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WildWoods: AGLOW Frequently Asked Questions

For questions regarding WildWoods: AGLOW, please see our Frequently Asked Questions below. For further questions, feel free to contact

Q. Is WildWoods: AGLOW family-friendly?
A. Yes. This is an experience that children, adults and seniors will enjoy. Please note: Once a month, WildWoods: AGLOW coincides with Fernbank After Dark, when it will be offered to ages 21 and over only on  Nov. 10 and Dec. 8, 2023; and Jan. 12 and Feb. 9, 2024.

Q. Will we learn anything or is this only entertainment?
A. Yes, you will learn and be entertained! Everything in WildWoods: AGLOW was created based on the science of the natural environment in WildWoods.

WildWoods: AGLOW is a story of the connections and hidden stories of nature. Often, we don’t see these connections because they’re underground, they may be chemical, or they happen when we’re not around. All plant and animal species included in WildWoods: AGLOW are native species that we find in WildWoods and Fernbank Forest. They may be reclusive, nocturnal, or live in a habitat we don’t or can’t visit.

  • Seeds – We start with the seed of a tulip poplar tree. Seeds can represent hope, potential, and endless possibilities. When the conditions are just right, this seed has the potential to become the tallest tree in WildWoods.
  • Habitats – The curious animations featured here are native plant and animal species. You’ll see some well-known characters like a chipmunk or a pileated woodpecker, as well as some more timid residents of the forest, like spotted salamanders. You’ll also see some surprising plants, like the little sweet Betsy trillium, which is only found in healthy, rich environments like at Fernbank
  • Roots – The dynamic root network experience showcases that roots connect the living with the non-living, taking up water and nutrients from the soil and transporting them into and up a plant and also help maintain an ecosystem by preventing erosion and participating in an underground network of communication highways across species.
  • Mushrooms – Mushrooms wear many caps, literally and figuratively speaking. They are just one small part of the much larger body of the fungus to which they belong. The rest of the fungus lies below the surface, be it soil or a log, and reaches out with long, slender filaments called mycelia, which absorb nutrients from the surrounding environment and “move” the mushroom from one spot to another. In this regard, they wear the hat of decomposers and undertakers. They are a vital part of the “forest cleanup crew,” breaking down dead organic matter and producing nutrient-rich soil. They also participate in the underground communication highway network between plants. Mycelia reach from one plant to another, and parties all share water and nutrient resources as well as communicate with each other using chemical signals. This is called the mycorrhizal network, and fungi wear the hat of chauffer. The singing mushrooms represent how this communication could sound if we were able to hear it.
  • Bloom – Guests end the experience with a climactic panorama of blooming lights, representing the flourishing of a healthy ecosystem when all parts are working together. This dazzling display of flowers is also our connection back to the seed, the bridge between one generation and the next.      

Q. Is this a holiday lights experience?  
A. WildWoods: AGLOW is an outdoor nature-themed experience within WildWoods. It is not “holiday themed” but does include beautiful glowing scenes, interactive experiences, nature-inspired music compositions and Instagram-worthy photo ops that reveal the beauty of nature — from nocturnal animals to blooming flowers and from glowing mushrooms to growing trees.

If you are interested in holiday displays, you can find our holiday-themed indoor exhibit, Winter Wonderland, inside the museum from late November through early January. Included with WildWoods: AGLOW admission, Winter Wonderland highlights cultures, traditions and celebrations from around the world through decorated displays, including holiday trees and object cases.

Q. Are strollers permitted?
A. Strollers are permitted but not encouraged due to some areas of uneven terrain and steps. Strollers should use the marked alternate routes in those areas to maintain accessibility, which may require you to retrace the previous path.

Q. How do the timed tickets work?
A. Timed tickets allow guests to select a specific date and entry time for their visit to provide an enjoyable experience with minimal crowding.  Your ticket grants you admission until the experience closes at 10 p.m. Tickets are not timed for Fernbank After Dark.

Q. How do I enter WildWoods: AGLOW?
A. Please enter through the museum entrance and proceed to Admissions to have your ticket(s) scanned, then proceed down one floor (to the Lower Level) for access to WildWoods: AGLOW, the special exhibition and the giant screen theater. An elevator is available for those who need it.

Q. Are discounted tickets offered to members?
A. Yes! Members receive discounts when purchased using their membership. Purchase tickets online to receive the best price. General admission member passes are not valid for WildWoods: AGLOW.

Q. Can I purchase tickets at the door?
A. We recommend that you purchase online tickets in advance. A limited number of tickets may be available at the Box Office if they are not sold out. Tickets purchased over the phone or in person will not receive the discounted online price and are higher ($4 extra over the phone or $2 extra onsite). 

Q. How long should I expect to spend touring the experience?
A. Guests are encouraged to tour the experience at their own pace. Please allow approximately 30-45 minutes to enjoy the sights and sounds of WildWoods: AGLOW, 25-30 minutes for the movie, and another 30-45 minutes for the special exhibition. We also invite you to enjoy the AGLOW Lounge in the Great Hall, where snacks and beverages (including beer, wine and canned cocktails) are available for purchase. 

Q. Will the Museum Store be open during WildWoods: AGLOW?
A. Yes. The main Museum Store will be open. If the weather catches you by surprise, check out our cold weather and rain gear. Please remember Fernbank is a cashless facility. Credit and debit cards only.

Q. Does this ticket include access to museum exhibits, Fernbank Forest and films?
A. Your ticket to WildWoods: AGLOW includes admission to the film Fungi: Web of Life in the Giant Screen Theater, PLUS seasonal special exhibits (Vikings: Warriors of the Sea through Jan. 1; Winter Wonderland from Nov. 18 - Jan. 7; and Spiders - From Fear to Fascination starting Feb. 10). Other exhibits and Fernbank Forest will not be available.

Q. What if it rains or there are other weather events?
A. WildWoods: AGLOW is an outdoor experience offered rain or shine. If rain is in the forecast, please bring an umbrella or rain gear. We also sell items such as rain gear, warm hats, sweatshirts and more in the Museum Store. You can also enjoy the indoor experiences that are included rain or shine!

Fernbank reserves the right to cancel or close this experience due to unsafe weather conditions, including but not limited to lightning, ice, strong winds or power loss. We will email ticket holders who purchased online in the event of a cancellation or delay.

Q. Will food and beverages be available for purchase?
A. Light snacks and beverages, including adult libations and hot chocolate, will be available for purchase.  Debit and credit cards only.

Q. Can I touch or interact with the light displays?
A. Many areas of WildWoods: AGLOW react to visitors’ actions without the need to touch the interactive components. Please do not climb on, touch or push the displays.

Q. Is this experience featured in Fernbank Forest?
A. This experience is offered in WildWoods, the 10 acres of woodlands immediately behind the museum. It does not impact or take place in Fernbank Forest, which will not be open during WildWoods: AGLOW.

Q. Will this experience impact wildlife?
A. We considered this when designing WildWoods: AGLOW. We have worked extensively with our education team (including our experts in wildlife ecology and ecology) to ensure that this does not increase our footprint of activity in WildWoods and does not impact Fernbank Forest. The experience is scheduled during fall/winter months, so light does not have the same effect as in summer months when many animals, especially insects, which are most affected by light, are highly active. Also, we are using existing infrastructure by leveraging and tapping into existing paths, structures, electricity, etc. Fernbank approached this project with a respect and appreciation for the land, nature and habitats. Our ecologist guides recommendations for any project to avoid critical root zones, minimize environmental impact and conserve our living collections.