Wichita on the Cheap

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Illuminations at Botanica Mini Holiday Village Display

Illuminations at Botanica, the Wichita Garden has been a family favorite for years. When you think of the holiday season you think of the ever-growing event of Illuminations. With over 2 million lights and national recognition by USA Today for Top Light Displays it is considered one of the best holiday shows in the country. Our community is proud to have this event in our city.

We all love the luminaries that line the sidewalks, the light shows that dance to music and the HUGE mega tree on the Grand Lawn, but in this article, we are going to dive into another new attraction. The Strong-Wallace mini-village is located in the Cottage next to the butterfly house. Randal is the creator and owner of this beautiful scene of a rustic village and train frozen in time.

Botanica mini village

A total of 218 structures, hundreds of figurines, an ocean, a river & mountains make up just a few of the details in this wonderful holiday display. Twenty-two city blocks and too many trees to count make this a family favorite to inspect every detail.

He had the display in his home, but the scale was getting larger and larger, and he wanted others to enjoy so he teamed up with Botanica starting in 2021. He started working in January 2022 spending around 10-15 hours a week working on this year’s display.

Randle Botanica

Photo of Randal. The owner and creator of this Holiday display 

Make sure to look at the moon with Santa flying over the village. No details were left out as he quite naturally had to have Rudolf leading the sled. “You can’t have a holiday village without Santa”, he said. Randal designed and created the illuminated moon, ocean, river, and mountains along with the stars that twinkle in the backdrop. Astronomers will be pleasantly surprised that the handmade moon has the same scale as the actual craters on the moon.

More information about Illuminations 

We asked Randal how he got started. He had a lovely story of his mother starting this display in the late 1900s and then passing along a lot of the structures to him in 2003. Randeal says it’s a “family affair”. His grand-nephew helped him move in all the supplies to Botanica and his husband helped finance and construct the protective plexiglass walls all for the community to enjoy. It takes him around 2 weeks to get the display set up.

Randal does this for the good of our community and he loves seeing the reaction of the guests. He is in the Cottage talking about the village most nights. Children and adults are truly wowed by this display. I think this year is extra special because he named it “Spillman Village” after my family. Before I owned Wichita on the Cheap, I was the Director of Special Events at Botanica and started this adventure with Randal as he brought this display to Illuminations. It is truly an honor to have something so special named after our family. Thanks to Randal for providing us and the community with this little piece of holiday cheer.

Winter Activity Checklist 

More information about Illuminations 


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