Light-studded branches reflect in a serene pond. Starry globes of blue and pink and white lights dangle from trees. Illuminated snowmen dance across the clapboards of an historic home. At the Stevens-Coolidge House and Gardens in North Andover, these lights plus hundreds of thousands more will set the newly renovated grounds aglow from November 26 to January 9.
Winterlights is a tradition of the Trustees of Reservations, which holds three events at properties across Massachusetts. Naumkeag in Stockbridge and the Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate in Canton are also hosting their own sparkling shows. The show at Stevens-Coolidge is back this season after a hiatus during construction last year.
The Trustees began designing the displays in July, then spent nearly four weeks installing the lights this fall.
“The transformation is incredible to witness,” said Jared Bowers, director of a portfolio of Trustees properties that includes Stevens-Coolidge. “It allows our visitors to see the property in an entirely new light (pun intended) as we celebrate its stunning garden spaces in such a unique and different way.”
Visitors to Stevens-Coolidge will enjoy a stroll through the property’s newly renovated gardens. A shooting star made of lights streams overs a hill newly constructed as part of the upgrades. Pine trees sculpted from strings of lights dot the lawn. Spheres of pink and oranges light replace flowers in the beds where tulips will flourish come spring. A tunnel draped in blue and purple lights makes an ideal backdrop for family photos.
The brick estate house is not open to visitors, but an illuminated path leads to a porch where visitors can peer in the windows at festively decorated Christmas trees. Throughout the stroll, a reindeer-themed scavenger hunt lets kids search out Dasher and Dancer (and the other seven sleigh-pullers). Midway through the route, a concession stand offering cider, hot chocolate, and cider donuts will give you a chance to warm your hands.
At the end of the walk, an illuminated, spinning tunnel lets visitors immerse in a swirling, glowing winterscape (though those prone to motion-sickness should skip this particular attraction).
On the way back to the parking lot, the cozy gift shop, which was added during the renovations, beckons holiday shoppers to browse the well-curated selection of ornaments, candles, books, gardening supplies, and children’s gifts.
Tickets are required and available online. Admission for Trustees members is $20 for adults on Fridays and Saturdays and $15 the rest of the week; children’s tickets are always $5 for members. For nonmembers, adult tickets are $25 on Fridays and Saturdays, and $20 the rest of the week; children’s tickets are $10.
Visit the Trustees website for more information about the Stevens-Coolidge House and Gardens.