Tis' the season to be jolly! And there's nothing more jolly than gathering up family and friends grabbing some hot chocolate and heading to a festive public light display. About a week ago, I shared with you one of my favorite places to visit Santa Land, Texas. Well, now it's on to Hot Springs, Ark., for my other favorite place to visit -- Garvan Woodland Gardens. This trip is a little closer to home and the effects are still the same -- lots of lights and plenty of displays throughout the huge outdoor garden. Featuring over 17 acres of gardens that are lit up with four million holiday lights featuring butterflies, garden scenes and holiday displays will send your senses into overdrive. Nestled in the pristine Quachita Mountains of Southwest Arkansas, the gardens were a gift from local industrialist and philanthropist Verna Cook Garvan. The gardens are maintained by the University of Arkansas.

Don't forget to take the kids to visit Santa during Santa Nights stating at 6 p.m. from Dec. 8 to Dec. 18 in the Garvan Pavilion.  In addition, during the Holiday Lights event there will be live holiday music, Christmas concerts and Christmas carolers in the park, and also in the beautiful, wooden glass structure Anthony Chapel, which is tastefully decorated for the holidays. Just standing inside the chapel will give you a sense of peace and serenity of this blessed season. Walking through the gardens and being immersed in all the lights and displays will make you feel like a kid at Christmas all over again. I highly recommended this place!

When I took my family to Garvan Woodland Gardens we enjoyed some hot chocolate and snacks from the Chipmunk Cafe and sat in front of an open pit fireplace located in the gardens. It was perfect ending to a perfect evening at this wonderland of lights!

Holiday lights is now open through Dec. 31 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week (closed Christmas Day). Cost: $10 adults, $5 children ages six to 12, and anyone under five gets in free. For those who may not want to do the walking tour a golf cart tour also is available for $15 per person.

Garvan Woodland Gardens is located at 550 Arkridge Road in Hot Springs National Park, Ark. For more information call 501-262-9300 or toll-free at 800-366-4664. You may also check out their website Garven Woodlan Gardens and visit their Facebook page.