2020 HOLIDAY FAMILY PROGRAMS

Norfolk Botanical Garden’s Youth Education Department is thrilled to announce tram rides will be offered through the 2020 Dominion Energy Garden of Lights display! Some changes have been made in order to accommodate tram operations during the “new normal,” so please make sure to review all of our ticketing and seating updates in our Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) menu at the bottom of the page. If you have any additional questions, please email us at youthed@nbgs.org.

Tinsel Tram tickets on sale now!

For the full list of available Tinsel Tram dates, visit our Children & Family Programs page!

Tinsel Tram: Tram Ride Only

Bring your family to ride the Tinsel Tram through the Dominion Energy Garden of Lights! The 2020 Tinsel Tram holiday program does not include the option to complete a craft and/or visit with Santa. 

Dates: Select Sunday-Thursday nights in November and December starting Monday, November 16. For the full list of dates, visit our Children & Family Programs page.

Updated Pricing: $30/Row for Members. $40/Row for Not-Yet-Members.

Updated Seating: Tickets reserve a row of seats on the Tinsel Tram for up to four (4) guests over the age of 3. Guests  3 years of age and under are required to sit in an adult chaperone’s lap, otherwise they must be included in the seated count in a row. Please reference the chart below to determine the number of tickets (rows) that will need to purchased to accommodate your party.

  • 1-4 guests (over the age of 3): 1 Ticket/Row.
  • 5-8 guests (over the age of 3): 2 Tickets/Rows.
  • 9-12 guests (over the age of 3): 3 Tickets/Rows.
  • 13-16 guests (over the age of 3): 4 Tickets/Rows.
  • 17-20 guests (over the age of 3): 5 Tickets/Rows.
  • 20+ guests (over the age of 3): Recommend Tinsel Tram: Group Tour option for private tram.

Note on Seating: The number of attending guests must match the number of rows purchased for the Tinsel Tram. Each row seats up to four (4) guests over the age of 3. Guests who attend with a party who did not reserve additional seating/rows will not be permitted to board the Tinsel Tram.

In an effort to maintain all necessary safety precautions, every other row on the tram will be roped off. If groups/families purchase more than one row of seats, they will be required to maintain the social distancing standards of the tram – the ropes will not be moved to accommodate large parties sitting in consecutive seats/rows.

Tinsel Tram: Group Tours

Bring your Scouts, youth group, or organization to ride the Tinsel Tram through the Dominion Energy Garden of Lights! The Tinsel Tram: Group Tour option allows parties of 20+ guests to book a private tram tour.

Dates and Times: Select Monday-Thursday nights in November and December starting Monday, November 16. Most private trams will have a 7PM departure time. Group Tour registration will open on Monday, October 19. Group Tours must be booked at least two weeks in advance to ensure availability. To book a Tinsel Tram: Group Tour, call (757) 441-5830 ext.463. Group Tours must be booked over the phone, and require full payment at the time of booking.

Only 1 Tinsel Tram Group Tour timeslot is available. If you are interested, email youthed@nbgs.org and requests will be processed in the order they are received. Allow up to 1 business day for a return email.

  • Monday, November 16               7PM Group Tour – 1 TRAM AVAILABLE

Updated Pricing: $200/Tram. Trams seat up to 32 guests over the age of 3. Up to two (2) trams may be booked by a single group in a single evening.

Updated Seating: Tickets reserve up to 32 seats (8 rows) on a tram. If a party is expecting more than 32 guests over the age of 3, the group will be required to book an additional tram. Group Tour trams are not permitted to be booked for groups expecting less than 20 guests.

Note on Seating: The number of attending guests must match the number of rows available on all group tram tours. Each row seats up to four (4) guests over the age of 3 – total of 32 available seats. Groups who attend without reserving additional seating/rows to accommodate their attendance numbers will be required to book another tram if available, or direct the additional guests to purchase tickets to drive through the light display.

Holiday To-Go Kits

This November and December, purchase a holiday themed to-go kit for your little ones to complete at home!  Registration for the Thanksgiving Plates and Cookie Plate & Cocoa Mug to-go kits will open in November. Pick up dates and times will be indicated for each offered to-go kit.

For a complete list of all our currently available to-go kits and other children & family programs, visit our Children & Family Programs page.

November* – Thanksgiving Plates

Paint the perfect set of decorative plates for your Thanksgiving table! Each to-go kit  comes with one 10″ dinner plate, one 7″ side/dessert plate, a paint brush, four paint colors, and a few additional Thanksgiving activities.

$15/kit for members. $20/kit for not-yet-members. 

*Additional to-go kits will be announced in November!

December* – Cookie Plates & Cocoa Mugs

Paint a plate and mug to get ready for a visit from you know who! Each to-go kit comes with one 7″ plate, one mug, a paint brush, four paint colors, and a few additional holiday-themed activities.

$15/kit for members. $20/kit for not-yet-members.

*Additional to-go kits will be announced in December!

Frequently Asked Questions:

No. Santa will not be participating in our family holiday programs this year. The only offered family holiday programs are tram rides through the Dominion Energy Garden of Lights, and holiday themed to-go kits that are to be completed at home.

The Tinsel Tram is a holiday tram ride through the Dominion Energy Garden of Lights.

Masks will be required on the Tinsel Tram.

