USA December 01, 2020
The 14 Best Drive-Thru Christmas Lights Displays In America The Whole Family Can Enjoy
Drive-thru Christmas Lights displays are a fun and festive way to celebrate the holiday. They’re easy for anyone to enjoy from the comfort of their car, are a blast for kids and adults alike, and often include animated scenes and musical numbers. To top it all off, they’re accessible to wheelchair users, keep your health and safety in mind, and YOU control the temperature. All-around magical Christmas events, read on to discover some of the best in the U.S. this December!
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Trail of Lights, Zilker Park - Austin, Texas
A family favorite for decades, this year's drive-thru event features more than 2 million lights around the park, 90 lighted holiday trees, and over 70 other holiday displays and lighted tunnels. Tune in on the radio for Christmas music and trivia. The event runs from November 28 to January 3.
2. Lights Under Louisville, Louisville Mega Cavern - Louisville, Kentucky
The world's only underground Christmas light show is worth adding to your holiday bucket list. Enjoy a 30-minute drive through over 3 million lights with more than 850 illuminated characters. A unique experience, visit between November 13 and January 3.
3. Christmas In Color - Colorado, Utah, California, Minnesota, Idaho
This massive event features multiple locations including Morrison & Federal Heights, Colorado, South Jordan, Utah, San Dimas, California, Shakopee, Minnesota, and Garden City, Idaho. Each offers millions of dancing lights, synchronized to holiday music. Dates vary by location but most run from now until the first weekend in January.
4. Gardens Aglow, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens - Boothbay, Maine
Gardens and gorgeous lights are a perfect holiday pairing. This driving tour doesn't stop at the Garden, though - neighbors in the area are participating in a decorating contest. Enjoy two shows for the price of one! This event runs from November 21 to January 2, Thursdays through Sundays.
5. The Lights Of Christmas, Warm Beach Camp - Stanwood, Washington
Located between Seattle and Bellingham, this drive-thru display offers over a million lights, a larger-than-life nativity, costumed Christmas characters for the kids to wave to, and more. It's fun, affordable, and runs on select nights between November 27 and December 30.
6. Butch Bando's Fantasy Of Lights, Alum Creek State Park - Delaware, Ohio
Located near Columbus, this local holiday tradition is sure to entertain. You'll find over 3 miles of twinkling lights, a mailbox to drop off letters for Santa, and more. Veterans and active-duty military get discounts during Military Appreciation Week. (December 28 – January 1). The event itself runs from November 20 - January 3. You can purchase tickets for a night or buy a season pass for unlimited access.
7. World Of Illumination - Arizona, Georgia
This spectacular drive-through event has three locations - Tempe, Arizona, Glendale, Arizona, and Marietta, Georgia. It's the world's largest entirely animated Christmas light show, with each and every display dancing to holiday music. There are hundreds of displays to enjoy including giant LED trees and massive candy canes. All locations are currently open and will run until January 3.
8. Winter Fantasy Of Lights, Harrison Smith Park - Upper Sandusky, Ohio
Drive through this picturesque park and enjoy millions of lights, Christmas decorations galore, and themed displays. The budget-friendly event helps to support local charities! It runs from December 1 to December 30.
9. Sweet Lights, Hersheypark - Hershey, Pennsylvania
You're in for a sweet treat at this 2-mile Christmas light show! There will be over 600 animated displays to enjoy along a wooded driving trail. The park itself offers over 5 million lights if you wish to walk around. Sweet Lights will be open between now and January 3.
10. Santa Claus Land of Lights, Lake Rudolph - Santa Claus, Indiana
America's most festive Christmas town, Santa Claus is hosting a holiday lights display that tells the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The 1.2-mile drive is an absolute delight. Discount coupons will be available at participating McDonald’s locations in Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois, and a portion of proceeds will be donated to Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Ohio Valley in Evansville. The show runs between November 26 and December 27.
11. Speedway Christmas, Charlotte Motor Speedway - Charlotte, North Carolina
Head to the race track and drive through a magical display of Christmas lights! Bigger and better than ever, you'll enjoy over more than 4 million lights along a magical 3.75-mile course that includes most of the oval, the infield, and the ROVAL™! Tune into 101.3 FM to enjoy Christmas music and visit the holiday movie drive-in theater on select nights. The event is currently open and will run all the way until January 17.
12. Zoo Lights, Dallas Zoo - Dallas, Texas
There will be lights, lanterns, and plenty of holiday cheer at this very special safari at the Dallas Zoo. With more than a million lights and a magical ice palace, you won't want to miss it. The show is open on 36 select nights from November 20 through January 3.
13. Winter Wonderland, Portland Raceway - Portland, Oregon
The largest drive-thru Christmas light show in the Northwest, this colorful display spans the racetrack. Attendees also get virtual gift bags that add to the holiday cheer! The event is currently up and running and will be open until January 2.
14. Pigeon Forge Winterfest - Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and Sevierville, Tennessee
This event isn't quite like the rest but it's so incredible, it had to be on this list. It's not a drive-thru event but rather a driving tour. Follow a map and travel the Pigeon Forge Parkway to enjoy the 12 Days of Christmas in lights - millions of lights. You'll also find displays featuring the wildlife of the Great Smoky Mountains, a Snowflake Lane, and a historic mansion all decked out for the season. In addition to the over two dozen beautiful and intricate displays, there are numerous holiday events throughout the area and the celebration will run all the way until February 15, 2021!
Have you been to any of these amazing drive-thru holiday events before? Are there any others you would add? If you’d like to learn more about any of these Christmas light shows (hours, prices, dates, addresses, etc.), check out the links below.
Trail Of Lights – Austin, Texas
Lights Under Louisville – Louisville, Kentucky
Christmas In Color – Colorado, Utah, Minnesota, California, Idaho
Gardens Aglow – Boothbay, Maine
The Lights Of Christmas – Stanwood, Washington
Butch Bando’s Fantasy Of Lights – Delaware, Ohio
World Of Illumination – Tempe & Glendale, Arizona – Marietta, Georgia
Winter Fantasy Of Lights – Upper Sandusky, Ohio
Sweet Lights – Hershey, Pennsylvania
Land Of Lights – Santa Claus, Indiana
Speedway Christmas – Charlotte, North Carolina
Zoo Lights – Dallas, Texas
Winter Wonderland – Portland, Oregon
Winterfest – Pigeon Forge, Tennessee