Best Christmas Light Displays Across the Country
It’s well worth traveling to see these stunning set-ups that would make Clark Griswold proud..
There’s something so wonderful about Christmas light displays. Maybe it’s the way they sparkle in the night, making ordinary buildings and trees look downright magical. Or perhaps it’s because when those shimmering strands of bulbs go up it means that Christmas day is almost here, bringing with it thoughtful gifts, delicious food, and so many fun activities to share with friends and family. No matter the reason, we love Christmas lights—especially when we don’t have to hang them ourselves! Luckily, there are amazing holiday light shows all over the country, just waiting for families to explore.
So, why not begin a brand new Christmas tradition and take a trip to see one of the best Christmas light displays near you? We’ve found tracked down the prettiest ones from Washington state to Florida, so you probably won’t have to travel too far to check out at least one. Our list also contains all kinds of holiday displays, from light shows in botanical gardens that stretch across acres (hello, Denver!) to entire neighborhoods decked out in tacky Christmas lights (we see you, Richmond!). There are even exhibits on race courses like the Daytona International Speedway and in amusement parks such as Silver Dollar City. Read on to find out more about the best Christmas light displays in the United States!
Long regarded as offering one of the best Christmas light displays in the nation, Branson’s 1880’s-style theme park Silver Dollar City will be decked out in a whopping 6.5 million lights for its Old Time Christmas festival this season. Branson also boasts more than 1,500 Christmas trees, including a new community tree sure to dazzle with nearly 10,000 genuine cut crystals and more than 20,000 lights.
For all things feet, you can never go wrong with Gold Bond. This one is great for callous-heavy feeThere may be no other small town as lovely at Christmas as historic Natchitoches, which has been producing its Christmas Festival of Lights for an astounding 95 years. For 45 big nights, Natchitoches glistens with 300,000 lights and 100 set pieces, while dishing out special celebrations aplenty, like the all-day Christmas Festival with its Mardi Gras-like Festival of Lights Parade..
Double the holiday fun when you’re in the Mile High City by visiting two Denver Botanic Gardens displays: Blossoms of Light at the York Street location and Trail of Lights at Chatfield Farms in Littleton. The former focuses on fanciful light creations, including great glowing globes filling water features. The latter takes visitors on a one-mile stroll through light tunnels, singing Christmas trees, and more.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Founded in 1997 as a fundraiser for ABQ BioPark (a consortium that includes four separate facilities, including the city’s aquarium, zoo, and botanic garden), Albuquerque’s River of Lights has grown to feature millions of lights and 600 holiday displays. Now the biggest walk-through holiday light production in New Mexico, it still raises money for ABQ BioPark projects.
Daytona Beach, Florida
Put the pedal to the metal and get over to the legendary Daytona International Speedway for Magic of Lights, one of the nation’s finest Christmas light displays. During this thrilling 1.5 mile drive-through extravaganza, more than one million lights and high-tech digital animation help recreate beloved holiday characters and scenes, such as Joy to the World, 12 Days of Christmas, and Snowflake Forest.