Night Bright: 5 Spectacular Illumination Events

Experience visual artistry at night this October.
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You can always expect to see creative and dazzling light displays during the Halloween and Christmas seasons but there are other major illumination events that are ideal for family night viewing every autumn and they offer some highly innovative approaches to lighting.

A larger-than-life LED installation from the exhibition China Lights: Boerner Brighter Than Ever

A larger-than-life LED installation from the exhibition China Lights: Boerner Brighter Than Ever

A stunning dragon sculpture is a highpoint of the Boerner Botanical Gardens' Fall 2016 exhibition China Lights: Boerner Brighter Than Ever.

Photo by: Boerner Botanical Gardens, www.chinalights.org

Boerner Botanical Gardens, www.chinalights.org

These run the gamut from top tourist destinations like Niagara Falls to botanical gardens to popular vacation getaways and resorts. Take, for instance, the Blackpool Illuminations, a tradition that dates back to 1879 when this English seaside resort first launched the event which has since become an annual festival. Covering a six mile area along the waterfront, the Blackpool Illuminations light up the night skies from mid-September to mid-November and it is a free event. Tourists come from all over the world to view these glowing, larger-than-life tableaux that feature a variety of themes and creative ideas. If you are traveling in the U.K. this fall, you owe it to yourself to experience the 2016 event.

A sculpture in lights homage to Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland

A sculpture in lights homage to Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland

One of the more elaborate and creative installations at the Fall 2015 Blackpool Illuminations festival.

Photo by: Jeff Stafford

Jeff Stafford

During the 2015 season, you could see a series of scenes inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass which comprised more than a city block in terms of the size.

An Egyptian-themed tableaux at the Blackpool Illuminations

An Egyptian-themed tableaux at the Blackpool Illuminations

This elaborate light installation which is longer as a city block is a typical example of what a visitor might see at the Blackpool Illuminations in England in Fall 2015.

Photo by: Jeff Stafford

Jeff Stafford

Some of the Blackpool Illuminations pay homage to a specific culture like this Egyptian-style temple with an ornate and glowing sarcophagus.

A scene from the 2015 event Blackpool Illuminations in the U.K.

A scene from the 2015 event Blackpool Illuminations in the U.K.

Local buses in Blackpool, England are the theme of this unique light installation at the 2015 Blackpool Illuminations festival.

Photo by: Jeff Stafford

Jeff Stafford

Other light sculptures pay tribute to Blackpool itself such as the above recreation of the double-decker buses that serve the seaside resort.

The Blackpool Illuminations Trolley Ride

The Blackpool Illuminations Trolley Ride

A fantastical vision of excess, the Blackpool trolley is a delightful way to view the six mile long annual event known as the Blackpool Illuminations in this popular British seaside resort.

Photo by: Jeff Stafford

Jeff Stafford

If you don’t want to walk the entire six mile strip of lights, you can pay to ride on a decorated trolley which is a visual treat in itself and see the entire presentation from the comfort of your trolley seat.

Visitors can wander through a wonderland of colorful lights and vegetation by night with live musical accompaniment at this 2016 Longwood Gardens event.

Visitors can wander through a wonderland of colorful lights and vegetation by night with live musical accompaniment at this 2016 Longwood Gardens event.

A scene from Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience at Longwood Gardens

Photo by: Longwood Gardens, longwoodgardens.org/nightscape

Longwood Gardens, longwoodgardens.org/nightscape

Now celebrating its second year at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience combines visuals and music in a popular event that runs through Oct. 29.

A pathway through an illuminated enchanted forest by night

A pathway through an illuminated enchanted forest by night

Here is one of the scenic highlights of Longwood Gardens' Fall 2016 event, Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience.

Photo by: Longwood Gardens, longwoodgardens.org/nightscape

Longwood Gardens, longwoodgardens.org/nightscape

While an orchestra plays selections from Bach, Brahms and Debussy, visitors can wander through the garden and be dazzled by an array of awe-inspiring light installations created by the Klip Collective of Philadelphia.

A flower-like design in LED lighting at Longwood Gardens' Nightscape exhibition

A flower-like design in LED lighting at Longwood Gardens' Nightscape exhibition

The Klip Collective, a Philadelphia-based group of artists, designed this unique light installation for the Fall 2016 exhibition Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience at Longwood Gardens.

Photo by: Klip Collective, longwoodgardens.org/nightscape

Klip Collective, longwoodgardens.org/nightscape

Some of the popular sights include the spectacular Waterlily display, the Mediterranean Garden with its lush green and blue hues and the unique geometry of the Silver Garden.

Niagara Falls at night

Niagara Falls at night

Nighttime illuminations and fireworks are a year-round attraction at the popular vacation destination, Niagara Falls.

Photo by: Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, www.niagara-usa.com

Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, www.niagara-usa.com

One of the most popular tourist attractions in the U.S. as well as an iconic honeymoon destination, Niagara Falls is situated between New York State and the province of Ontario, Canada. The location hosts three magnificent waterfalls but they are even more spectacular at night when colored lights and fireworks illuminate nature’s creations. The illumination/fireworks presentations are offered year-round and the viewing times listed on the official website are approximate and subject to change according to light conditions.

A nighttime shot of the China Nights exhibition at Boerner Botanical Gardens

A nighttime shot of the China Nights exhibition at Boerner Botanical Gardens

This three-story tall pagoda installation is one of the highlights of the exhibition China Lights: Boerner Brighter Than Ever at Boerner Botanical Gardens in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Fall 2016.

Photo by: Boerner Botanical Gardens, www.chinalights.org

Boerner Botanical Gardens, www.chinalights.org

For the first time, Boerner Botanical Gardens in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is presenting an elaborate Chinese lantern festival entitled China Lights: Boerner Brighter Than Ever which runs through Oct. 30. More than 1,000 sculptural components created by 30-plus artists from China will culminate in a fantasyland of LED-lit creations including a three-foot baby panda, a three-story Chinese palace pagoda and other larger-than-life illuminated sculptures.

A sculpture in the exhibition Chihuly in the Garden

A sculpture in the exhibition Chihuly in the Garden

The Sol de Citron installtion by artist Dale Chihuly looks particularly stunning after dark in the exhibition "Chihuly in the Garden" at the Atlanta Botanical Garden through Oct. 30, 2016.

Photo by: Atlanta Botanical Garden, atlantabg.org/visit/events/chihuly

Atlanta Botanical Garden, atlantabg.org/visit/events/chihuly

Art in the dark is the best way to describe a nighttime tour of the Atlanta Botanical Gardens’ Chihuly in the Garden exhibition. Running through Oct. 30, this is the sequel to artist Dale Chihuly’s blockbuster 2004 show but this time it is double the size with a total of 19 installations, all of them set against the surrounding fall landscape.

Artist Dale Chihuly's The Saffron Tower

Artist Dale Chihuly's The Saffron Tower

The Saffron Tower by artist Dale Chihuly is particularly striking at night in the exhibition "Chihuly in the Garden" at the Atlanta Botanical Garden through Oct. 30, 2016.

Photo by: Jason Getz, Atlanta Botanical Garden, atlantabg.org/visit/events/chihuly

Jason Getz, Atlanta Botanical Garden, atlantabg.org/visit/events/chihuly

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