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Top Holiday Light Shows in the U.S.

The holidays are right around the corner, which means that you’re going to be spending a lot of time with family and friends. If you’re looking for a beautiful and outdoor way to get into the holiday spirit, a local light show might be just the ticket. Here are seven light shows that you can visit this season. 

ZooLights Oregon Zoo, Oregon

November 19, 2023 – January 7, 2024

Known as Oregon’s most popular holiday tradition, ZooLights is a beautiful display of over one million lights. Walk through beautiful tunnels of light and take a ride through the grounds on the Zoo train to see the beautiful, colorful animal-themed light shows. Kids and adults agree that the ZooLights show at the Oregon Zoo is a fun way to ring in the holiday season. This year, they’re even adding a spontaneous ticket that you can buy ahead of time and use whenever you want. Looking for a more adult-centric night out? Take part in the special ZooLight Brew Lights on November 17 from 5-10 PM.

Night of Lights, Florida

November 18, 2023 – January 28, 2024

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Image by Visit St. Augustine

Located in beautiful St. Augustine, Florida, the Night of Lights is a more tropical take on a Merry Christmas. This year is going to be even more special because it is the 30th Anniversary of the Night of Lights in this beautiful beach town. Flagler College and the Lightner Museum put on some of the most elaborate displays as part of the celebration. During the Night of Lights, businesses, shops, and restaurants stay open later for a fun night of shopping and dining under the lights. Take advantage of the trains and trolley tours that are offered for an opportunity to see as many of the displays as possible. The lights begin at 4 PM every night.

Village of Lights and Christmastown, Washington

Village of Lights is available every night from November until February, Christmastown is open from November 24, 2023 – December 24, 2023

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Image by Leavenworth.org

Have you ever wanted to star in a Hallmark movie? We can’t guarantee that there’ll be any hometown hotties to teach you the meaning of Christmas when you visit the Village of Lights and Christmastown, but at least the scenery will be just as beautiful as the set of those cheesy movies. Chirstmastown offers a variety of activities including, pictures with Santa and live entertainment. Take in the beautiful scenery in gorgeous Washington state while you shop and build gingerbread houses with your friends and family.

An Old Time Christmas at Silver Dollar City, Missouri

November 4, 2023 – December 30, 2023

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Image by Silver Dollar City

As a five-time winner of the Best Theme Park Holiday Event in USA Today, An Old Time Christmas has a whopping 6.5 million lights set up throughout its theme park, and several holiday-themed shows that will bring joy to all who visit. Take a ride on their fully decked out Sing-Along Steam Train, or watch Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Christmas Light Parade and say hi to the famous reindeer and all of his friends. Oh, and did we mention the specialty holiday foods that are only available at this time of year? You’ll want to pick up the cinnamon-sugar churro and choose from chocolate or peppermint dippings.

Holiday Light Safari at Hollywild, South Carolina

November 17, 2023 – December 31, 2023

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Image by Magic of Lights

What could be better than a light show? A light show where you can feed the animals afterward, obviously. With over 300 endangered animals in their care, Hollywild begins your adventure with a fun winter wonderland drive-thru light show. At the end of the light show, you have the opportunity to feed the animals–including a zebra. I got to go to Hollywild a few years ago and like it says in the name, it truly was wild, but it was also a lot of fun.

Gardens Aglow at Coastal Maine Botanical Garden, Maine

November 18, 2023 – December 31, 2023

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Image by Maiden Botanical Gardens

Gardens Aglow is coming back for its ninth year at the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden. This light show has been called magical, and with good reason. With 750,000 LED lights displayed across the 14 acres of central gardens, it is truly an awe-inspiring experience. Gardens Aglow also focuses on sustainability  which is great to hear for an operation that uses so much energy.  Make sure to buy your tickets ahead of time and consider carpooling with friends as parking is limited during these events.

Austin Trail of Lights, Texas

December 1, 2023 – December 23, 2023; Look at their calendar for all of the details

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Image by Austin Trail of Lights

The Austin Trail of Lights celebrates the unique people and places that make up the city and has been doing so for the last 59 years. Austin Trail of Lights is set up in Zilker Park and has over two million lights set up for viewers to enjoy as well as 90 Christmas trees to purchase, and 70 other attractions to take in during your visit. Austin Trail of Lights is one of the longest-running holiday traditions in Texas’s capital city.

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