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Sip some spirits with Mother Nature during Wine in the Woodlands
Botanical garden in Gainesville to host monthly event from May to October
Atlanta Botanical Gardens Gainesville, A Smithgall Woodland Legacy, is at 1911 Sweetbay Drive in Gainesville. - photo by Courtesy of LARRY GRIFFETH

Wine in the Woodlands
When: 6-9 p.m. last Thursdays of the month from May 26 to Oct. 26
Where: Atlanta Botanical Garden, A Smithgall Woodland Legacy, 1911 Sweetbay Drive, Gainesville
Cost: $8 adults, $5 children ages 3-12 and free children younger than 3 and garden members
More info:

Do you want a midweek serene escape into a lush garden accompanied with wine, live music, and light bites?

Then the monthly Wine in the Woodlands at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, A Smithgall Woodland Legacy, in Gainesville is for you.

Beginning Thursday, May 25, and occurring the last Thursday of the month through October, Wine in the Woodlands will be from 6-9 p.m. at the Gainesville garden at 1911 Sweetbay Drive. Tickets are $8 for adults and free for garden members. Tickets may be purchased at the door.

Similar to Cocktails in the Garden at the Atlanta location, Wine in the Woodlands began two years ago when the garden opened off Cleveland Highway in Gainesville. The event features snack-size food from area caterers, such as 2 Dog Catering, Talk of the Town and Scott’s Downtown.

“We’ve had hummus and veggies, smoked wings,” Gainesville garden director Mildred Fockele said. “It depends on the caterer, but it’s always bite-sized nibbles.”

Various wines, several beers and soft drinks will be available for purchase at a cash bar.

But Wine in the Woodlands features more than just light bites and good wine. The event showcases local musicians.

Fockele said the garden often has a trio or a single guitarist playing soft jazz. The musicians perform on the terrace but can often be heard beyond it.

“You can always catch bits of the music wafting through the garden,” Fockele said.

Musicians performing this year include the Brenau Dancers, John Amoroso and Greg Hester.

Soft jazz isn’t the only soundtrack drifting through the garden during the summer nights.

“At 8:30, the tree frogs start, and you can barely hear your neighbor they’re so loud,” Fockele said with a laugh.

The event is rain or shine. In the case of rain, the event will move into the event hall and the outdoor terrace, which is partly covered.

This casual event averages an attendance of 125-150 visitors.

“People dress very casual and comfortable, so that they can stroll around the garden and sit outside,” Fockele said.

Fockele thinks this is great way to spend a cool evening.

“A group of teachers come for a break,” Fockele said. “It makes for a good girls’ night out.”

The garden also will host a Mother’s Day brunch May 14 for members. Talk of the Town is catering.

Garden members have access to exclusive events like this one, free and reduced admission prices to concerts and exhibitions, and unlimited admission into the garden for a year.

Benefits and prices vary depending on the type of membership. Several types include individual, dual and family memberships.

For more information or to purchase memberships, visit