Is there a time that is more magical than Christmas? While the kiddos are hyped for a visit from Ol’ Kris Kringle, adults rejoice for the time for togetherness. One aspect of the holiday season that can be enjoyed by both young and old alike is the decorations. Moreover, there is nothing that compares to the sight of a brightly lit tree or just Christmas lights in general. Who doesn’t love that neighbor that goes all in with decorations and driving by lit up houses down your street?
Even if you don’t have a spirited neighborhood, there are still many ways to enjoy Christmas lights this season. Not only are there neighborhoods famous for their light displays but there are also businesses across the country that partake in the celebrations. If you find yourself on the road or are looking for a new tradition this holiday season, we have put together a list of some of the places that have light displays guaranteed to “wow.” Continue reading to learn where to find the best Christmas lights in the US this season.
Best Christmas Lights in the US
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
With all of the lights on the Vegas strip, you can safely assume that anyone attempting to attract visitors with Christmas lights is well aware of the need to ‘go big or not at all’. In the case of the Glittering Lights Las Vegas, they definitely go big in all of the right ways.
Keeping in tune with the speedway’s purpose, visitors can drive through and enjoy the over 400 animated displays. Following a 2.5-mile circuit, the “Glittering Lights” event at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway is expected to host over 30,000 vehicles that have come to see their hard work. Tickets for the event run $29 for weekdays, $39 for an “anyday pass” per vehicle. You can also purchase an open-air tram pass for a chauffeured tour through the display. These passes cost $20 – $25 per person.
Smithsonian’s National Zoo (Washington DC)
If you are in our nation’s capital during the holidays, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo has a great light display featuring over 500,000 environmentally friendly LED lights. Zoolights runs from November 25th to December 30th, and the Smithsonian’s National Zoo provides a variety of holiday entertainment. These include live music performances, winter treats and a ‘Glow Zone’ for kids in addition to the light show.
In addition to the aforementioned entertainment, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo also gives visitors the opportunity to ride the Smithsonian’s National Zoo Choo-Choo. This ride tours the ‘Great Cats’ exhibit and gives riders a great view of the light display. While the light count is significantly lower than the Las Vegas Motor speedway, the entertainment provided by the Smithsonian’s National Zoo is completely free. Note that a special entry pass separate from a daily Zoo pass will be required this year. Also, there is a flat-rate parking fee of $30.
Silver Dollar City (Branson, Missouri)
A staple in Branson, Missouri since 1960, Silver Dollar City goes above and beyond with their holiday light displays and festivities. During the Old Christmas Time event, Silver Dollar City is decorated with over 1,000 Christmas trees and has over 6.5 million lights arranged for display throughout the park.
On top of the lights and trees, Silver Dollar City has nightly holiday themed parades, theatrical adaptations of classic Christmas time books and plays (A Dickens’ Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonder Life), a sing-along steam train ride, live music and much more. Tickets to the park run $85 for adults and $75 for children for a one-day general admission pass. Silver Dollar City Attractions do offer military discounts for active and retired military members and veterans.
Austin Trail of Lights (Zilker Park – Austin, Texas)
Meant to celebrate the people Austin as a “gift” from the Austin Parks and Recreation Department, the Austin Trail of Lights started in 1965. Originally known as the “Yule Fest”, this celebration has grown to feature more than 40 displays, over 2 million lights and a plethora of ‘holiday activities’. Throughout the holiday season, the Austin Trail of Lights has scheduled activities ranging from themed movie nights and live music performances to dancers. The event also hosts special guests reading Christmas stories to visitors at 7:30 pm nightly.
The Austin Trail of Lights is kept free of charge for admission on most nights by using volunteer labor to setup and keep everything running. And on nights it is not free, the fee is around $5 dollars for general admission. While they do not ask for an entrance fee on most nights, they do accept donations any time. Donations help maintain the attractions and ensure they’re in good working order and improved upon with time. In order to raise money for upkeep, the Austin Trail of Lights holds multiple events like the ‘Fun Run’ and ‘Night Lights Preview Party’.
Where Will You Go This Season?
While there are plenty of ways to celebrate the season and plenty of RV parks to visit for the holidays, nothing is quite as festive as Christmas lights. We hope our list of the best Christmas lights in the US inspires you for your next adventure. If you’re looking for RV parks, campgrounds, resorts and camping across the United States, you can browse by state on our website. Additionally, you can find RV rental dealers and spend your Christmas RVing. Regardless, we wish you and yours warm holiday wishes this season!