It’s finally the time of year when the whole world seems to sparkle with light and cheer. Check out this road trip through the most festive and radiant light displays in Massachusetts, and let it be your guide to experiencing the best of the state’s magical spots this season.
Edaville Christmas Festival of Lights, South Carver
What do you get when you mix bright lights and classic trains? This magical railroad holiday extravaganza. You can climb aboard on of Edaville's beautiful trains and take in the glow of thousands of holiday lights. There are also plenty of tasty treats, amusement park rides and meetings with Santa. Visit between November 18 and New Year's Day to take part in the cheer. (5 Pine Street, Carver)
Lighting of the Green, Taunton
This town is actually nicknamed "The Christmas City," so it obviously knows how to put on a magical light festival. The Taunton Green has been lighting up for the holidays for over 100 years. If you want to include this stop on your road trip, make sure to arrive on the evening of December 3 from 4 to 8 p.m. (Taunton Town Green, Taunton)
La Salette Festival of Lights, Attleboro
Over 300,000 lights decorate this 10-acre winter wonderland in Attleboro. Hosted by the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette, this faith-based Christmas celebration keeps is one of the most popular light events in the state. Illuminations are held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily between November 24 and January 1. (947 Park Street, Attleboro)
Winter Reimagined at Tower Hill Botanic Garden
This 175-year-old horticultural society puts on a spectacular winter light show, complete with indoor and outdoor galleries of plants festooned with twinkling lighted strands. It's a great option for people who don't necessarily want to walk around all night in the chilly air. The event runs from November 25, 2016 through January 8, 2017. Adult admission is $17. Youth admission is $7. Children under 5 are free. (11 French Drive, Boylston)
Bright Nights at Forest Park, Springfield
This is the largest display of lights in New England. Extending for miles through the dark, this glittering pathway of lights and sounds can be seen via horse-drawn carriage or in the comfort of your own car. This event runs November 23, 2016 to January 1, 2017. The rates begin at $18 per car on weekdays ($21 per car on weekends), or $10 per person for a carriage ride. (300 Sumner Avenue, Springfield)
Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas, Stockbridge
Stop by Stockbridge on December 2, 3 and 4 for this celebration of the town's special holiday charm. Main Street will be all aglow with lights and wreaths, while carolers and vintage automobiles line the streets. If you've never visited Stockbridge, this is a great opportunity to take in the classic Norman Rockwell atmosphere of the community.
Yankee Candle Christmas Village, South Deerfield
Head to the Yankee Candle Village in South Deerfield for the ultimate Christmas village. Over 400,000 candles in 200 different scents perfume the air of this twinkling holiday display. Snow falls from the ceiling, Santa greets kids, and you can even make your own wax ornaments. When you’re done strolling through the Bavarian Style village, head to the village’s restaurant for a cozy meal. (25 Greenfield Road, South Deerfield)
City of Lights Parade and Holiday Celebration, Lowell
The city of Lowell comes to life for the holidays, holding a special parade and Christmas celebration. In addition to the spectacular array of lights, there will be live performances by local bands and instrumental groups, visits with Santa and plenty of holiday shopping opportunities. If you'd like to attend this event, plan on arriving on the evening of November 26.
ZooLights at Stone Zoo, Stoneham
Rub elbows with reindeer at this wild light display. Hosted by Stone Zoo, visitors can wander through the glowing grounds of the zoo and meet all sorts of fascinating winter animals. There are also plenty of refreshments and crafts. This year's event runs from November 25 to January 1. The hours are 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is $9 for non-members.
Illumination Tour, Somerville
Celebate the artsy side of Christmas with this spectacular light display spanning a whole town. Each year, Somerville residents transform their neighborhoods into wonderlands of light and sound in honor of the holidays. You can take a formal tour of the best houses by heading to the Blue Cloud Gallery at 713 Broadway in Somerville to pick up tickets and head out into the streets on a trolley. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. You can also do the tour yourself with a $3 map.
Bonus: Winterlights, Stockbridge & North Andover
Courtesy of The Trustees
Winterlights is an immersive, all-LED light installation and event series at two historic Massachusetts homes: Naumkeag in Stockbridge and The Stevens-Coolidge Place in North Andover. Both properties will offer accompanying events with special guests, live music and more, enabling visitors to return throughout the season and enjoy a variety of new experiences in the illuminated gardens each weekend. Stop by during the holiday season to enjoy the festivities.