Sensory-Friendly Santa Visits

The Garden has reserved the hour between 4 and 5 p.m. (when the Garden is closed to the public) on Tuesdays (Dec. 4, 11, 18) this Holiday season for children that need a little extra time and attention to visit Santa. During this time the Garden welcomes children with autism and other special needs along with their siblings to enjoy a visit with Santa in a compassionate environment that is supportive of their sensory, physical and developmental needs. Families can then choose to enjoy the Garden at dusk as a Mile of A Million Lights begins to illuminate or enjoy the Garden for an entire evening. Discounted weekday Holidays at the Garden tickets and a free reservation to visit Santa are required. Families are permitted to take their own photos. To make reservations click here or call (704) 829-1294. Those wishing to have photos taken by a professional photographer are encouraged to schedule an appointment on Mondays this Holiday season.

Winter Break Family Workshops


Ages 5 to 12
All materials are included in the class fee and pre-registration is required.

Bring your growing gardener to the Garden over winter break to learn about air plant creations, building block planters, painting from nature and more!

  • December 20thSucculents – Upcycle a tin can into a succulent planter, and take home your very own succulent!
  • December 21stAir Plants – Learn the benefits and how to care for air plants, and take home your very own air plant creation!
  • December 27thWatercolor Snowflakes & Fireworks in a Jar – Combine art and science to create some beautiful winter decorations!
  • December 28thLego Container Planting – Build a garden container from Legos in which you will place seasonal plants to care for at home!

Capture the Magic with Santa

Visits are available from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. (reserve a specific time when purchasing)
Advanced reservations are required. Additional discounts do no apply.
Please note, personal photography will not be permitted during this time.

Capture a magical memory with professional photos of your children or family with Santa by Rick Haithcox Photography!

Packages & Pricing:
One pose can be chosen for the final prints. All packages also include a digital file of the selected image suitable for electronic media, phones and tablets (files will not be printable quality). Additional prints will be available for order through Rick Haithcox Photography in January & February 2019. Please note that photographing groups of over 4 people will be at the discretion of the photographer due to limitations.

  • Package A:  $49
    • 2 – 5×7″ prints
    • 2 – 4×6″ prints
  • Package B:  $64
    • 1 – 8×10″ OR 2 – 5×7″ prints
    • 2 – 5×7″ prints
    • 2 – 4×6″ prints
  • Package C:  $79
    • 2 – 8×10″ prints
    • 2 – 5×7″ prints
    • 4 – 4×6″ prints


Packages will be delivered to the Garden within 7-10 working days. Delaying the selection will delay the printing and delivery process.

Sugar Cookie Decorating

Instructor: Chef Alisha Hester

Learn to edge, flood, and sprinkle your way to beautiful, professional sugar cookies and take home some samples to enjoy.

Digital SLR: The Basics

Instructor: David Kelly, DEK Photography

Planning to give or receive a new camera this season? Give the gift of knowledge! Send your loved ones to the Garden to learn the basics of photography.