In compliance with Virginia’s Governor’s Executive Order 63, NBG commits to the following:

  • All guests & volunteers ages 10+ are required to wear a protective mask that covers the mouth and nose when entering any NBG building or structure including outdoor restrooms and the butterfly house (when opened).
  • Our youngest visitors, “Sprouts” over the age of two, are strongly encouraged to wear a mask in compliance with current CDC health and safety recommendations.
  • Guests are asked to bring their own personal facemask. NBG has a very limited supply of disposal masks available upon request at the Guest Services desk in Baker Hall.
  • Face coverings shall also be required when patrons are outdoors if a distance of six feet from other persons, not associated with one household, cannot be maintained. Due to the nature of the tram ride, we require participants wear masks/face coverings.

*Exemptions to these guidelines include; while eating and drinking, during the observance of a religious ritual/wedding ceremony, individuals who are exercising, children under the age of two, a person seeking to communicate with a hearing-impaired person for which the mouth needs to be visible, and anyone with a health condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering.

Online registration begins at 9AM on Monday, October 19 for all Tinsel Tram and holiday to-go kit programs.

Holiday program registration is online or in person only. If you have issues with your online registration, call (757) 441-5830 x463 or email youthed@nbgs.org. To register in person, visit the front desk at the Baker Hall Visitor Center. Not-Yet-Members will have to purchase admission to register for any/all holiday family programs in person.

Holiday family program tickets must be purchased according to the ticketing requirements for each type of program. You may purchase as many tickets as are available.

Tinsel Tram Tickets

Tickets for the Tinsel Tram are sold by the row instead of by the person. Anyone over the age of 3 must have an individual seat within the purchased row(s) of seats. Each row of the Tinsel Tram includes four (4) seats. Children ages 3 and under are permitted to sit on an adult chaperone’s lap in order to be excluded from the seat count. If a child 3 or under is going to have their own seat on the tram, including being occupied by a car seat, the child must be included in the individual seat count within the purchased row.

Tickets are not person-specific and do not need to be registered to individuals. A single person may purchase all of the needed row(s) of seats for their full party. Please reference the chart below to determine the number of tickets (rows) that will need to purchased to accommodate your party. Members receive a discount on up to 2 rows of seats. If you are unable to purchase the full number of tickets for your party on the same time and session, that session may not have enough seats available. Please do not complete an online transaction for less than the full number of rows you will need for your entire party on the Tinsel Tram.

  • 1-4 guests (over the age of 3): 1 Ticket/Row.
  • 5-8 guests (over the age of 3): 2 Tickets/Rows.
  • 9-12 guests (over the age of 3): 3 Tickets/Rows.
  • 13-16 guests (over the age of 3): 4 Tickets/Rows.
  • 17-20 guests (over the age of 3): 5 Tickets/Rows.
  • 20+ guests (over the age of 3): Recommend Tinsel Tram: Group Tour option for private tram.

In an effort to maintain all necessary safety precautions, every other row on the tram will be roped off. If groups/families purchase more than one row of seats, they will be required to maintain the social distancing standards of the tram – the ropes will not be moved to accommodate large parties sitting in consecutive seats/rows.

Holiday To-Go Kit Tickets

Kit tickets are purchased based on the number of desired kits to be completed. To-Go Kit tickets do not include Garden admission.

You do not need to include the name of every one in your party. The tinsel tram tickets are sold by the row, so only the purchaser’s name will be on the ticket(s). When you arrive at the Garden, one member of your party can check in to pick up tickets. If your entire party has to cancel and you would like to give your tickets to another party, forward them the email with the tickets, or print the tickets for them. All tickets are date-specific and can only be used once.

Make sure your email address login matches the email address attached to your membership account. Your membership discount will post after you have placed the tickets in your cart. Call (757) 441-5830 x463 if you need assistance.

Our holiday programs typically sell out, so additional dates are often not available. There is a flat $10 fee per order for any date change. No date changes are permitted with less than a 5-day notice.

If you miss your scheduled pick up time for a to-go kit, you can pick the kit up on another date. To-Go Kits are not refundable.

All refunds incur a 20% processing fee. No refunds issued with less than 5 days-notice. Tinsel Tram tickets are transferable to other parties.

Tinsel Trams are open unless there is extremely inclement weather. We do not offer refunds for tickets. Tickets are transferable to other parties. In some cases we will allow your family to drive through the lights instead of ride the tram, but only on the night you are scheduled to ride the Tinsel Tram. If Norfolk Botanical Garden closes, Tinsel Trams will be cancelled. Tickets are transferable to other parties.

Check in at the visitor center when you arrive. You will receive passes for the tram and directions to the boarding zone at that time.

Tinsel Tram tickets only include seats on the tram. If you would like to also drive through the Lights, you will have to pay the additional per car fee. In some special circumstances, you may be able to transfer your tickets to drive through ONLY on the night you are scheduled to attend the Tinsel Tram. Ask the staff at check-in if this option is available.

Refreshments will not be available for purchase during the Tinsel Tram. Guests are welcome to bring their own drinks in cups with lids, as well as light snacks for their tram ride. Guests are required to properly dispose of their trash at the end of the tram ride.

The Gift Shop will not be open during the Tinsel Tram.

Don't miss our Terrific Tree sale, garden kits to-go and gift shop items - together we can plant a better world.  SHOP HERE
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