There’s nothing like a magical light display to put you in the holiday spirit! It’s time to bundle up, fill your mugs with hot chocolate, and take a ride or stroll through one of these dreamy winter wonderlands. These are the best places to see holiday lights in the U.S.
1. Enchant Christmas – Washington, D.C.
Dubbed the “World’s Largest Christmas Light Maze,” Enchant Christmas is making its East Coast debut in 2019. Located at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. (yes, a baseball field!), this new holiday light display is an immersive experience that’s fun for all ages. Walk past 80-foot-tall Christmas trees and larger-than-life angels and ornaments as you make your way through this unique attraction. Enchant has two other U.S. ballpark locations in 2019: Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, and T-Mobile Park in Seattle, Washington.
Recommended Hotel: Willard InterContinental Washington
2. Snowflake Lane – Bellevue, WA
Just outside of Seattle, the city of Bellevue is transformed into Snowflake Lane for the holiday season. This free-admission event—a gift to the community from the Kemper Freeman family and The Bellevue Collection—takes place nightly from late-November to Christmas Eve. The event features a parade of snow princesses, music (including sing-alongs), and beautiful light displays.
Recommended Hotel: Residence Inn Seattle Bellevue/Downtown
3. Koziar’s Christmas Village – Bernville, PA
Barns and buildings covered in more than one million dazzling lights are just one of the highlights at Koziar’s Christmas Village, a holiday favorite in Pennsylvania. Family-owned and operated for more than 70 years, Koziar’s Christmas Village also features a toy shop, old-fashioned bakery, kissing bridge, visits with Santa Claus and more.
Recommended Hotel: Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Reading
4. Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival – Gulfport, MS
In Gulfport, Mississippi, Jones Harbor transforms into a winter wonderland with 50-foot dancing trees, rides, and 1.5 million twinkling lights. Sip hot cocoa on your way through Santa’s Village, where the kids can get their photo taken with Santa; photos are complimentary with admission. Fun Fact: If Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival looks familiar, you probably recognize it from Lifetime’s Christmas in Mississippi.
Recommended Hotel: Wingate by Wyndham Gulfport
5. Dyker Heights – Brooklyn, NY
After you’ve had your fill of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and other bucket list holiday experiences in New York City, make your way out to Dyker Heights, a Brooklyn neighborhood that goes OVER. THE. TOP. for the winter holidays. Homeowners and professional decorators work together to bedeck the neighborhood with lights, snowmen, candy canes, and the like for an awe-inspiring display you won’t find anywhere else in the U.S. Tour the neighborhood on your own—in your car or by foot—or take a guided bus tour with A Slice of Brooklyn or a walking tour with Free Tours by Foot.
Recommended Hotel: BEST WESTERN PLUS Brooklyn Bay Hotel
6. Moody Gardens – Galveston, TX
Galveston’s Moody Gardens hosts Festival of Lights, the Gulf Coast’s largest holiday light show. It features more than 100 million twinkling lights, an outdoor ice skating rink, an Arctic Ice Slide, and visits and pictures with Santa Claus. A special Festival of Lights Buffet is offered each night (except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day) at the Garden Restaurant.
Recommended Hotel: Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa & Convention Center
7. Magical Nights of Lights – Buford, GA
Visitors across the Southeast rave about the Magical Nights of Lights, a 7-mile winter wonderland hosted by Margaritaville at Lanier Islands! Tune your radios to the local holiday station as you drive through animated and festive light displays. Next, stop at License to Chill Snow Island to enjoy live entertainment, roast marshmallows, sip hot cocoa, go on carnival rides, meet Santa Claus, and even go snow tubing!
Recommended Hotel: Legacy Lodge & Conference Center
8. Grand Illumination – Williamsburg, VA
One of our favorite places to get in the holiday spirit is Colonial Williamsburg. Each year, the historic attraction hosts Grand Illumination, an event that features three marvelous fireworks displays. Stroll through town to enjoy festive decorations, musical performances, and more.
Recommended Hotel: Kingsmill Resort & Spa
9. Austin Trail of Lights – Austin, TX
Austin’s Zilker Park becomes the walk-through Austin Trail of Lights every December, showcasing two million lights, 90 holiday trees, 70-plus holiday displays, and nightly entertainment. In 2019, this annual tradition turns 55 years old!
Recommended Hotel: Hyatt Regency Austin
10. Hershey Sweet Lights – Hershey, PA
Hershey turns an ordinary evening drive into a sweet adventure with Hershey Sweet Lights, a 2-mile drive-through wonderland featuring nearly 600 animated and illuminated displays. After the tour, stroll Hersheypark Christmas Candylane to visit Hershey characters and Santa and his (real!) reindeer, all beneath four million twinkling lights. You can also enjoy roller coasters and rides at this festive theme park, including a gondola-style ride over the NOEL light show, choreographed with holiday music.
Recommended Hotel: Hotel Hershey
11. Magic of Lights Holiday Display at Daytona International Speedway – Daytona, FL
Did you know Daytona International Speedway transforms into a winter wonderland for the holidays? Pack up the kids for the Magic of Lights drive-through experience that includes the Enchanting Tunnel of Lights, 12 Days of Christmas, Snowflake Forest and, new for 2019, S’Elfie Tunnel, an out-of-car-experience where you can—you guessed it—take selfies! Refreshments will also be served at this year’s event.
Recommended Hotel: BEST WESTERN International Speedway Hotel