23 Spectacular Drive-Thru Christmas Light Displays Across America

christmas light display


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christmas light display

Wonderland on Wheels

If there was a year to try to fully enjoy the magic of the holiday season, 2020 is it. Communities across the country have risen to the occasion and there are more Christmas light displays viewable from the comfort and safety of your vehicle than ever before. So grab a travel mug of cocoa, buckle up, and take a drive through one of these beautiful light displays across America.

Related: 38 Cheap or Free Family Traditions for the Holidays

New Haven, Connecticut
Daytona, Florida
Patricia L./Yelp
Land of Lights, Santa Claus, Indiana

Santa Claus, Indiana

It's predictable that the town of Santa Claus would go all out for the Christmas season. What's more surprising is just how unique its largest display, Land of Lights, truly is — a drive-thru outdoor tunnel of LED lights telling the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer across 1.2 miles. Admission is $15 per car.

Related: From Santa Claus to Mistletoe: 20 Towns With Festive Names

outdoor christmas light display

Sherwood, Arkansas

Sherwood is hosting the Enchanted Forest Trail of Lights, a mile-long, drive-thru light display running Nov. 20-Dec. 30. Admission is free, though donations for future displays are accepted. And everyone who comes gets a candy cane. 

fanciful float
fanciful float by Mike Mahaffie (CC BY-NC-ND)

Lewes, Delaware

The annual Winter Wonderfest's Light Spectacular is held at Hudson Fields from 5 to 10 p.m. through the end of the year. This year, there's a 1-mile trail of lights and an interactive scavenger hunt. Admission $20-$25, depending on the night. 

Honolulu City Lights
City and County of Honolulu


While all events that might attract crowds are canceled, the Honolulu City Lights holiday display will continue as a drive-thru event. Residents can still climb in the car to see Shaka Santa, a 50-foot Christmas tree, a fully decorated Honolulu Hale, and displays and lighted trees along King Street. The wreath contest and visits with Santa will be shared online.

Related: The Best of Hawaii on a Budget

Keokuk, Iowa
Joe Morgan, Mississippi Valley Photography

Keokuk, Iowa

Keokuk hosts a "City of Christmas" attraction in Rand Park that runs through Dec. 26 and features a village devoted to religious and non-religious aspects of the holiday. Keokuk has put on this festival for three decades.

Holiday Lights-2
Holiday Lights-2 by laserbub_Drew (CC BY-NC)

Louisville, Kentucky

Housed in a former limestone mine, the Louisville Mega Cavern is a unique attraction any time of year, but especially for Lights Under Louisville, the world's only fully underground drive-thru light show, featuring 3 million lights and 850 displays. Tickets are $30 per car admission.

Duluth's Bentleyville Tour of Lights in Duluth, MN
Duluth's Bentleyville Tour of Lights in Duluth, MN by Aaron Fulkerson (CC BY-SA)

Duluth, Minnesota

Bring a toy or nonperishable food to donate before seeing the 12-story-tall, light-animated Christmas tree at Duluth's Bentleyville Tour of Lights. For the drive-the event, more than 5 million lights are strung across the 20-acre Bayfront Festival Park. Tickets are $10 per car and can only be bought at the gate. Children 10 and under will receive a free knit winter hat.

Related: The Most Christmas-y Towns in All 50 States

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Las Vegas

Far from the Strip but no less flashy, Glittering Lights at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a drive-thru display with 2.5 miles of "millions and millions of twinkling lights" as well as custom light displays Nov. 23 to Jan. 10. Tickets start at $25 per carload.

Trail of Lights austin
Sandi N./Yelp

Austin, Texas

The Trail of Lights sees Austin's Zilker Park neighborhood erect the nation's largest man-made Christmas tree, along with 2 million lights and 41 unique displays. This year the trail will be a drive-thru event, with timed-entry passes costing $30 and up. A little extra will add the cost of the 2020 Austin Fun Run registration to your ticket. 

