Enjoy 12 of the Country’s Most Beautiful Drive-Through Christmas Light Shows

Safety is paramount and these tours are strictly restricted to driving only.

Top Drive-Through Light Displays

This year you can experience the wonder of Christmas through some of the country’s most imaginative drive-through displays.

Northeast

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts presents Peace, Love & Lights, a drive-thru holiday light experience at the historic site of the 1969 Woodstock festival in Bethel, New York. The light show, totaling just over one mile, runs nightly through January 3. Created in conjunction with the Sullivan Catskills Visitors Association, the light show is filled with LED lighting and animated displays with a 120-foot Twinkle Tunnel that’s certain to entrance. Themed areas are named Groovy Way (taking you on a trip back to ’69), the Enchanted Forest, Snowflake Alley, and Santa’s Workshop.

Boothbay, Maine’s annual Gardens Aglow at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is newly reimagined as a drive-through event in 2020. The gardens will dazzle with more than 650,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights adorning trees, animals, and flowers that spectators can witness from the comfort of their car. Timed tickets are required and a height restriction of nine feet is in place for all vehicles.

To ensure safety for all, Westchester’s Winter Wonderland in Valhalla, New York has been re-configured into a 1.2-mile drive-thru experience with thousands of animated lights and holiday entertainment. Festive music streams through an FM radio station and attractions include the event’s favorite elves, Ned and Albert, dancing aside glittering angels of peace, old man winter blowing beautiful snowflakes, a 50-foot dove, swaying trees, glowing snowballs, candy cane lane, a 100-foot light tunnel and the Wonderland’s famous 40-foot Christmas tree.

The Winter Wonder Drive-Thru in West Springfield, Massachusetts is a COVID-19 safe, audio/visual spectacular showcasing brightly colored lighting, special effects, and 3D holograms. Attendees will enjoy an immersive, holiday display right from the comfort of their car. Special effects in this year’s light extravaganza include a "clean" snowstorm, singing snowmen, Santa's elves, and Santa taking to the sky.

The Winter Wonder Drive-Thru in West Springfield, Massachusetts is a COVID-19 safe, audio/visual spectacular | WhereTraveler
(Courtesy Winter Wonder Drive-thru)

Further South

The name of this experience says it all. It’s The Tacky Lights Tour. Richmond, Virginia’s popular attraction began in the 1980’s with just 12 houses. The tour has grown so much that Richmond is now known as the “Tacky Lights Capital of the World.” Participants follow routes provided by the Richmond Times-Dispatch to explore all of the city’s most decorated houses and buildings. Each year, participating homeowners attempt to incorporate even more extravagant decorations than before, creating a new tacky experience every time.

The Tacky Lights Tour has grown so much that Richmond is now known as the “Tacky Lights Capital of the World.” | WhereTraveler
Tacky Lights Tour (Courtesy Visit Richmond)

Virginia Beach’s Holiday Lights at the Beach is a family-friendly, beach-themed holiday lights display complete with a traditional holiday soundtrack. Immersed in sight and sound, spectators drive their cars onto the Virginia Beach Boardwalk as they survey nautical and adventure-themed light displays alongside the Atlantic Ocean. Guests tune in to a special radio channel to hear traditional holiday music. This year includes a Surfing Santa and a 40-foot dancing Christmas tree. Archways that change colors, festive fish, musical crabs, and hard-working elves also join in to create the magic.

The Midwest, Southwest, and West

Albuquerque’s Winter Wonderland combines the holiday spirit with New Mexico culture in a safe, family-friendly drive-through attraction featuring professional lighting installations and larger-than-life decorations. Visitors will be entranced by the mile-long route filled with giant holiday inflatables, an electric forest with more than 100 decorated Christmas trees, and traditional New Mexican luminarias. A portion of every ticket sold will be donated to the Carrie Tingley Hospital Foundation and the Ronald McDonald House Charities – New Mexico.

Albuquerque’s Winter Wonderland combines the holiday spirit with New Mexico culture | WhereTraveler
Albuquerque Drive-through (@winterwonderlandnm/Instagram)

The Annual Tanglewood Park Festival of Lights drive-through holiday lights display is a four-mile experience in Winston-Salem, North Carolina with more than one million LED lights and 180 displays. Tanglewood Park is the former 1100-acre estate of Will and Kate Reynolds, of the R.J. Reynolds family.

The Annual Tanglewood Park Festival of Lights drive-through holiday lights display is a four-mile experience in Winston-Salem, North Carolina | WhereTraveler
(Courtesy Tanglewood Park Festival of the Lights)

Located 20 minutes south of Milwaukee at Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resort, The Wisconsin Christmas of Carnival Lights is the largest drive-through holiday light display in Wisconsin. With more than two million twinkling lights on a path spanning over 1.6 miles, the show creates a light experience on all sides, on the ground, and in the trees above with handcrafted light displays ranging from forest friends and reindeer to Santa and his elves.

The 56th annual Austin Trail of Lights takes place this year as a drive-through event illuminating the city’s Zilker Park. The popular Texas light show features more than two million lights, 90 lighted holiday trees, and more than 70 other holiday displays and lighted tunnels. Timed entry tickets are required.

he 56th annual Austin Trail of Lights takes place this year as a drive-through event | WhereTraveler
(Courtesy Austin Trail of Lights)

Sparkle in the Park is a drive-through event in the village of Bear Lake, Michigan. Now in its sixteenth year, the holiday experience shines with more than 80,000 lights in 50 holiday displays that include Christmas trees, Santa, reindeer, a salute to the troops, snowmen, animals, and Christmas nativity scenes.

Colorado’s Christmas in Color at Bandimere Speedway invites you to drive along the speedway again and again to view the light show and its more than 1.5 million lights perfectly synchronized to holiday music on your car radio. Scenes of giant candy canes, snowmen, arched pathways and more will wow the entire family.

Colorado’s Christmas in Color at Bandimere Speedway invites you to drive along the speedway again and again to view the light show | WhereTraveler
Bandimere Speedway (Courtesy Colorado Tourism)