Best Holiday Light Show You Must Visit in the U.S.

The holiday season is a magical time of year, and one of the most enchanting experiences is visiting a holiday light show. These dazzling displays of lights, often synchronized to music and featuring intricate designs, bring joy and wonder to people of all ages. Across the United States, there are several must-visit holiday light shows that captivate millions of visitors each year. Here are some of the best holiday light shows you should add to your seasonal bucket list.

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1. The Lights of Christmas Festival, Stanwood, Washington
The Lights of Christmas Festival in Stanwood, Washington, is one of the largest holiday light displays in the Pacific Northwest. Featuring over one million lights, this festival transforms Warm Beach Camp into a winter wonderland. Visitors can enjoy live entertainment, holiday shopping, and a variety of food options. The drive-thru experience allows guests to stay warm in their cars while marveling at the stunning light displays. For those who prefer to walk, there are designated nights where visitors can stroll through the illuminated paths.

2. ZooLights at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Washington, D.C.
ZooLights at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo is a beloved holiday tradition in the nation’s capital. This free event features hundreds of thousands of environmentally friendly LED lights, creating a festive atmosphere throughout the zoo. Highlights include the Panda Claws light sculpture, animated light displays, and live musical performances. Families can also enjoy hot cocoa, holiday treats, and a ride on the zoo’s carousel. ZooLights is a perfect way to combine a love for animals with holiday cheer.

3. Christmas at Biltmore, Asheville, North Carolina
The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, hosts one of the most elegant holiday light shows in the country. Christmas at Biltmore showcases America’s largest home adorned with festive decorations and thousands of sparkling lights. The centerpiece of the display is the 35-foot Fraser fir tree in the Banquet Hall, decorated with hundreds of ornaments and lights. Visitors can take candlelight tours of the house, explore the stunning gardens, and enjoy holiday-themed wine tastings. The grandeur and beauty of the Biltmore Estate make it a must-visit destination during the holiday season.

4. Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s Glittering Lights, Las Vegas, Nevada
Glittering Lights is largest drive-thru holiday light show in Nevada. Spanning 2.5 miles, this event at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway features over three million lights and 170 light displays. Visitors can drive through the spectacular light tunnels and themed displays while listening to holiday music on their car radios. For a unique experience, the Santa Tram offers an open-air tram ride through the lights, complete with blankets and hot cocoa. Glittering Lights is a fantastic way to celebrate the holidays in the entertainment capital of the world.

5. Holiday Lights at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn, New York
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Holiday Lights is a mesmerizing light show that illuminates the garden’s natural beauty. This immersive experience features light installations, sculptures, and projections that highlight the garden’s landscapes. Visitors can wander through illuminated pathways, enjoy seasonal snacks, and warm up by fire pits. The serene and enchanting atmosphere of the Holiday Lights at Brooklyn Botanic Garden provides a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.

6. Austin Trail of Lights, Austin, Texas
The Austin Trail of Lights is a beloved tradition in Texas’s capital city, attracting over 400,000 visitors each year. Held in Zilker Park, this event features more than two million lights and 40 light displays. Highlights include the Zilker Tree, a 155-foot-tall tree made of over 3,300 lights, and the iconic Tunnel of Lights. The event also includes live music, food trucks, and visits with Santa Claus. The Austin Trail of Lights offers a festive and vibrant celebration of the holiday season.

7. Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta, Georgia
Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at the Atlanta Botanical Garden is a dazzling display of lights set within the garden’s beautiful landscapes. This event features more than one million energy-efficient LED lights, creating breathtaking scenes like the Orchestral Orbs and the Glittering Galaxy. Visitors can enjoy hot beverages, roasted marshmallows, and seasonal treats while exploring the illuminated garden. The combination of nature and lights makes Garden Lights, Holiday Nights a truly magical experience.

8. Enchant Christmas, Multiple Locations
Enchant Christmas is a holiday light show that takes place in various cities across the United States, including Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, and St. Petersburg. This event features the world’s largest Christmas light maze, a stunning ice-skating trail, and a Christmas market. Each location offers a unique theme and design, making Enchant Christmas a spectacular and immersive experience. The maze, with its towering light sculptures and whimsical displays, is a highlight that delights visitors of all ages.

In conclusion, holiday light shows are a wonderful way to celebrate the festive season. From the elegant displays at the Biltmore Estate to the vibrant lights of the Austin Trail of Lights, there are countless opportunities to experience the magic of holiday lights across the United States. Whether you prefer a drive-thru experience or a leisurely stroll through illuminated gardens, these holiday light shows offer something for everyone. Make sure to add these destinations to your holiday itinerary for a truly unforgettable experience.

Collin Day

Collin Day is not your ordinary travel writer. He's a boundary-breaker, an intrepid explorer who believes in the power of stepping into the unknown. With an insatiable curiosity and a passion for adventure, Collin fearlessly seeks out remote destinations and uncovers hidden gems. His storytelling is a gateway to exhilarating experiences that ignite the imagination and inspire wanderlust. As a seasoned travel blogger, Collin's expertise extends beyond mere words. He's your go-to source for unconventional travel hacks, off-the-grid destinations, adrenaline-pumping activities, and the art of crafting captivating narratives.
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