Tis the season for some festive light displays! With the holiday season fast approaching, there are countless light displays going up across the country. Is there anything better than seeing lit up Santa’s, trees and more while you walk around the streets in your warmest winter gear? Every city’s light displays are different, but magical and festive in their own way. Here’s my rundown of the top 8 festive light displays to see in the states.
Rockefeller Center, New York City
This is without a doubt, one of the most iconic festive light displays in the world. We’ve all seen it in countless movies – the plaza at New York’s Rockefeller Center. The scene with the ice rink and the huge Christmas tree towering above. The tree’s lights are lit in a ceremony on the first Wednesday in December. To make your visit to this light display even more memorable, why not go and see The Rockettes dance group around the corner at Radio City Music Hall. If you’re lucky, you might see one or two of the live camels used in their show out for a stroll!
How about taking a bus tour? Ranked TripAdvisor’s Number 1 New York Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours serve up the Big Apple in perfect slices. Hop on to capture panoramic views of icons like the Empire State Building and Brooklyn Bridge. Hop off at any Big Bus stop to discover New York’s famous neighborhoods and hidden gems. This bus is a great way to relax and enjoy the gorgeous lights and take pictures at your leisure.
Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, New York
If your looking for a great light display in the New York area but don’t want the hustle and bustle of Rockefeller, a great alternative to the glitz and crowds of the busiest festive light display in the world is in Brooklyn. This is a more family-friendly option if you want to see some fantastic festive light to get you in the Christmas spirit. Brooklyn neighborhoods have houses covered in Santa’s, nutcrackers and reindeer. It’s very worth the subway ride out of Manhattan.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
For a low-tech but beautiful nonetheless festive light display, check out Albuquerque’s Old Town district. With paper-bag lanterns edging the adobe walls, it’s quite magical to see a light display without the LED light! The nearly BioPark botanical gardens are strung with lights shaped like whales, pick-up trucks and giant creepy-crawlies! This really is a very unique festive light display.
37th Street, Austin, Texas
This street in the Texas state capitol first begin it’s one of a kind lighting tradition in the 1980’s with simple strings of lights hung across the road and the tradition has remained strong and grown in popularity. You’ll find everything from praying mantises to your classic reindeer lit up on this residential block. This is probably one of the most creative festive light displays in the states. Austin is always Keeping it Weird.
Miracle 34th Street, Baltimore, Maryland
You absolutely can’t afford to miss seeing the festive lights in Hampden, Maryland if you’re in Baltimore. This is a must see light display for anyone who’s local to the area or within driving distance. This is a light show with a homey atmosphere and of course, it’s called the Miracle on 34th Street! The lights cover several blocks of old row homes and attracts families from all over the east coast to marvel at the sparkling, festive lights.
Koziar’s Christmas Village, Bernville, Pennsylvania
Who doesn’t love a trip to a good ol’ winter wonderland during the festive season? If you’re one for going all out in a winter paradise, then you need to get yourself on down to rural Pennsylvania. Here you’ll find one of the best winter wonderlands in the states. This installation grew from one man’s house in 1948 to what it is today. An illuminated festive display complete with model trains, elaborate dioramas, Santa’s Post Office and an old-fashioned bakery.
Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Disney World is a magical place to visit all year round, but during the Christmas period, Mickey and Minnie take it to a whole new level, which should come as no surprise! The Mouse spares no expense on holiday decoration at Christmas time. Disney World installs more than five million choreographed lights on New York Street. There are so many fun things to do here during the festive season to get you in the Christmas spirit. You can explore festive traditions around the world at Epcot, and hear the nativity story during a candlelit procession with a fifty-piece orchestra and a choir. All sprinkled, of course, with artificial snow (and fairy dust!).
Silver Dollar City, Branson, Missouri
This major theme park in the Midwest sees hundreds of thousands of people flock here every year. It is a particularly popular destination during the holiday season. This theme park ALMOST rivals Disney when it comes to lighting! The entire theme park lights up for its “Old Time Christmas” celebrations. The best place to see the display is from the top of the massive wooden roller coaster. You can also enjoy the nightly parade with illuminated floats while you eat a hot apple dumpling and seasonal cinnamon ice cream! This is a great place to see a Christmas light display and have all round festive fun!
This time of year, it would be hard to avoid LED lights even if you tried! Nothing says Christmas more than a street lit up with festive characters, families and friends walking around marveling at the spectacle and sipping on hot chocolate. The season is so close, I can almost taste it! The festive season wouldn’t be complete without seeing a holiday light display or two. If you in any of these areas, be sure to check out their must-see sights.
From the iconic Rockefeller display to small, homey and rustic towns like Albuquerque, light shows are enjoyed by everyone this time of year. Be sure to wrap up warm, take your loved ones, get some great holiday pictures and tuck into a nice warm treat while you marvel at the beauty.