Sleigh bells are starting to sound louder and louder these days. While I am very much a stickler for the ‘respect the turkey rule’ there are some traditions I happily embrace early in the season. One of those traditions is Christmas lights! What is it about beautiful twinkling lights that just makes any day instantly better?
Washington, D.C – ZooLights – During the Holiday season the National Zoo transforms itself into a winter wonderland of more than 500,000 lights! The best part? The event is free! The ape house, reptile center and small mammal house are all open during the event so if you get chilly you can warm up inside!
Austin, Texas – Trail of Lights – Austin is so cool, there is always something awesome happening! The Christmas season is no exception! Put on your walking shoes for this light display; it is a 1.2 mile stroll through Zilker Park. There are more than 50 separate light displays and 100 decorated trees. This puts a whole new spin on ‘walking in a winter wonderland!’
Louisville, Kentucky – Lights Under Louisville – The Louisville MEGA Cavern, Lights Under Louisville, puts on an enormous light display inside of a cavern under the Louisville Zoo! The zoo and the cavern aren’t connected but it is just a fun fact! Pop some popcorn and pack some snacks, pile into the car and get ready to drive through a huge light display! The many light displays are coordinated with music and the cave is temperature controlled, so roll down the windows and listen to the music while you roll through!
Clifton, Ohio- Clifton Mill Christmas Lights – Head to Clifton Mill and check out their light display! Every hour on the hour all of the lights in the mill go off and then on come the Christmas lights. 3.5 million (imported Italian lights) to be exact, illuminate the mill, the gorge, the riverbanks, trees and bridges. There is even a 100 foot “waterfall” of twinkling lights. If that doesn’t fill you with holiday cheer I don’t know what will, unless the Christmas music pushes it over the top for you!
Portland International Raceway, Oregon – Give your car a race car experience and head out to the track to look at the amazing light display that is put on each year. This event is said to be the largest Christmas light display that can be driven through in the Northwest.
Chicago, Illinois– The magnificent mile lights festival lights kicks off in Chicago the weekend before Thanksgiving and over 200 trees are lit up with over one million lights! The evening ends with a festive fireworks display!
Cathedral City, CA– The CBS Morning show named this light show the best display in America in 2010. The lights are set to music and you can tune in via their local broadcast system. The light display even uses eco- friendly light choices!
New Orleans, LA – Celebration in the Oaks– Located in City Park, this light display is spread over 25 acres. Over 270,000 guests flock to the city each year to take in the magical beauty! There is even the option to take a 2 mile train ride to enjoy the view.
Theodore, Alabama- Bellingrath Gardens and Home – This light show, located at the Bellingrath Gardens and Home park, is celebrating it’s 20th year this season! There are 3 million lights spread over the 65 acres of the gardens! Every night there are performances by a local chorus groups.
Denver, Colorado- Blossoms of Light –This light show takes place at the Denver Botanical Gardens. As you walk through the gardens you enjoy in the different areas like the grand illuminated O’Fallon Perennial Walk and the Romantic Gardens. Grab a warm beverage and start strolling!
Where is your favorite place to ring in the Christmas season?