Merry & Bright

merry and bright banner

For 2019, Merry & Bright will run December 4-22, Wednesday to Sunday,
6 PM-9 PM
Sign up on our contact list
to make sure you don't miss out on our 2019 event!

St. John’s newest holiday tradition, join us for our 3rd annual light festival. The Garden will be glowing once again with a spectacular light display. Take a winter evening stroll, sip hot chocolate and warm yourself by the fire. Come see the Garden in a new light and leave merry and bright! Scroll down to the end of this page to see what night choirs will be performing.

Tickets are limited and are available for purchase online. Tickets will be available at the door if the evening has not already sold out online.

Please note, doors will open at 6 pm*, and last admittance will be at 8:30 pm, finishing up for the evening at 9 pm.

candle lightFridays are Date Nights!This is a special ticket "add on".  Regular tickets are also avaiable.
Come with your special someone to our Merry & Bright candlelit Bistro.  Enjoy a glass of wine or local beer, share a cheese board, then stroll hand in hand around the Garden and marvel at the lights. Limited to 24 people per night (12 couples), and ages 19+.  Tickets must be purchased in advance.
As our Friday Date nights are now sold out, the Garden Cafe has added one more Date Night on Thursday, December 20, 2018.  (registration for this event is now closed)

Early Nights*Early Night: Got a little one with an early bedtime?  Sundays December 2nd, 9th, and 16th we will have the lights on and shuttles running 1 hour early!  The shuttle bus will be at the Marine Institue at 4:30pm and ready to leave at 4:45pm.  The doors to the Garden will be open at 5pm.

Coming with a Group? We offer a 10% discount for group ticket purchases of 10 or more.

Please note that 2018 Season Passes to the Garden do not work for admission into Merry & Bright Light Festival as this is a special ticketed event.

Adult (18+): $13.00 (HST incl.)
Child (3 to 17): $7.00 (HST incl.) (ages 2 and under are free)
Family (2 adults & 3 children): $35.00 (HST incl.)
Date Night (19+): $74 (HST incl.) Consists of 2 glasses of wine/beer, a cheese board, and 2 adult admissions

Merry & Bright FAQ

2018 Merry & Bright Teasers!

Thank you to our sponsors:

Canadian EnergyHitsFMFOGTake Charge
Canadian Energy99.1 Hits FMFriends of the GardenTake Charge NL

Merry & Bright FAQ

back to top


We’ve been soooo good this year we are expecting Santa to give us clear skies for all of December. That said, should we have to cancel due to weather we will contact all ticket holders with an option to book on an alternate night. Watch Facebook and/or for website or updates.


Can I Use My Debit Visa? Yes, but unfortunately not on our online system. Up until November 23 you can buy tickets in person between 10am and 4pm at the Botanical Garden, and then at the door on the night of your choice.

Can I Buy Tickets at the Door? We do sell out for specific days and therefore suggest getting your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. Watch for updates on our website or Facebook. If you arrive at the Garden without advance tickets and the event is not sold out, you are most welcome to pay at the door. You might want to ask the shuttle bus volunteers if tickets are still available before taking the bus.

Can I use Coupons and Passes? Sorry! Garden admission coupons, season passes and Friends of the Garden memberships are not accepted for this annual fundraising event.

Can I return my tickets? All sales are final. Tickets are non-refundable. If you can no longer attend, guests in past years have had great success posting their tickets on our Facebook page and either selling them or exchanging for another evening.

Should I have gotten a confirmation email with barcode tickets? Yes! Unfortunately some of the ticket emails are going to junk/spam boxes, and there seems to be a delay.  If you purchased your tickets and still don't see them in your spam or junk box by the next day please send us a message (on Facebook, or via email).

I accidently deleted my email with the tickets!  Help!  No problem!  We can resend your email for you when the staff are in the office (3-5pm on festival days).

back to top


Where do I Park? To accommodate our expanded shuttle bus service, there will be NO parking available at the Garden. Limited, unsupervised parking will be available behind MUN’s Media Science/Biology buildings at 297 Mount Scio Road. We suggest you make your visit stress-free by parking at the Marine Institute (155 Ridge Road) and ride the free shuttle.


Shuttle Bus Service and Accessibility:

Where do I get the free Shuttle Bus? You will see our smiling volunteers in the large parking lot on the west side of the Marine Institute (155 Ridge Road) who will direct you to our shuttles. Don’t forget to sing Christmas songs on your way to the Garden!

How frequently do Shuttle Busses Run? Buses will start running at 5:45 and run approximately every 20 minutes.

Are the buses accessible? Unfortunately, the busses are not accessible. We will have limited parking for those with mobility issues in our main lot. We’ll do our best to get you close to the entrance.

Can I drop off ticket holders? Yes, you are most welcome to drop off guest in our main parking lot.

Is there BlueZone Parking? Yes, we have limited parking spaces for guests with mobility issues in our main lot. We will do our best to park you close to the entrance.

Can I bring a stroller on the bus? Yes, and our volunteers can help you load it on!  If you have a very young one in a bucket seat then it might be best to come early and park at the Media Science/Biology buildings at 297 Mount Scio Road (see Parking above).

back to top


How Accessible is the Event? The Festival is a winter walking experience and accessibility depends on the weather conditions. As an outdoor event, accessibility can be compromised by snow and ice. Visitors should be aware there are areas with steep grades where assistance is recommended for mobility aids, wheelchairs and or scooters.

Pets, Pictures, and Paths:

Can I Bring My Pet? Sorry, but no. Only certified service animals will be permitted entry.

Why do I have to stay on the paths? Our collection of plants are rather special and many will be damaged or die if stepped on. In addition, their sharp labels could pose a safety risk if you go into the plant beds. These labels are hard to see in the dark - even more so if we have a blanket of snow!

Can I take my wedding pictures at Merry and Bright? Sure! We can’t guarantee a special spot but you are most welcome to take any special occasion picture on paths, and open areas not planted, or, of course, our special ‘photo-op’ stations. No additional charges apply but do note that wedding/party/special occasion vehicles will not be permitted in the main parking lots.

back to top

Other Questions:

How long did it take to string all those lights and light all those candles? Good Question! Our amazing team spends about 7 weeks hanging lights to show off the garden at its winter best. And, our amazing and always helpful volunteers with the Friends of the Garden spend 1-2 hours placing and lighting our candles each day.

How many lights you ask? A lot! We lost count but estimate we use approximately 50,000 LED lights to create this magical nighttime experience. Adding to that, this year there will be over 200 candles lit each night.

Can I Buy Hot Chocolate? You bet! There will be hot chocolate and warm cider along with yummy treats available for purchase.

Can I Buy Any Christmas Presents? Absolutely! The Garden Gift Shop in the Field Centre will be open, with great end-of-season and seasonal specials.

What night are there choirs scheduled?
Right now we have choirs on December 5, 9, 12, 13, 19, 20 & 22.

back to top


Botanical Garden

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000