Do you love the bright lights and intricate displays of Christmas? If so, you should make it a habit to explore some of the best Christmas light displays in the country. Whether you travel ten hours or ten minutes to see a display, you won’t be disappointed. Check out one of these displays for a winter night you won’t forget.
The Best Christmas Light Displays in the United States
WildLights at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
Located in Palm Desert, California, this display is worth the drive. With over one million lights on display, this show is quite impressive. There are light animals, delicious food, and live entertainment. The light tunnel is one of the most popular attractions.
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington DC is home to this one of the best Christmas light displays in the United States. In the display, there are over 500,000 LED lights.
River of Lights
ABQ BioPark Botanical Garden is in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In addition to being a fun place to visit, it’s also home to the River of Lights. The walk-through light show displays amazing underwater life and animals.
Austin Trail of Lights
This light display celebrates the community of Austin, TX but welcomes visitors. If you visit the Zilker Metropolitan Park for the event, you’ll be one of the 400,000 annual visitors to experience Austin’s best music, food, creativity and beauty each year.
Hershey Park’s Sweet Lights
Hershey, Pennsylvania isn’t only home to tasty candy bars. It’s also home to one of the best Christmas light displays. As you drive through Hershey Park, you’ll see more than 600 light displays, many of which are animated.
Oglebay Winter Festival of Lights
If you’re near Wheeling, West Virginia, you can see this incredible display. You can drive a six mile route to see over one million lights. There are tunnels, displays, and much more.
Illumination at Morton Arboretum
The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois has a walking tour of lights. Over a mile long, the tour takes you through 50 acres of music, projections, and lights.
Enchanted: Forest of Light
In La Cañada Flintridge, California, the oak trees aren’t the only thing that’s famous. The city’s light show is also renowned, and for good reason. The walking exhibit takes you on a walk through the Descanso Gardens, where there are larger-than-life displays.
Garden Lights, Holiday Nights
If you’re anywhere near Atlanta, you should consider making the drive to the Botanical Gardens for the Garden Lights display. It’s one of the best Christmas light displays for its experiences, like the Orchestral Orbs.
Moody Gardens’ Festival of Lights
Galveston, Texas is the birthplace of this light show. Located on the Moody Gardens property, this light show takes you on a mile long trail. It also gives you great views of Galveston Bay.
Although Theodore, Alabama might not be on your radar, it should be. The city is home to the Magic Christmas Lights at Bellingrath Gardens. There are over there million lights in this incredible display.
Glendale is where you’ll find this display. As one of the best Christmas light displays, it features performances, food, and the largest free light show in Arizona.
Garvan Woodland Gardens
For an animated light show in Arkansas, head to the Garvan Woodland Gardens. There are 18 acres of bright lights, an animated light show, and an ice palace. It takes place in Hot Springs National Park.
Mission Inn Festival of Lights
Located near LA, the Mission Inn has a stunning light display. The hotel resembles a castle and is covered in more than five million lights. If you stick around for the fireworks, you’ll make permanent memories.
Blossoms of Light at Denver Botanic Gardens
Around Christmastime, the Blossoms of Light display lights up the Denver Botanic Gardens. With bright and bold displays, the interactive display is like something out of Alice in Wonderland.
St. Augustine Nights of Lights
The city of At. Augustine goes all out for Christmas. The buildings in the city are draped in white lights, and there are special holiday events throughout the season.
Fantasy in Lights
The Callaway Resort & Gardens in Georgia is home to the Fantasy in Light Show. With over 2,500 acres, the location features a Christmas Village and a magical trolley ride.
Honolulu City Lights
For a whole month, the city of Honolulu hosts a light display. Everything kicks off with an incredible electric light parade and a tree lighting. If you can’t make it to Honolulu this year, you can relive the magic in a one-hour video of the 2019 city parade.
Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
In Chicago, the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival inspires wonder. Just as the name leads you to believe, the event features a mile of wonder-inspiring lights.
Lincoln Park Zoo Lights
At the Lincoln Park Zoo in Illinois, there are more than 2.5 million lights when the holidays approach. In addition to the light displays, you can enjoy a light maze.
Santa Claus, Indiana Christmas Lights Display
The town of Santa Claus celebrates Christmas in a big way. For three weeks in December, the town is home to 1.2 miles of holiday lights. You can drive through the streets and watch the story of Rudolph come to life.