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Loudon, Connecticut

The New Hampshire Motor Speedway gets a holiday makeover Nov. 26-Jan. 3. A drive-thru light display stretches 2.5 miles and features the 130-foot long Tunnel of Lights, 520 displays, and 80 different scenes. Admission is $25 per car or bus up to 15 people.

Holiday Lights in Lindenwood Park, Fargo, North Dakota
John M./Yelp

Fargo, North Dakota

Holiday Lights in Lindenwood Park has over 75 light displays and has been a hometown hit for the last 20 years. This year the event, which cars can drive through for $8 per vehicle, is Nov. 26-Dec. 31. 

Hershey Sweet Lights Spectacular, Hershey, Pennsylvania
Ping F./Yelp
Christmas Carnival of Lights, Caledonia, Wisconsin
Alisha M./Yelp

Caledonia, Wisconsin

For $25 per vehicle containing up to eight people, visitors can drive the mile-long, snow-strewn Christmas Carnival of Lights at Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Caledonia. After passing more than 2 million lights illuminating the forested setting, the route ends at a workshop where children can see Santa, adults can peruse the gift shop, and both can sip hot beverages.

Oglebay Park Christmas Lights
Oglebay Park Christmas Lights by Mark Cameron (CC BY-ND)

Wheeling, West Virginia

More than 300 acres and 6 miles of the Oglebay resort in Wheeling light up with 90 unique displays in December for the Winter Festival of Lights, now one of the nation's largest and most visited holiday shows. Tickets for this drive-thru experience are $25 per vehicle, which includes four 3D glasses to enhance the ride. 

Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles

From Nov. 30-Dec. 23 and Dec. 26-30, check out WonderLAnd, a Woodland Hills "holiday drive-thru adventure" put on by the folks who organize the popular Haunt’Oween. Expect millions of lights, themed decorations, elaborate sets, hologram installations, and more — all from the safety of your car. Entry fee is $70 per car.

Related: Creative and Unusual Christmas Trees and Decorations You Can Still Get

Round colorful christmas tunnel made of christmas lights in city streets

Marshfield, Massachusetts

The Marshfield Holiday Light Show bills itself as "the only drive-through holiday light spectacular on the South Shore." In 2020, it will feature dozens of themed displays over a more than 1-mile route. It's open on select nights through Dec. 30 and tickets can be purchased online or at entry. 

christmas illumination on the streets
Liia Galimzianova/istockphoto

Albuquerque, New Mexico

From Dec. 1 through January 2021, visitors can experience Lights of Enchantment, a drive-thru holiday lights experience featuring more than 350 displays and over a million lights. Admission is $20 per car.

The Lights of Christmas, Stanwood, Washington
Craig F./Yelp

Stanwood, Washington

Billed as "The Largest Christmas Festival in the Pacific Northwest," The Lights of Christmas is about an hour north of Seattle and takes place on select days from Nov. 27-Dec. 30. The drive-thru event this year features more than 1 million lights and the chance to wave to Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Admission is $20-$25 per car.

Related: 50 Best Small Towns to Visit in Winter

Holiday Light Fantasia, Goodwin Park, Hartford, Connecticut
Emily C./Yelp

Hartford, Connecticut

A 2-mile drive through Holiday Light Fantasia at Goodwin Park in Hartford uses more than 1 million lights and displays to celebrate cross-cultural festivities, with sections devoted to Hanukkah, New Year's, and Three Kings Day, along with Christmas. Unlike most other displays on the list, this one charges for entrance: $15 per car. Proceeds benefit the local Channel 3 Kids Camp.

christmas light path

Bluefield, West Virginia

For a spectacular lights display, visit the Holiday of Lights at Bluefield City Park. More than 1.2 million lights decorate more than 100 acres of the park and a 1.5-mile driving path. Admission to the Holiday of Lights is free, but the park will accept cash donations for operational costs and canned goods for the Bluefield Union Mission.

Related: Dazzling Christmas Light Displays to Visit in All 50 States