CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Cleveland Botanical Gardens are known so well for their rain forest and desert environments in their glass house, but during the winter months they transform, both inside and out, into a holiday celebration.

  • This year, the theme is “Holiday Hallows”
  • They have more than 30 trees decorated by community groups
  • “Glow” runs through January 4

“You think about the holidays, it's rooted in botanical themes... I mean, we have Christmas trees, we have all of the wonderful spices that you smell, all those wonderful aromas that are going through your house during the holiday season, all of that is rooted in botanicals, and so we have the opportunity to kind of share that with our audience,” said Eva Rodriguez, Cleveland Botanical Gardens.

This year, the theme of their “Glow” holiday show is “Holiday Hallows” and they have more than 30 trees decorated by community groups using the themes “Tiny Treasures” and “Home.”

“And we're thinking about home. You know, there's nothing more holiday than being home with your loved ones, being in a warm safe place,” said Rodriguez. “You think, you know, it's it's snowing, it's a dark, cold, windy, blustery night in Northeast Ohio, and you're looking at your home, and what do you see? You see this glow emanating from your home, and so that's what we instantly thought of, you know, let's talk about home.”

This year, the Botanical Gardens actually use the holiday folklore around gnomes to create a couple of different scavenger hunts inside the glass house.

First, they can look for the little gnome homes that people in the community made, and they can look for the gnomes themselves — the little colorful ones in green and pink and yellow.

And they're also challenged to find different plants, like sugar and coffee.

“Gnomes actually have a lot of roots in the holiday season. Their history and their folklore is that they protect the home and they protect forests against evil spirits, and so, lots of fun to look for gnomes this holiday season… come check it out. Have fun, keep your eye out for these Gnomes,” said Rodriguez. 

Rodriguez says it’s a great event for the whole family to get you into the holiday spirit. 

“It’s a really great place to reflect on, on what home means for the holidays,” said Rodriguez.

Glow runs now through January 4, and the folks at the Botanical Gardens say to check ahead online before you go, because their hours do vary.

Tickets can be purchased ahead of time by visiting their website.