Glow in the Garden


While the lights of the Bruce Munro LIGHT exhibit will not be back this summer, the glow from our summer of LIGHT continues to inspire us. This September we will be hosting our first Glow in the Garden Festival!

The festival is a result of two ideas coming together into one great event. This winter, Leslie Crow, Manager of Rentals, Gift Shop, and Membership, was in San Antonio during Chinese New Year. While walking along the canal, she discovered the River Walk Wishing Lanterns. Festival-goers purchase a lantern, write a special message on it, and place it in the canal. Leslie was inspired to bring the idea back to Nicholas Conservatory Eclipse Lagoon.

Meanwhile, Lyndi Toohill, Manager of Education and Programs, was working on a night 5k along the garden and recreation path, complete with black lights, glowing stations, and a fun party vibe for the whole family. Lyndi and Leslie decided the two events complemented each other and would make a fun BIG event – a festival! And what better date than the last day
of summer – September 22.

Come celebrate the end of summer at this fun new festival at Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens! Purchase a floating lantern to personalize and release into the Eclipse Lagoon, run a unique, glowing 5k along the Rock River, enjoy a cash bar, music on the Riverview Terrace, and fun interactive family stations throughout the gardens. There is something for everyone!

Saturday, September 22, 2018


6-9 pm: Glow in the Garden Lagoon Lanterns
$5 per lantern; Lanterns may be purchased at the event or pre-purchased at Nicholas Conservatory or by calling 815-987-8858.
(Pre-purchased lanterns can be picked up at the Eclipse Lagoon on the evening of the event)

6-9 pm: Nicholas at Night family activities throughout the gardens (included with Nicholas Conservatory admission)

6:30-9 pm: Music on the Riverview Terrace FREE! Cash bar

7 pm: Glow in the Garden 200 meter Kids Fun Run - FREE!
Start by Rock Men Guardian sculpture (at the south end of the auxiliary parking lot)

7:30 pm: Glow in the Garden 5k Run
Fast, flat, scenic course along the Rock River Recreation Path and Nicholas Conservatory/Sinnissippi Gardens. Wear anything that glows! Black lights and other fun glow surprises throughout the course; start by Rock Men Guardian sculpture (at the south end of the auxiliary parking lot).

Thank you to our sponsor, Fleet Feet Sports Rockford! Includes T-shirt, beverage ticket, and NCG admission ticket. 10% Rockford Road Runner Discount through 9/21.

Register Today!

  • Early registration (through 8/26) - $25
  • Regular registration (8/27-9/21) - $30
  • Day-Of Registration (9/22) - $35
  • Ages 12 & under - $10