The simplicity of twinkling white lights during the holidays may be enough to get some of us into the holiday mood. Then there’s the rainbow-hued, Noah’s Ark-size and over-the-top musical light performances from eager neighbors who secure spirit in the heartiest of Scrooges for an entire six weeks. Whatever you’re feeling, these holiday light displays will help to spread a little faith, hope and joy to you and your family this year.
Find a holiday light display near you in the list below or jump in the car for a festive road trip.
Holiday Light Displays in Connecticut
The Fantasy of Lights at Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven, a 25-year tradition, is a dazzling drive-through attraction with more than 100,000 lights and 60 animated displays. Rent a pair of 3D glasses for a next-level experience. Car/family van, $10.
The Stonington Lobster Trap Tree and Starry Lights are two magical large-scale art installations by local artists using recycled materials. Stroll the Walk of Wonder, a twinkling light trail from Wilcox Park in Westerly, R.I., to Donahue Park in Pawcatuck, Conn., for the full experience. Nov. 25-Jan. 9. Free.
Or find the biggest Christmas tree in the state at Glow Hartford in the Connecticut Convention Center. This dazzling, indoor holiday light display features one million lights in an interactive light garden, illuminated structures, a trackless “Glow-comotive” train and a visit with Santa. Nov. 18-Dec. 23. Adults (16-64), $29; children (6-16), $23.50; senior, military, veteran, police, EMS, $19.
Holiday Light Displays in Massachusetts
Dorchester’s Adams Street, in the Fields Corner neighborhood, is lit with a colorful spectacle of lights, including LED fireworks, blinking Christmas trees and flying angels, by the father-son team of Trong and Hoa Nguyen. Free.
On Concord Street in Wilmington, the Fiore family decorates their home with a custom-built town of sparkling lights so spectacular that it won the $50,000 first-place prize on ABC’s reality TV show “The Great Christmas Light Fight” in 2020. “The goal was to make an attraction for people to come make memories with their family,” said Charles Fiore. Free.
When it comes to Christmas lights in Massachusetts, Springfield’s annual Bright Nights at Forest Park is a drive-through extravaganza you don’t want to miss, featuring a Seuss Land section, as well as Hanukkah and Kwanzaa displays. Nov. 22-Jan. 1. Car/family van, $23.
Holiday Light Displays in New Jersey
Park on Briarwood Drive West in Warren, with only your parking lights on, and tune into 92.7 FM for Christmas in Warren’s music and lights performance. Its 13-year legacy of dancing lights, which are energy-efficient LED bulbs, is a true spectacle. Nightly through December, 5-10 p.m. Free.
Weber Family Lights, on Branton Drive in East Brunswick, also choreographs its light display to classic holiday music, so you’re sure to enjoy an entertaining 20-minute show. Dec. 1-Jan 1. Free.
Hop aboard a train ride through millions of lights in DiDonato’s Magical Holiday Express. Meet Santa and his elves in their workshop, share stories and chat with Mrs. Claus, and walk through a holiday village. Nov. 17-Dec. 23. $19.95-$24.95.
Holiday Light Displays in New York
Nearly one million lights, plus illuminated Santas and snowmen, brighten the Keeler Christmas Light Display on Luigi Road in Putnam Valley, which was also a Season 11 contender in “Great Christmas Light Fight.” Kids can leave a letter for Santa as they walk through or buy a T-shirt with proceeds donated to local charities. Nov. 25 through Christmas, 6-10 p.m. Free.
The LuminoCity Festival transforms the 12-acre Eisenhower Park in East Meadow into a shimmering winter wonderland each holiday season. This year’s Wonder Journey theme showcases large light installations in an immersive alfresco experience, including an “Alice in Wonderland” tea party and mushroom lounge, a mystical jellyfish forest and a butterfly grove. Nov. 9-Jan. 7. Adults, $36; kids (4-12) $24.
Holiday Light Displays in Rhode Island
The MacDonald family, on Ellery Road in Newport, has decorated their home for Halloween and Christmas for more than three decades. The walkable yard display features dozens of lit trees, dioramas featuring scenes from “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” and Santa’s workshop, as well as elves and Frosty the Snowman. Free.
Sparkling Lights at the Breakers has become an ongoing tradition at this Newport mansion, where thousands of lights, trees, a 50-foot lighted tunnel and even illuminated sailboats adorn the majestic mansion grounds. It’s one of the most magical light shows in New England. Adult, $40; child (6-17), $10, includes mansion entry. Reservations required.
Roger Williams Park Zoo, in Providence, has 3.5 million sparkly bulbs and nearly 100 structural elements in its Holiday Lights Spectacular. Starting in 2020 as a drive-through, the annual event has become a huge attraction that spans the zoo’s entire 40 acres. In the Wetlands Trail, visitors are completely immersed, with lights overhead and music playing. A surprising alien abduction of presents is new this year. “Every tree and bush in the rainforest area has lights on it,” said horticulture manager David Albaugh. “It’s so powerful to walk under the lights. They’re literally everywhere.” Nov. 24-Dec. 31. $12-$14.
Save on holiday events and attractions with AAA Tickets.
Did we forget your favorite holiday light display? Add yours to the list in the comments below.
Featured image: Courtesy of Roger Williams Park Zoo