Don’t let the winter weather keep you from enjoying your favorite holiday pastimes, including seeing holiday lights. Though many public spaces may be skipping their holiday light displays this year, we’ve gathered some of the best attractions bound to get you and your family into the holiday spirit.
Cincinnati Zoo Festival of Lights, courtesy Cincinnati Zoo Botanical Gardens
CINCINNATI, OH – PNC FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS AT THE CINCINNATI ZOO
Voted one of the best zoo holiday light displays in the country, the 38th annual PNC Festival of Lights is transforming the zoo into a “Wild Wonderland.” View more than 3 million lights, animated displays, and light up animals from November 21, 2020 through January 3, 2021 from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Grab a snack and drink from one of the stands throughout the park, or catch a photo with Santa. Reservations are required this year.
Winter Wonderland, courtesy South Dakota Tourism
SIOUX FALLS, SD – WINTER WONDERLAND AT FALLS PARK
With more than 350,000 LED lights, 270 decorated trees, 275 light poles, more than 25 miles of strings of lights, and a number of animated lighted features, you don’t want to miss the Winter Wonderland at Falls Park. From November 20, 2020 through January 3, 2021, you can drive through the dazzling light displays starting at 5 p.m. until midnight. Be sure to tune your radio to your favorite holiday music station for extra festivities.
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – DOWNTOWN IN DECEMBER
Oklahoma City turns into a winter wonderland during their annual Downtown in December. In addition to a virtual tree lighting you can enjoy from home, check out the outdoor ice skating, performing arts, holiday shopping, activities, and more from November 6, 2020 through January 21, 2021. Most events are free, and health and safety precautions are followed. You can also venture out in your vehicle to the surrounding neighborhoods, which are beautifully lit with thousands of lights.
Lights Under Louisville, courtesy of Lights Under Louisville
LOUISVILLE, KY – LIGHTS UNDER LOUISVILLE
Drive your vehicle through the MEGA Cavern to experience a holiday light display unlike any other—the only underground holiday light show in the world. The 30 minute ride takes you through part of 17 miles of lit up passageways, with more than 2 million lights and 850 lit characters. First show time is November 15, 2020.
The unicorn is one of many displays at the Holiday Light Fantasia. Photo courtesy of Holiday Light Fantasia
HARTFORD, CT – HOLIDAY LIGHT FANTASIA
From November 26, 2020 through January 3, 2021, drive through two miles of over 1 million lights, giant holiday scenes, and 200 individual displays in Goodwin Park. Celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years, and Three Kings Day while also benefiting the Channel 3 Kids Camp, a retreat for children of all abilities and needs.
Illumination Photography by Rick McPherson
WICHITA, KANSAS – ILLUMINATIONS 2020
Drive or walk through Botanica Wichita’s Illuminations light display, with more than 2 million lights, 300 lit trees, 8,000 luminaries, and 18 themed lit gardens. Purchase tickets in advance for the festivities, which take place November 14, 2020 through January 30, 2021. Be sure you don’t miss the choreographed light shows, and get some hot chocolate and cookies before your visit with Santa.
LEWES, DE – WINTER WONDERFEST
From November 20, 2020 through January 3, 2021, the 5th annual event features thousands of lights, as well as food trucks, crafts, carnival rides, an ice rink, and more at one of Delaware’s biggest holiday festivals. The 1.2 mile long trip features over 100 light displays, and you’re able to drive through in your own vehicle. Once you’re through, stop at Christmas Village for holiday shopping and dining.
OCEAN CITY, MD – WINTERFEST OF LIGHTS
With more than 1 million holiday lights, hundreds of animated light displays, and more, the city sparkles during the 28th annual Winterfest of Lights in Northside Park from November 19, 2020 through January 2, 2021. After touring the lights, board the Winterfest Express for a ride through one mile of lights and fairy tale themed exhibits and around a 50-foot Christmas tree. Then, stop in the Winterfest Village pavilion for some hot chocolate and a photo with Santa.