Does holiday planning have you wound tighter than Christmas twine? Has “bah humbug” become a part of your daily vocabulary? Are you looking to duck out of decking those halls? Fortunately, even if you’re feeling particularly “Grinch-y” this holiday season, there’s still hope – a good old-fashioned holiday light display to brighten your spirits! And if you’re lucky enough to ring in the season on the quaint East Coast – or are simply looking for a refreshing change of scenery this year – you certainly won’t run low on options. So what are you waiting for? Kick that Christmas cheer into high gear with one (or more) of these dazzling New England holiday light displays and start the season off right.
1 Holiday Light Fantasia – Hartford, Connecticut
If you’re looking to enjoy a beautiful menagerie of lights while contributing to a great cause, then you won’t want to miss the Holiday Light Fantasia in Hartford, CT. Running until January 1st, this festive event literally shines light on Channel 3 Kids Camp by raising funds for this non-profit organization’s year-round educational programs. A drive-through winter wonderland set to festive holiday tunes, Holiday Light Fantasia is located in Goodwin Park and features a two mile stretch of over one million lights. Depictions include everything from lovable children’s characters to wintery-white holiday scenes. So if you’re looking to enjoy a beautiful spectacle of lights from the comfort and warmth of your car, this light display simply can’t be missed.
2 Fantasy of Lights – New Haven, Connecticut
If you wish to continue spreading Christmas cheer and charity throughout the quaint state of Connecticut, be sure to check out New Haven’s Fantasy of Lights. Located at charming Lighthouse Point Park, this dazzling drive-through light display features over one hundred thousand bulbs and sixty animated displays – and even offers visitors 3D glasses for added thrills! This scintillating event runs until December 31st and all proceeds benefit the Easter Seals Goodwill Industries’ programs.
3 Bright Nights at Forest Park – Springfield, Massachusetts
For an enchanted evening, head on over to Springfield, Massachusetts for Bright Nights at Forest Park, renowned as the Northeast’s premier holiday lighting experience. Dazzling 3.8 million visitors since its inception in 1995, Bright Nights at Forest Park has been featured in the New York Times and was named one of the Top 100 Attractions in North America by the American Bus Association. Including displays from Jurassic World, to beloved Hasbro toys, to a blizzard tunnel, this exciting event runs until January 1st and is sure to brighten your spirits.
4 The Conway Christmas Lights Extravaganza – Coventry, Rhode Island
Rhode Island may be the smallest state, but it certainly packs a big punch when it comes to Christmas. Running since 1992, The Conway Christmas Lights Extravaganza in Coventry is sure to put you in a festive mood this season, and encourages visitors to spread the joy through non-perishable food donations for the Coventry Food Bank. Mesmerizing spectators seven days a week with over sixty thousand lights and over four hundred lawn ornaments, this lights extravaganza runs through December 31st and features great family-friendly displays, including Queen Elsa’s tower and a walk-through Polar Express train car for the little ones.
5 Winter Lights in the Park – Essex Junction, Vermont
If you’re looking to add a little challenge to your Christmas lights display, don’t miss Winter Lights in the Park in Essex Junction, Vermont. Kids and jolly adults alike will enjoy a fun scavenger hunt where they can search for Christmas ornaments hidden in the trees! Located in beautiful Maple Street Park, this hands-on Christmas event runs until January 1st and is fun for the whole family. Be sure to pick up your scavenger hunt list on your way into the park and prepare yourself for a holiday delight for the ages!
6 New Hampshire’s Gift of Lights – Loudon, New Hampshire
Ready to kick things up a notch this holiday season? Then check out New Hampshire’s famous Gift of Lights event. Presented by Eastern Propane & Oil at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, this event is sure to throw the holiday season into high gear. With over two miles of lights spanning the tracks and winding around the grandstands, you’ll enjoy four hundred spectacular light displays, more than sixty mesmerizing holiday scenes, and two million luminescent LED bulbs.
If that doesn’t have you convinced, the hypnotizing Tunnel of Lights will be sure to change your mind. Plus, a portion of the proceeds benefit Speedway Children’s Charities – what could be better? If you do decide to attend this unique event, consider donating three non-perishable food items to the Loudon Food Pantry to receive $2 off your car load. This heart-pumping display will keep guests on their toes until December 31st.
7 Gardens Aglow – Boothbay, Maine
Maine’s largest festival of lights, Gardens Aglow is located at the beautiful Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine. Featuring over five hundred thousand energy-efficient lights, an art exhibit, a fire pit, and a popcorn stand, Gardens Aglow is sure to keep the whole family entertained. Visitors can even take in the spectacular displays while enjoying delicious food and drinks from the on-site Kitchen Garden Café. Due to the popularity of this event, it is advisable to purchase your tickets in advance online for dates until December 31st. You’ll have the ability to select your desired date and time slot to help maintain a steady flow of traffic and prevent overcrowding.
So whether you wish to enjoy your spectacle of lights off the coast of Maine, in the heart of Connecticut, or at any charming, wintry town in between, there’s nothing quite like a New England light display to put you in the holiday mood. Here’s to miles of glittering eye candy, spreading cheer through charitable donations, and a much brighter season ahead!