Jolly Holiday Lights
Iowa is home to Adventureland Resorts, which features over 2.5 miles of lights and at least 100 light displays. Although you need to pay to see the spectacle, the money goes to a good cause.
Holiday Trail of Lights
Instead of being in one city, this trail of lights takes you through eight towns in Louisiana. Out of all towns, perhaps the most incredible is Natchitoches. There are scenes on the water as well as fireworks and carriage tours.
Gardens Aglow at Coastal Maine Botanical Garden
Located in Maine, the botanical garden has an annual light show that’s more than memorable. The trees, sculptures, and shrubs all transform into light-up exhibits.
Miracle on 34th Street
On 34th street in Baltimore, there’s a holiday display that could make the Grinch smile. The Hampden neighborhood doesn’t miss anything and decorates houses, trees, and even hubcaps.
The Big Bright Light Show
Another light display in Michigan, the Big Bright Light Show is in downtown Rochester. The whole city gets covered in lights and transforms into a rainbow.
At the Detroit Zoo, the Wild Lights display is sure to impress. There are over 5 million lights shining on trees, buildings, and sculptures. If you want to make a night of it, check out the ice skating rink.
Bentleyville Tour of Lights
The largest free walk-through light display in the U.S, Bentleyville has over 5 million lights. It’s located in Duluth and offers beautiful views of Lake Superior. You can also enjoy complimentary hot cocoa and snacks as you walk through the display.
Silver Dollar City
This theme park in Branson, Missouri has some awe-inspiring Christmas lights. The park uses over 6.5 million lights to wow guests. Every night of the holiday season, there’s a Christmas parade.
Omaha Holiday Lights Festival
In Omaha, everyone decorates for the holidays. The 40 blocks of downtown Omaha light up, and celebrations ensue. If you want to be surrounded by lights, Omaha is the place to be.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s Glittering Lights
While Las Vegas itself is a beacon of light all year, the Las Vegas Motor Speedway outshines the strip during the holidays. Drive your own vehicle on the speedway and check out the millions of lights. If you don’t feel like driving, take the Santa Tram.
Dyker Heights is a neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY. The whole neighborhood participates in the winter festivities. As you walk around the neighborhood, you’ll see all sorts of Christmas decorations.
McAdenville, North Carolina is also known as Christmas Town USA. Although there are under one million lights in the display, there’s much more to the holiday display than the lights. There are bows, wreaths, and plenty of charm.
Legendary Lights of Historic Clifton Mill
Located in Ohio, Clifton Mill celebrates Christmas in a big way. The venue is always covered in over four million lights. There’s also a 100 foot waterfall of lights and a miniature Santa village.
Peacocks like to show off their feathers, and Peacock Lane in Portland, Oregon models itself after the animal. Residents on this street decorate their homes proudly. With dazzling lights, inflatables, and trees, this street is like nowhere else. You can walk the streets or drive around.
Koziar’s Christmas Village
The town of Bernville, PA is home to Koziar’s Christmas Village, a place to witness over one million lights. As you view the lights, be sure to check out the bakery and toy shop. You can even write a letter to Santa and the Christmas post shop.
Holiday Festival of Lights
Whatever time of year it may be, James Island is beautiful. But during the winter season, it’s particularly stunning. This is one of the best Christmas light displays for its three miles of lights and displays. As you drive through it, you can listen to Christmas music on the local radio station.
Cheekwood Holiday LIGHTS
In Nashville, the Holiday LIGHTS display spreads joy to people from all over the country. There are over one million lights throughout the Cheekwood Estates and Gardens.
Tacky Light Tour
Richmond, VA is home to several amazing light displays. To make it easier for people to find those displays, a local newspaper always compiles a list of the best homes in the city. This list is known as the Tacky Light Tour. Drive around and check out some of the most intricate displays in Richmond.
The Lights of Christmas
The festival takes place in Washington and features an incredible light display. With six themed areas, the festival has more lights than you can imagine.
Winter Solstice Celebration
In the summer, Fairbanks, Alaska doesn’t see much darkness. And in the winter, the dark skies are illuminated with the lights of the Winter Solstice Celebration. The festival features light displays, music, and more.
Fantasy of Lights
Every holiday season, New Haven, CT hosts the Fantasy of Lights Festival. This event has some of the best Christmas lights. With over 100,000 lights, the event has a lot to look at.
Which Christmas light displays are on your bucket list? Make your holiday season something exceptional when you visit one of the best Christmas light displays in the United States. If you have any to add to the list, comment below.