Shimmering Solstice: A Unique Outdoor Walkthrough Light Show Opens at Old Westbury Gardens

Old Westbury Gardens
Photo by Old Westbury Gardens

Searching for a wonderful outdoor holiday experience? We have a super exciting idea for you. Old Westbury Gardens just opened a first-of-its-kind nighttime light show event, called “Shimmering Solstice”. The event, presented by Catholic Health, offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience a series of magical light displays as they walk along the beautiful meandering paths through Old Westbury Gardens’ Walled Garden, Rose Garden, South Lawn, and Allée. 

For those of you not familiar with Old Westbury Gardens, it’s the former estate of businessman John Shaffer Phipps, the heir to the Phipps family fortune, in Nassau County, NY. Back in 1959, the beautiful property was converted into a museum home.  

The event opened November 20, 2021 and will run only through January 9, 2022, so hurry up and set your date to visit this fun outdoor experience. The admission time starts at 5:30 p.m. and the last admission is at 9:30 p.m. The gates close at 11 p.m. 

“We are excited to offer this brand-new experience for our visitors to enjoy,” said Nancy Costopulos, President and CEO of Old Westbury Gardens. “This walk-through lightshow has been designed specifically for Old Westbury Gardens and offers a one-of-a-kind experience that we intend to become a new annual holiday tradition. We are also thrilled to have Catholic Health as our presenting sponsor for this inaugural event. Their commitment to the communities they serve mirrors our own, and we welcome their support as we bring this spectacular event to Long Island.”

“Shimmering Solstice” is an entirely custom-built show that has been designed to highlight the special features of Old Westbury Gardens. The design and planning phase for this unique experience took around a-year-and-a-half. 

Old Westbury Gardens new york
Photo by Old Westbury Gardens

What was the main idea behind it? The planners had a desire to creatively transform the land and gardens around Westbury House into a visitor location that can be enjoyed during fall and winter, and that would remain true to the mission of Old Westbury Gardens. 

“This is a celebration of our space,” said Maura McGoldrick-Brush, Director of Horticulture at Old Westbury Gardens. “Instead of flowers, the gardens will be blooming with light. This is truly an enchanting combination of the beauty of the gardens and the magic of the season.” 

Old Westbury Gardens worked with Lightswitch, a group of renowned lighting, media, and visual designers to create this awesome show. 

“The design will truly embrace the Gardens,” said Warren Kong, principal at Lightswitch. “The goal is to create something that is unique. We wanted to give people something they can’t see down the street from their homes and create a new family tradition for the region.” 

Some samples of what you’ll see there include the formal Rose Garden and Walled Garden blooming with amazing light and twinkling in lively rhythmic patterns. Other cool features include huge dandelions that will line the edge of the pond and a giant Christmas tree, made of lit globes. You’ll discover many other impressive light displays that can be found throughout the iconic garden areas.  

Old Westbury Gardens ny
Photo by Old Westbury Gardens

For who is this event intended? To our option, it’s something people of all ages will enjoy. The walk-through portion of the event is designed for you to explore at your own pace. For the exciting finale, you will be dazzled to see the south facade of Westbury House come alive as you’ll become immersed in a magical and wondrous sensation of lights and sounds, celebrating the spirit of the season.   

For more information, visit the SHIMMERING SOLSTICE website:


About Catholic Health

Catholic Health is an integrated system encompassing some of the region’s finest health and human services agencies. It has nearly 17,000 employees, 6 acute care hospitals, 3 nursing homes, a home nursing service, hospice and a network of physician practices. For more information, visit