We saw lots of light displays last holiday season. Here is a quick rundown of the best holiday light displays we got to see. We have some amusement parks, neighborhoods, drive through shows and even a zoo. Check out the list and drop a comment on your go-to place to view lights during the holiday season.
Hersheypark Christmas Candy Lane & Sweet Lights
Hersheypark has an awesome holiday celebration within their amusement park, Christmas Candy Lane, and a nearby drive-through light show, called Sweet Lights.
Christmas Candy Lane is open as early as 10 AM, offers hot chocolate, a stable of real reindeer, ice skating, Santa appearance, holiday flavored milk shakes, and a jaw dropping light display to see at night.
Sweet Lights is a very long (40 min) light show of “nearly 600 illuminated, animated displays from the comfort of your car as you drive through 2 miles of wooded trails.”
Pro Tip: Most outdoor roller coasters were closed, so there may not be enough to do for a full day there. The Chocolate World has a Sweet Trolley Tour so you can do two attractions in one.
Dutch Winter Wonderland
Dutch Winter Wonderland, located at the Lancaster amusement park designed for kids, features themed rides, special entertainment, warm holiday drinks, Santa appearance, a ‘The Royal Lights Show’, and thousands of lights across the park. S’mores family packs were well priced and although it was too cold for the roller coasters to run, most of the park was open & operating.
Pro Tip: Dutch Wonderland and Hersheypark teamed up to get a ticket for both parks to save money. Both are great half day events, we did one on Saturday, stayed at a hotel, then did the other on Sunday. The timing and logistics worked out great.
ZooLights at the National Zoo
A free event at the zoo in DC, ZooLights includes live music performances, winter treats, hot cocoa, popup bars serving spiked hot cider, and awesome light displays. “More than 500,000 environmentally friendly LED lights transform the Zoo into a winter wonderland!”. It’s just a good time. There are attractions like the train rides, a giant slide, and the carousel. Some of the indoor animal houses are open, but all outdoor exhibits are closed.
Pro Tip: FONZ members, should go on members night to get free passes for their small rides and attractions.
Symphony of Lights at Merriweather
A Drive through light display, Symphony of Lights has a mile long stretch of festive lights. Entrance is charged per vehicle and there is a radio broadcast to enjoy as you drive through.
Pro Tip: Take note of their special events where you can walk through and turn a 15 minute activity into a nice hour long winter walk. Our favorite was Midnight at 7: a fireworks display at 7 PM on New Years Eve.
Ellicott City Lights
The Ellicott City Lights Show is a dad’s epic house decoration on Red Hill Way in Ellicott City. “Sharing holiday joy with the Ellicott City community, we have an extravagant holiday light display sync’d to music: 4802 Red Hill Way, Ellicott City, MD.”
Pro Tip: Bring canned goods, diapers or nonperishables. They accept donations for the Howard County Food Bank.