There’s More!
Winter Reimagined is just one of Tower Hill’s many events and attractions.
The 170-acre property is owned and managed by the Worcester County Horticultural Society, a non-profit organization founded in 1842 to promote the science and practice of horticulture. After nearly 150 years in downtown Worcester, the Society purchased the former Tower Hill Farm in 1986 and established the gardens and adjacent natural habitats. The active program and event schedule includes tours, plant shows, workshops, art exhibits, classes, and concerts.
The grounds are open to the public year-round during visiting hours. Seasonal highlights include colorful flowering bulbs, trees, and shrubs in spring, annuals and perennials during the summer, and fall foliage and ornamental grasses in autumn. The well-maintained walking trails include a one-mile loop that passes orchards, a wildlife garden with an enclosed bird viewing house, Wildlife Refuge Pond, sculptures and statues. At the north end of the loop, Quarry Path leads through a woodland garden of native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers at Inner Park. For a scenic view of the Wachusett Reservoir and Wachusett Mountain, check out the Belvedere Overlook, located just below Tower Hill’s 620-foot summit.
Story Written By: John Burk