The key to getting through the next few months? Learn to love winter. While every…
Great Christmas Light Displays in the US
I’m all about the Christmas lights.
The holidays are upon us. What better way to do so than checking out drive-thru light displays? Here are a handful from across the country. What am I missing? Share in the comments!
Elf on the Shelf Magical Journey
Where: Pomona, CA & Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
Come Christmas, there are two kinds of parents: The ones who really get into the Elf on the Shelf thing, creating elaborate schemes and scenes… and then there’s the rest of us. Either way, kids and adults alike will love LA’s all-new, one-of-a-kind immersive experience with The Elf on the Shelf’s Magical Holiday Journey. Check out the quest to build more Christmas Spirit, as you and your crew magically shrink down to elf size, enjoying a dazzling light spectacle with toy-repair workshops, gingerbread villages, and all the sights and sounds of the holidays.
Trail of Lights
Where: Austin, TX – Zilker Park
The 56th annual Trail of Lights celebration will be a drive-thru experience this year. It’s just as magical as ever, with two million lights, 90 lighted holiday trees, and more than 70 other holiday displays and lighted tunnels. You pay by the car load, with a few different ticket options available to best fit your needs (PS one includes Christmas cookies, so you know which one I’d be picking).
Fantasy of Lights
Where: Lighthouse Point Park – New Haven, CT
For 26 years, Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven hosts the Fantasy of Lights, an LED-fueled holiday extravaganza. In this drive-thru event, cars travel through more than a mile of colorful holiday lights. Each display is sponsored by a local area business, corporation, individual or organization. Entry ticket is per car, so pack up the minivan, stock up on snacks and hot cocoa, and let yourself be magically whisked away to a winter wonderland.
Lights on the Lake
Where: Liverpool, New York
Say hello to one of the largest and longest light displays in New York State! Lights on the Lake is a two-mile long drive-thru show featuring towering holiday displays, larger-than life Land of Oz, a twinkling fantasy forest, impressive colorful arches, animated scenes and a grand finale that I will not spoil for you. Set your radio to Sunny102 and let the Christmas carols fly.
GLOW Holiday Festival
Where: Minnesota State Fair Grounds – St Paul, MN
The Great Minnesota Get-Together gets a Holiday makeover in 2020. This experience features a one-mile route through the fairgrounds, which will be decked out with more than 1 million lights, a 100-foot illuminated tree, icicle and art installations, a gingerbread house and more. There’s a food court onsite, with a handful of delicious sweet and savory items.
The Holiday Fantasy of Lights
Where: Tradewinds Park – Coconut Creek, Florida
This year marks the 26th time Tradewinds Park morphs into a winter wonderland…well, as close as you can get to winter wonderland in the state of Florida. The park is decked in a fantasy of color, lights and design this holiday season. Drive through three miles of giant animated holiday displays and illuminated trees.
World of Illumination
Where: Six Flags in Marietta, Georgia,
2 more locations in Tempe, AZ and Glendale, AZ
Live near in the Atlanta area? You must’ve been good this year, because the World of Illumination, the world’s largest drive-through animated light show, is coming in as hot as Santa’s sleigh with a new holiday theme park called Candy Rush. Located at Six Flags White Water in Marietta, the Christmas and candy-themed attraction features millions of lights that are fully synchronized to popular holiday music. In addition to the RGB LED lights, which are customizable to up to 16 million different shades of color, World of Illumination’s Candy Rush also showcases hundreds of animated displays. When completed, it will be the largest candy-cane structure in the world.
Christmas in Color – 6 Locations!
Where: South Jordan, UT; Morrison, CO; Federal Height, CO; San Dimas, CA; Shakopee, MN; Garden City, ID
Dates: Vary by location
This one’s got it all– giant candy canes, snowmen, arched pathways… and 6 locations across the country. Drive through millions of lights perfectly synchronized to holiday music played right through your car’s radio. Take your time enjoying this lighting extravaganza, and be prepared to wipe smudges off the interior windows from everyone pressing their hands and faces to get a better look.
Where are you going to check out the holiday lights? Share in the comments!
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This Post Has 12 Comments
Festival of Lights in East Peoria IL.
I live not too far from Liverpool, NY and I have to agree that the Lights on the Lake Christmas display is wonderful and worth a trip. The grandkids love it!
Bright Nights in Forest Park in Springfield Massachusetts is a cool drive-through winter lighting experience that’s over 3 miles long and has welcomed over 6 million visitors since 1995.
Forest Park is a large (735 acre) forested urban park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted
Samantha – Here in the Detroit area, we’ve had two drive-thru light displays for years with more being created this year. You can check them out If you look for Downtown Rochester Lights and Wayne County Lightfest at Hines Park.
Love all your Places to Love episodes. Followed all of your recommendations on our trip to Key West last Spring.
Hope you and your family have a great holiday season.
Being a New Englander, you must check out Bright Nights in Springfield, MA!
Zoolights at the Phoenix Zoo has the best of both worlds ~ some nights are walk through (with cleaning and social distancing) and others are drive through. Absolutely terrific either way!
North Carolina Arboretum’s “Winter Lights” .
I remember in the 60s in So Cal. Santa Clause lane. There was a street with an island in the middle strechingbthe length and every house decorated to the teeth and the center showing the manger story. Every year.
This app offers self-guided driving tours of extra-festive holiday lights around town! Phoenix, Long Island, Plano, Durham, Miami and Bordentown ! We live in Durham and took the tour last night. Super fun for the kids, and low-stress for us.
Galaxy of Lights, Huntsville Botanical Gardens
Here’s one that I haven’t seen yet myself, but they’re advertising it all over. And for you worldly travelers, you don’t need a Plane, Train, or even TOLL to see them: Smiths Point, Long Island has a drive thru display.
LaSalette in Attleboro, MA And, it’s free.