Skip to Content

5 Christmas Light Displays Worth the Drive

This week I’m teaming up with 12 other bloggers for an exciting 5 Days of Christmas series. I hope you’ll stop back each day as I share Christmas travel ideas. 

I also hope you’ll take a minute to stop by and visit the other wonderful bloggers that are participating in this series. You’ll find links to their blogs and the topics that they will be sharing about at the bottom of this post.

Today I’ll be sharing 5 Christmas Light Displays Worth the Drive and hope that you’ll share your favorite light display after you read mine.


Thinking back to the memories of Christmas’s past, one of my fondest memories was climbing into the cab of my grandma’s king cab truck, with as many family members as we could squeeze inside, and heading out to see Christmas lights. As a little girl, seeing the bright colors illuminate the night sky, transforming ordinary objects into the extraordinary, was magical.

As an adult, I can’t see the festive Christmas lights without also reliving those special memories. As a mother, I want my children to experience that magic too. When they were tiny we’d load them up in the car and drive around our neighborhood oohing and aahing over the simplest of light displays. Now that they’re teenagers, some of their enthusiasm has worn off. It takes a bit more to capture their attention. Sometimes that means traveling a bit farther from home to see something memorable. With that in mind, here are five light displays that are worth a bit of a drive.


The Holiday Lights at the Beach located along the Virginia Beach boardwalk is hands down the most unique display that my family has ever seen. The nautical themed display stretches over 30 blocks and is the only time you are permitted to drive your vehicle along the boardwalk, which is pretty exciting in itself to teenagers. From jumping dolphins, to Santa in a boat, you’ll view each display while listening to a free CD that you are given at the gate. Sand, Sea and Santa- who says the beach can’t be a great place to visit in December? 

snowflake tunnel

The Galaxy of Lights in Huntsville, Alabama is one drive through display that goes on forever! From nursery rhymes, to rockets, to driving through a beautiful icicle forest, we really enjoyed this display. Voted as one of the South’s best light displays, you certainly won’t be disappointed. New this year is an entrance through the US Space and Rocket Center, which nearly doubles the display and a fun diversion, Santa’s Rocket Sleigh Pit Stop,  featuring fun treats and live reindeer!

Christmas Town Garden of Lights

Visit the Christmas Town and the Garden of Lights at The Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, near Cincinnati. Not only will you walk through the museum gardens filled with lights, you’ll see a live nativity, visit a marketplace and view live dramas proclaiming the birth of Jesus. And best of all? This event is FREE.


The Fantasy of Lights at Callaway Gardens is one of those magical places that I wish I could escape to over and over again. You can drive through seven miles of lights or take the trolley where you’ll see fantastic displays. And since 99% of the lighted pieces where designed specifically for the Fantasy of Lights, you’re sure to see a unique display. Be sure to book a room at the Mountaintop Inn or in one of the cozy cottages to really make your visit unforgettable!  


lights at clifton mill

The Legendary Lights at Clifton Mill in Clifton, Ohio is truly a remarkable sight. Started in 1988, with 100,000 lights, this display has grown to include over 3.6 million lights, an amazing miniature display- complete with a mini mill, a Santa Claus museum with the largest collection of Santa’s in the country, a toy shop full of antique toys and Santa’s Workshop where a live, working Santa pops out the chimney every 20 minutes to the delight of the crowd. If you want to really be awed by this display, arrive early, before the lights are turned on. The transformation is truly astounding!  And the covered bridge light show that is synchronized to music is mind-blowing! It definitely got the attention of my teens’!

Have you visited any of these displays? What did you think? What Christmas light displays would you like to add to the list?

Don’t forget to visit these great bloggers that are also participating in the 5 Days of Christmas series!

A Slob Comes Clean – Getting Your Home Company Ready

Feels Like Home – Christmas Traditions

Somewhat Crunchy – Christmas with Dairy Allergies

Spell Outloud – Children’s Books

Mama’s Learning Corner – Children’s Crafts

Many Little Blessings – Edible Gifts

Sunflower Schoolhouse – Decorations

An Oregon Cottage – Christmas Cookies

Catholic Icing – Wishing Jesus Happy Birthday

The Homeschool Classroom – Gifts Kids Can Make

Mama’s Laundry Talk – Laundry Gifts

Successful Homeschooling – Serving

Tonya @ Live the Adventure

Wednesday 30th of November 2011

Hi Matt, Thanks for sharing your site! I'll have to keep my eye out for tacky light displays in my area! :)


Tuesday 29th of November 2011

What a great resource!  I've got some time to spend checking this out.  One  amazing site not on the list is

Tonya @ Live the Adventure

Tuesday 29th of November 2011

Ooohhh, Honey! The truck light parade sounds like it would be really fun to see!

Honey @ Sunflower Schoolhouse

Monday 28th of November 2011

One of my favorite Christmas memories from my childhood was driving around and looking at the Christmas lights. We have not done that as much with our children (we don't have a vehicle right now), but we do have an amazing truck light parade that goes by just a few blocks from here. We try not to miss that every year (as long as the weather is nice). Protection Status
This site uses cookies. Find out more about this site’s cookies.