I know, I'm not supposed to call it Mount Annan Botanic Gardens anymore. It's now the Australian Botanic Garden. Why the name change, I really don't know but anyway it's been a favourite venue of ours for many years, even before the entry fee was abolished.
However, we hadn't attended the annual Landcom Carols in the Garden event before this year due to clashes with other events. Our calendar was free last Saturday night, and the rain promised to hold off for the evening, so we packed up the picnic rug and headed down. We arrived at around 5.15 ready for the show kick-off advertised to start at 5.30. The garden was already packed - you have to get there early to get a spot in front of the stage - and people continued to arrive for the next couple of hours.
We took a picnic dinner but there were plenty of stalls available selling food and drink. The older kids took off for a game of soccer. The younger kids were entertained by dancers from Commotion , a local performing arts school, and the Smurfs Christmas Show. Following that were many talented singers supported by a 4-piece band. The night culminated in a spectacular fireworks show.
Despite the huge number of people - apparently the biggest ever, according to host Monica Trapaga - getting out at the end of the evening wasn't too big of a challenge, helped by the new entrance/exit on Narellan Road.
We'll no doubt be visiting the gardens again over these school hols and we'll definitely be making room in our calendar for the carols next year.