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10 Amazing Holiday Lights and Displays You Still Have Time to See

10 Amazing Holiday Lights and Displays You Still Have Time to See

Top Ongoing Holiday Light Shows

WinterFest on the Wisconsin

Launched during WWII, the historic Battleship Wisconsin in Norfolk, Virginia is the largest and last battleship built by the US Navy. This year, WinterFest on the Wisconsin invites you to explore the ship, decked-out with more than 300,000 lights. Onboard, you’ll wander through a forest of 100 beautifully lit tree forms, giant candy canes, drums, musical notes and holiday gifts. Large theatrical projectors cast images on the ship’s hull, and an enormous Christmas tree stands on the bow. If that’s not enough to create a dazzling holiday experience, the battleship’s cannons have been transformed into massive candy canes.

NightWood

The newest winter attraction in the Berkshires, NightWood is an outdoor light experience at The Mount, the home of Edith Wharton in Lenox, Massachusetts. You’ll meander along pathways and through woods and gardens in five spaces created by a team of theatrical designers, musicians and lighting specialists. The ethereal design takes advantage of the Mount’s distinctive architecture, landscape and history to immerse you in a nighttime fantasy world.

Texas Winter Lights

If you’d prefer something a bit warmer, Texas Winter Lights is a new evening experience on the Marriott Marquis Houston’s pool deck. Guests and non-guests are invited to float on the hotel’s iconic Texas-shaped lazy river while enjoying the deck’s thousands of winter lights. No worries, the pool is heated to 80 degrees. Check the hotel’s website for scheduled float hours.

Jensen Beach Christmas Mansion

Spending time outdoors might be a bit easier, too, on Florida’s Hutchinson Island. The Jensen Beach Christmas Mansion is a popular unofficial attraction next to Jensen Sea Turtle Beach on the barrier island. You can stroll at leisure from sunset to midnight with lots of space to take in the 700,00 spectacular lights that adorn the mansion and its grounds.

The Jensen Beach Christmas Mansion is a popular unofficial attraction next to Jensen Sea Turtle Beach on the barrier island |
(Courtesy Martin County Office of Tourism)

Phoenix Zoo Lights

The holiday experience is a stunner at Phoenix Zoo Lights with millions of twinkling lights, colorful animal sculptures and a Music-in-Motion Light Show choreographed to the music of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The walkable tour takes you through the Outer Tropics Trail, the Africa Trail and Polar Paradise in the Forest of Uco. Showing off the zoo’s animal residents as well as its dazzling lights, the new wildlife Lantern Safari is home to 66 animals including polar bears, mammoths, koalas, kangaroos and more.

Stone Mountain Park

A family-favorite tradition, Stone Mountain Christmas is Atlanta’s most heartwarming lights-filled celebration. Wander through the musical Frosted Forest surrounded by twinkling lights, holiday music and inventive displays. A packed schedule of events includes magic shows, laser shows and a ride on the Sing-A-Long Christmas Train. Each evening ends with an inspiring view of Angelina the Snow Angel taking flight and creating a magical snowfall.

A family-favorite tradition, Stone Mountain Christmas is Atlanta’s most heartwarming lights-filled celebration |
(Courtesy Stone Mountain Park)

Dana Point Harbor

Dana Point, California lights up for the holidays with Holiday at the Harbor water and lights displays. Themed exhibits include Candy Cane Lane, a “Merry Kiss Me” arch and illuminated trees with entertainment provided on select nights by strolling carolers.

North Pole, Alaska

This one’s kind of a no-brainer. If you’re a junkie for Christmas spirit, you need to visit any place that references the North Pole, even if it’s not exactly at the North Pole. As kitschy as it sounds, Alaska’s version is decked out in Christmas decorations with candy cane-striped street lights and Christmas lights along streets appropriately named Mistletoe Lane and Kris Kringle Drive. Visit Santa Claus House to surround yourself with every Christmas souvenir you can imagine and challenge yourself to complete the Elf’s Icy Playground ice maze. For something that’s more artistic and serious, spend time at the Christmas in Ice displays that promote ice carving, arts and education.

Santa Fe, Mexico

Santa Fe turns into a magical world of lights and farolitos during the holidays. Walkthrough the historic Plaza to the Inn and Spa at Loretto, where the beautiful adobe building is adorned with white lights at every corner and setback. For more Southwestern light magic, the very-psychedelic Meow Wolf House of Eternal Return will keep you entranced for hours as you explore the art experience’s many color-filled rooms.

Santa Fe turns into a magical world of lights and farolitos during the holidays |
(Courtesy Inn and Spa at Loretto)

 

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