Moonlight in the Garden

See NC State University’s Arboretum Like You Never Have Before!

September 14, 2022


Arlene Calhoun, Assistant Director
(919) 513-6789

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA – For seven nights in November, the magical lighting exhibition Moonlight in the Garden returns after a 2 year hiatus to illuminate and showcase the JC Raulston Arboretum at North Carolina State University.

Sold out every evening in 2018 & 2019, Moonlight in the Garden provides the only opportunity each year to access and experience the JC Raulston Arboretum after dark.

"Moonlight in the Garden is a chance for us to light up the garden and share what a magical place the Arboretum can be at night,” said Mark Weathington, director of the JC Raulston Arboretum. "The lighting displays and the artistic uses of light show how different a garden looks and what can be done to make it an enchanting space into the night."

Exhibition dates include a special Preview Night, with finger food and beverages, on Tuesday, Nov. 8, from 6:30 to 9:00 pm; plus, presentations on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, Nov. 10–12 and 17–19, with timed entries between 5:30 and 9:30 pm. Click here to order tickets.

"Together with the colorful and festive lighting exhibition, Moonlight in the Garden is a time to bundle up, welcome the fall season, dine at the best food trucks, enjoy the live music, have some hot cider, and roast marshmallows over the fire pits," said Weathington.

New this year will be the lighting of several dramatic stone sculptures by local artist Phil Hathcock and a series of traditional Chinese lanterns in Asian Valley.

This experience is a favorite for families looking for a multi-generational family friendly event which brings together people of all ages to enjoy an evening in the garden.

"Children love being in the garden, respond well to beauty, and appreciate and enjoy something that looks and feels magical. Anything you do that gets children out and looking at plants, gardens, and natural areas is an important thing," noted Weathington. "It's a powerful way to instill an appreciation for the environment around them. Of course, they also love roasting marshmallows, hot apple cider, and creating blacklight art."

Advance tickets are $20 for members of the Arboretum, $30 for nonmembers, and $5 for children under 12. New this year for JCRA members only are a limited number of “Anytime tickets” which can be used for entry on the day and time of the member’s choosing (excluding Preview Night) for $30. Tickets are limited – advance reservations are recommended online.

Moonlight in the Garden is sponsored by the North Carolina Agricultural Foundation and custom designed and installed by Southern Lights of Raleigh.

"Nature brings joy to life and illumination at night reveals new dimensions of nature," said John Garner, project chair and president of Southern Lights of Raleigh. "Moonlight in the Garden is a huge lighting exhibition, using miles of cable powered by dozens of transformers to showcase the Arboretum with the latest and best lighting technologies."

"We have one night exclusively for professional members of the community on Wednesday, November 9. This will be open to landscape architects and designers, interior designers, engineers, and lighting design professionals," added Garner. "We expect that continuing education credits will be provided by the NC Board of Landscape Architects to participating landscape architects."

The JC Raulston Arboretum is one of the most diverse botanical gardens in North America, featuring a constantly changing collection of over 8,000 different types of plants. Ranked in the top 95-percentile in plant diversity based on benchmarking by the American Public Gardens Association, the Arboretum's mission includes plant collection, research, distribution, and education.

Proceeds from Moonlight in the Garden will benefit daily operations of JC Raulston Arboretum. Moonlight in the Garden is sponsored by and fund-raising efforts operate under the auspices of the NC Agricultural Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit (tax ID 56-6049304).

JC Raulston Arboretum is on Beryl Road in Raleigh between Meredith College and the NC State Fairgrounds.

Click here to order Moonlight in the Garden tickets
Click here for media photographs and logos
Click here to read expanded interviews with Mark Weathington and John Garner
Click here for Moonlight in the Garden details
Click here for Preview Night details


Mark Weathington, Director
JC Raulston Arboretum
(919) 513-7006

Arlene Calhoun, Assistant Director
JC Raulston Arboretum
(919) 513-6789

John Garner, Volunteer Chair
Moonlight in the Garden
Southern Lights of Raleigh

Robert B. Butler
North Carolina Press Release

Permission granted for redistribution—photograph credits required

#LightingExhibition #JCRaulstonArboretum #MoonlightInTheGarden #NCSU #Raleigh #NorthCarolina #Plants #Garden #Arboretum #NightLighting #SouthernLightsofRaleigh #MarkWeathington #JohnGarner #NCAgriculturalFoundation #MeredithCollege #NCStateFair #LEDLighting #Magical #BotanicalGarden #JCRA #Moonlight #GardenArt #PublicGarden