There are lots of fantastic things to love about Christmas — nostalgic songs, cookie swaps, presents. But it’s the festive lights that make the season truly magical.
Christmas light attractions are now in full swing across the country, and U.S. News and World Report has created a list of the top 25 displays in the U.S. Here are five of the top sparkling options you might want to check out.
Koziar’s Christmas Village in Bernville, Pennsylvania
What better way to visit Santa than inside a twinkling Christmas Village? For 76 years, Koziar’s has been lighting up a small town’s worth of houses, barns, trees, gates and piers with more than 1 million Christmas lights. At this indoor-outdoor event, you can visit Santa’s post office, a toymaker’s shop, an indoor train attraction and an old-fashioned bakery.
Now through Jan. 1, the village is open for business nightly. Kids ages 3 and under are free; adults can enter for $13. Check Koziar’s website for prices, though — they charge $4 extra on the busiest nights.
Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Resort and Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia
Some light shows are walkable; others are meant for cars.The one at Callaway Resort and Gardens is so grand and sprawling that it offers both — and you can even stay overnight to extend the fun. For the driving portion, you can either take your car or catch a “Jolly Trolley” through a 7-mile stretch.
Glittering at the center of Callaway Christmas Village is a new, 40-foot pixel pine tree, called the Tree of Traditions. It stands among a festive area adorned with 10 million glowing lights in 17 Christmas scenes — in all, there are 2,500 acres of holiday glitz and glamour. Of course, you’ll also get to meet Santa and nibble on Christmas treats.
Ticket prices range from $19.95 for children on value nights to $39.95 for adults on super prime evenings through Jan. 1.
Austin Trail of Lights in Austin, Texas
Austin’s Trail of Lights is a 2.5-mile walk through a path lined by 90 dazzlingly lit trees and over 70 holiday-themed displays. There are also spots along the trail where you can stop and make s’mores!
Despite being an over-the-top extravaganza that features more than 2 million lights, a Ferris wheel, a carousel and a peek at Santa’s workshop, the event is surprisingly affordable. General admission to Zilker Metropolitan Park is free, and the price of general admission for the Trail of Lights ranges from free to $8, depending on the night you visit. You can also pay extra for various special tickets (up to $95) to get perks like early access, complimentary cocoa and snacks and heated washrooms.
The Trail of Lights is open evenings from Dec. 8-23, though it’s closed on Mondays.
When you grab a shuttle to the #ATXLights at Republic Square this year, you'll be treated to beautiful lights courtesy of the Trail of Lights Foundation, Downtown Austin, Kirkland & Ellis, and Favor! pic.twitter.com/IanfFUQ4Pp
— Austin Trail of Lights (@ATXLights) December 6, 2023
Enchanted: Forest of Light at Descanso Gardens in Flintridge, California
Descanso Gardens is a 150-acre botanical garden about 15 miles away from downtown Los Angeles, and it’s well known for its holiday-time Enchanted: Forest of Light show.
If you like your light shows with an artistic twist, this is the one for you. A contemporary sculptor creates an illuminated stained glass village on the Main Lawn, while dazzling geometric structures line the rose garden and colorful flower-shaped lights adorn the promenade.
The display is open every day through Jan. 7 (though it’s closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). Ticket prices range from $20-$45 depending on your age, the day you visit, and your membership status.
Winter Garden aGlow at Idaho Botanical Garden in Boise, Idaho
At the Idaho Botanical Garden, Winter Garden aGlow will captivate all of your senses.
Yes, there’s a luminous light display throughout the entire complex. And the candy cane forest and gingerbread village are a feast for your eyes. But as you stroll along the winding path, you’ll also hear choirs singing, feel the cozy warmth of fire pits and taste holiday drinks at the Snow Globe Bar. Kids can visit Santa on certain days, and there’s a station where they can stop and write him letters.
The event is open Wednesdays through Sundays through Dec. 31. Tickets cost $18 for adults and $14 for children.
Unable to travel to one of these spots during the holiday season? Check the U.S. News’ top 25 list to see if there’s another illuminated attraction closer to you!
Here are 5 of the best holiday lights displays around the country originally appeared on Simplemost.com, helping make the most out of life.