The 15 Most Spectacular Holiday Light Displays in the U.S.
“The River of Lights,” Albuquerque
Each year, the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden hosts the River of Lights — New Mexico’s largest walk-through light show. Experience millions of sparkling lights, a synchronized music light show, more than 400 glowing light displays, and animated sculptures.
“Lights on the Bay,” Annapolis, Md.
Head to Sandy Point State Park and take a scenic drive along the shore of the Chesapeake Bay for this incredible drive-through holiday light show. It features more than 60 animated and stationary displays. The show will run from Nov. 22 through Jan. 1 from 5 to 10 p.m. nightly.
“Holiday Festival of Lights,” Charleston, S.C.
Millions of multicolored lights will shine bright in the sky at James Island Park for the Holiday Festival of Lights from Nov. 11 through Jan. 1. Journey through three miles of more than 700 light displays. USA Today named this display one of the “10 Best Light Shows in America.”
“Trail of Lights,” Austin
With four magic tunnels, 40 displays, 2 million lights, food, music, and a 55-foot tree, it’s no wonder the Trail of Lights made the list. Decorate your own tree along the trail or become a trailblazer by adopting one of the Trail of Lights iconic displays.
“Wild Lights Festival,” Palm Desert, Calif.
Admire more than a million twinkling lights at the 24th Annual WildLights festival from Nov. 25 through Dec. 24. Explore newly added pathways with holiday lights and luminescent animal lanterns. Bring the kids to visit Santa and enjoy live entertainment, carousel rides, and arts and crafts.
“Circle of Lights,” Indianapolis
More than 100,000 people gather on Monument Circle the Friday after Thanksgiving to participate in the Circle of Lights. The 4,784 lights strung from the Indiana Soldiers and Sailors Monument will leave you breathless. This display continues through early January.
“Lights of Dyker Heights,” Brooklyn
When many of us think about Holiday Lights in New York City, we usually think about Rockefeller Center, but the truth is that Dyker Heights Brooklyn goes over and beyond. Home-owners participate in an unspoken competition for the most lavish holiday light display. Walk through Dyker Heights or drive through in your car to experience the joy.
“Fantasy of Lights,” Pine Mountain, Ga.
Located in Pine Mountain is the famous Callaway Gardens. Visit during the winter months for a chance to experience the Fantasy in Lights holiday lights and sound show. Admire glimmering lights, watch fireworks, visit the Christmas Village for photos with Santa, and bring the kids to an hour of storytelling and Christmas carols with Mrs. Claus.
“Hershey Sweet Lights,” Hershey, Pa.
Enjoy this incredible light display from the comfort of your own car. This two-mile ride will have you passing by nearly 600 illuminated displays. The holiday drive-through spectacular is open nightly from Nov. 11 through Jan. 1.
“Gardens Aglow,” Coastal Main Botanical Gardens, Maine
Visit the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens to experience the largest light display in Maine: Gardens Aglow. Experience more than 350,000 LED lights that decorate the central gardens and buildings. The display will be held from Nov. 18 through Dec. 31, Thursdays through Sundays from 4 to 9 p.m.
“Glittering Lights,” Las Vegas
This is a two-and-a-half-mile drive-through LED glittering course with sounds and vibrant colors that are sure to put you in the holiday spirit. View more than 3 million lights and about 500 animated exhibitions. More than 2.2 million people have visited the display over the past 15 years, and 190,000 people visit annually.
“Lights on the Lake,” Liverpool, N.Y
Head to Onondaga Lake Park for a two-mile-long drive-through holiday light show. Explore the twinkling fantasy forest, animated scenes, a colorful section of arches, and a fairytale magic grand finale. The show will run from Nov. 16 through Jan. 8, from 5-10 p.m. nightly.
“Nights of Lights,” St. Augustine, Fla.
Make your way over to 1 Cathedral Street for this dazzling holiday display. The historic district of St. Augustine hosts an award-winning display that features approximately 3 million lights. The display will run from Nov. 19 to Jan. 31.
“Bentleyville,” Duluth, Minn.
Stroll under the sparkles of more than 4 million lights in a 20-acre park set on the shores of Lake Superior at one of America’s largest, free, walk-through lighting displays. Take photos with Rudolph, visit Santa, roast marshmallows, eat cookies, and drink hot cocoa. The display will run from Nov. 19 through Dec. 26.
“Festival of Lights,” Galveston Island, Texas
The 15th Annual Festival of Lights is one of the largest holiday celebrations in this region. Admire more than 1 million lights within 100 sound-enhanced animated light displays. Listen to live entertainment nightly, take photos with Santa, and skate around the areas only outdoor skating rink. The festival will run from Nov. 12 through Jan. 8.