May 30, 2017

5 Festive Ways to Enjoy Holiday Lights

ZooLights at Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, WA

ZooLights at Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, WA

I love everything about the holidays, but especially displays of holiday lights. We put ours up on our house over the weekend, and I’m excited to check out twinkling seasonal displays of all shapes and sizes this holiday season. Here are five of my favorite ways to enjoy the lights over the holidays:

1. See the Zoo All Lit Up at ZooLights: Many zoos across the country pull out the twinkling lights and set up holiday light displays to transform their zoos into luminous winter wonderlands. Some zoos also offer train rides, holiday crafts and nightly performances. Our local zoo even offers seasonal food and drinks lie hot chocolate, eggnog, holiday cookies and gingerbread as part of their ZooLights celebration.

2. Take in a Festival of Lights Display: In addition to zoos, many local parks, gardens and towns set up drive-through holiday light shows. I’m taking the kids to the Bull Run Festival of Lights tonight, which is a 2.5 mile drive through various holiday displays featuring 80,000 twinkle lights. You often pay a per-car fee and sometimes music goes along with the displays.

3. Enjoy a Holiday Boat Parade: If you live near or will be visiting family near a marina, look out for a holiday boat parade. In Newport Beach, CA, look out for the annual Christmas Boat Parade on Dec. 18 with more than 100 participating boats that range from 15 feet to more than 100 feet. All will be lit up and decked out in their holiday best. If you’re near DC, the Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights is another good one to check out.

4. Go to a Tree Lighting: Many towns have their own tree lighting ceremonies. In fact, the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony here in DC takes place in just a few days on Dec. 6. These events generally take place close to sundown and are often accompanied by holiday performances. Look for festive decorations and seasonal treats as well.

5. Get Your Thrills at an Amusement Park: Back in October, I took my girls to Hersheypark for the annual Hersheypark After Dark celebration. Well, many theme parks also stay open for the winter holidays so that guests can enjoy special children’s activities, twinkling lights and rides for all ages. Hersheypark Christmas Candylane even features Santa and his reindeer for families to enjoy.

Where do you like to go to enjoy the holiday lights? Let me know in the comments section below.

Photo Credit: Curtis Smith

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