Perhaps one of the most beloved seasonal experiences is that of checking out holiday light displays, and lucky for us, there’s no shortage of spectacular destinations to do just that. We have selected 10 extraordinary light displays that can be found throughout the South. So if you’re looking to get festive, grab a cup of hot chocolate, turn on some Christmas tunes and jump in the car. Here’s where you’ll see some pretty amazing holiday light displays throughout the South!
2800 Opryland Dr, Nashville, TN 37214 • (615) 889-1000
Hours: November 9, 2018, through January 1, 2019; hours vary
Celebrate Christmas the Nashville way with A Country Christmas at Gaylord Opryland Resort. The beginning of over 3 million lights and endless decorations can be seen immediately upon entrance to the grounds, and the magic continues throughout the property, both indoors and out. Seasonal spirit lines every inch of this beautiful resort. Take in the breathtaking scenery by foot or hop on a boat for an indoor river ride. Stop by the life-size nativity scene for special light effects and an audio rendition of the birth of Christ. Additional activities include ice skating, ice tubing and the indoor 2 million-pound ice experience, appropriately called ICE! Activity prices vary and can be found at gaylordopryland.com.
17800 US-27, Pine Mountain, GA 31822 • (844) 512-3826
Hours: November 16, 2018, through January 5, 2019; First show starts at 6 p.m. and runs every hour
Georgia’s Callaway Gardens turns into a Christmas village this time of year as Fantasy of Lights, one of National Geographic’s top 10 light displays in the world, takes place. Explore the magic of the forest, surrounded by acres of dazzling lights. Or take a trolley ride through this holiday experience and meet characters up close while sipping on hot cocoa. Check out the resort’s overnight packages, and explore 2,500 acres of stunning, seasonally decorated landscape. Tickets are $21 for adults, $10.50 for children. For more information visit callwaygardens.com.
1841 Taylor Ave, Louisville, KY 40213 • (877) 614-6342
Hours: Lights Under Louisville: November 17-December 31, Monday through Friday, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Christmas Express: November 17-December 31, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m.
Check out the only underground holiday light show in the world as you drive your car through 17 miles — and 30 minutes — of pure bliss. Featuring over 850 lit characters and 3 million points of light, Lights Under Louisville now also offers a daytime drive in an open-top trailer called Christmas Express. Enjoy a magnificent entry into the holiday season! Cost is $27, and print a coupon for $5 off. Learn more at lightsunderlouisville.com.
Manor House Cir, Clemmons, NC 27012 • (336) 703-6400
Hours: November 16, 2018, through January 1, 2019; Open nightly from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.; December 31 the show will close at 10 p.m.
See how this North Carolina park transforms into a complete winter wonderland as you drive through Tanglewood’s Festival of Lights. Over 1 million individual lights and 100 displays have helped Tanglewood earn its place as one of the Southeast’s most spectacular light shows. Check out the whimsical scenes and giant twinkling snowflakes that run along five miles of beautiful landscape. Once you’ve absorbed all the cheer of the holiday season, stop by Gift Village, where vendors will be set up to make your holiday shopping a little easier. Right outside Gift Village is S’moresville, where delicious sweet treats are waiting to be roasted over the warm fire. Make it an overnight stay and book a room at Tanglewood’s Manor House Bed and Breakfast. Family car prices are $15, limos or vans are $35, and large buses are $100. Learn more at festivaloflights.com.
4747 Bob Wallace Avenue, Huntsville, AL 35805 • 256-830-4447
Hours: November 23 through December 31; 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Make your season bright with Galaxy of Lights, where you can discover two and a half miles of animated light displays. Check out the holiday village, dinosaurs, wild animals, a twinkling icicle forest, garden scenes, animated snowmen and the 12 Days of Christmas. Family cars are $25, and vans and tour buses are $35. Check out galaxyoflights.com for various discounted driving days.
200 125th St, Ocean City, MD 21842 • (410) 250-0125
Hours: November 15 through December 31, Sunday through Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Head to Ocean City, and check out Winterfest of Lights, featuring millions of lights and hundreds of light displays surrounding Northside Park! Visit Winterfest Village pavilion to warm up with hot cocoa, take pictures with Santa and board the Winterfest Express, which takes guests through the 58 acres of displays. And you can’t miss the 50-foot Christmas tree! Admission to board the train is $5 and free for children 11 and younger. Learn more at ococean.com.
5 Victory Ave, New Orleans, LA 70124 • (504) 483-9402
Hours: November 30, 2018, through January 1, 2019 — Friday & Saturday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday through Thursday, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Closed Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, open Christmas night
Kick off the holiday season at one of the country’s most spectacular light festivals, Celebration in The Oaks, when the oak trees of City Park are covered in a wonderland of twinkling lights. Explore displays like A Cajun Night Before Christmas and a life-size Nativity scene, and snack on delicious food from the cafe and pizza parlor. Admission is $10 and $28 for the lights and unlimited rides. Children younger than 3 get in free. Purchase tickets at neworleanscitypark.com.
151 Speedway Blvd, Bristol, TN 37620 • (866) 415-4158
Hours: November 16 through January 5; Nightly, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Every year, Bristol turns their speedway into a massive holiday light show, with four and a half miles covered in more than 2 million lights. When you’re done living the dream driving on the track, visit Appalachian Christmas Village to roast marshmallows and take pictures with Santa, or lace up your ice skates and take a spin on the rink. Cars are $15 Sunday through Thursday, $20 Friday and Saturday. Vans are $30, and buses are $100. Learn more at speedwayinlights.com.
12401 Bellingrath Gardens Road, Theodore, AL 36582 • (251) 973-2217
Hours: Through December 31; 5 p.m. to 9 p.m daily
Stroll through this beautiful 65-acre garden estate and experience the magic of the holiday season! The Bellingrath Gardens feature more than 1,100 set pieces, 3 million lights and 15 scenes, and the Bellingrath Home is also decorated elegantly and covered with hundreds of poinsettias. After touring the lights, take a photo with Santa and visit the Bellingrath Gift Shop. Magic Christmas in Lights was ranked on USA Today’s 2014 list of “10 Best Public Light Displays in America,” and once you see this display you’ll know why! Adult tickets for the gardens are $16, or explore the gardens and the home for $25. Child tickets for the gardens are $8 and $14 for the gardens and home. Learn more at bellingrath.org.
7700 Bull Run Dr, Centreville, VA 20121 • (703) 631-0550
Hours: Through January 6, Monday through Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday through Sunday & holidays, 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Check out this fabulous festival of lights from the comfort of your own car as you drive two and a half miles — headlights off! After taking in the excitement of the season, head over to Holiday Village to enjoy rides, refreshments and pictures with Santa. Stop by the gift shop to get a head start on your holiday shopping with unique gifts from various vendors. Prices per car are $20 on weekdays, $25 on weekends. Learn more about discounted prices and coupon availability at novaparks.com.
Enjoy the season!
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