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My family and I have been searching for safe places to see Christmas lights in 2020, but let me tell you, it’s not easy. The good news is: I found some places here and there and even some free events, too! While this list is by no means exhaustive, I hope some of these events are near enough where you can take advantage of them. If you have events near you that you want to share with other readers, please drop them in the comments and I’ll add them!
Christmas Lights in the Western US
- Check out this website, CaliforniaChristmasLights.com, to search for neighbors that go all out on their houses.
- Pebble Creek Christmas lights in Placer County, CA near Sacramento, CA
- Willow Glen Christmas Lights, in San Jose CA
- Rancho Cucamonga lights are drive thru only this year, but still free and located in CA near Los Angeles!
- Fab 40s Christmas Light tour is in a Sacramento, CA neighborhood where you can also get carriage rides and refreshments
- The Diamond Loch Christmas Lights drive by neighborhood event is open every evening from 6 – 10 and is free! It takes place in Northrichland Hills, TX so swing by if you can!
- Pecan Grove Christmas Lights: Also in Texas, just outside of Houston, is Pecan Grove Plantation, where you can drive by and see the houses in the neighborhood all lit up.
- River Oaks, TX Christmas Lights: Another neighborhood event, in a very upscale mansion-filled neighborhood
- Addison Christmas Lights: In Virtruvian Park in the city of Addison, TX, every tree around a lake is filled with colorful lights. It’s free, and you can walk around and buy a hot chocolate.
- Miracle on 34th Lane, brought to you by the MacGregor residence in Phoenix, has over 40K lights!
- Pinchot Avenue’s Candy Canes runs until just after Christmas and is in Phoenix on 2801 East Pinchot Avenue.
Some of these are really costly, and some aren’t so bad if you pack as many people in your car as humanly possible. I say team up with another family and have a good time, in spite of the excited kids crawling all over you.
- Saddleback Church Christmas Lights: this Los Angeles, CA event also has carolers and music. All tickets are sold out, but you can experience it for free online or watch a video.
- Raging Waters Christmas Lights: The Christmas in Color event at Raging Waters takes place in Los Angeles, CA and costs $35 per vehicle. The event is happening now until Jan. 3, 2021, and you can book your time online.
- Calabasas Christmas Lights: Calabasas, CA hosts the Holiday Road Drive Thru lights experience from now until Jan. 10, 2021. Tickets start at $75 per car, and you can purchase them online.
- Dodger Stadium Lights: This is spendy at $55 per car, but the event is popular and selling out!
- World of Illumination hosts two theme parks in AZ, Tempe, and Glendale. Tickets start at $29 and are for each car.
- PIR Christmas Lights: held on the Portland Int’l Speedway, the Winter Wonderland Portland drive-thru event costs $28 – $39 per car.
- Aloha Stadium Christmas Lights in Honolulu, HI costs $50 a car, but check the website for discount days.
Christmas Lights in the Eastern US
Free Christmas Lights
- Wilmington, MA Christmas Lights: The Fiore Family won the “Great Christmas Light Fight” on ABC by going full Griswold on their house in Wilmington, MA. It’s something to see, and if you are anywhere around the area, it’s free!
- Gaddy’s Christmas Lights: The Gaddy Family in Fayetteville, NC is so serious about decking out their house, they even have their own Facebook page.
Drive-Thru Christmas Lights
- Watkins Park Christmas Lights: The Festival of Lights in Prince George County, MD is a drive-thru event put on by the Parks and Rec department, which means instead of the usual $30 you have to pay for the private ones, you only have to pay $8 if you buy tickets in advance.
- Clearbrook Park Christmas Lights: Parks and Rec in Winchester, VA holds this walk-thru light event every year called Walking in a Winter Wonderland. Cost is only $5 for people aged 3 and up.
- Gillette Stadium Christmas Lights: Called Magic of Lights, this event in Foxborough MA offers a mile of lights for $50 a car. Spendy.
- St. Augustine Christmas Lights: This event goes all the way to the end of January and is free. The historic district is filled with lights you can walk to see, ride a trolley, or drive thru.
- Longwood Gardens Christmas Lights: This is a walking garden event starting at $6 for kids over 5, $20 for adults. Tickets are selling out fast!
Christmas Lights in the Middle of the US
Free Christmas Lights
- Rhema Christmas Lights: The Rhema Lights event in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma is completely free and all outside, with carriage rides, carolers and, of course, viewing by car.
Drive-Thru Christmas Lights
- National Trail Raceway Lights: They call this event Wonderlight’s Christmas and it’s two miles of drive thru lights, at $7 a person or $30 a car.
- MIS Christmas Lights: Nite Lites takes place at the Michigan International Speedway and costs $20 a car.
- Valley Fair Christmas Lights: In Minneapolis, MN, the Christmas in Color event costs $30 a car.
- Cheekwood Christmas Lights: In Nashville, TN, the Holiday Lights event is $28 for adults and $22 for kids, if you buy the full experience.