Getting Out: 10 Spectacular Holiday Light Displays

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Thanksgiving is behind us, and that can mean only one thing: we are in big holiday territory. This week, beat the Christmas Eve crowds and check out some of the most breathtaking holiday lights displays New England has to offer.

Winter in New England is one of the most beautiful times of the year. The icy background is the perfect backdrop to the many holiday lights displays of the region.

For those of you who think it’s necessary to drive up north to get the most out of winter and the holiday season, think again. Southern New England is blessed with several great places to celebrate the season.

Check out the slides below for the ten best places too “ooh” and “ahh” at some great light displays—all close to home.

  • Bright Nights

    Head out to Springfield this week to visit Bright Lights! This is one of the Northeast’s premiere lights displays, and is perfect for a chilly December evening. This is a drive-along route of over three miles of beautiful holiday lighting displays. There is even musical accompaniment via a radio simulcast on 98.5 FM to enhance your holiday experience!

    302 Sumner Avenue, Springfield, MA. 

    Photo: Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism/Flickr

     
  • Newport Mansion Christmas

    Enjoy a Rhode Island holiday tradition at the Newport Mansions! Visitors to the event will tour three beautiful mansions—The Breakers, The Elms and Marble House, decked out to the nines in holiday lights and spirit. There are a total of 28 lighted Christmas trees; beautifully crafted gingerbread models of the mansions and so much more to be seen!

    Click here or call 401-847-1000 for more info.

    Photo: Robyn2175/Flickr

     
  • La Salette Shrine

    La Salette Shrine in Attleborough, MA is a close to home favorite for MA and RI families alike. The grounds glisten with sparkle of over 300,000 gorgeous lights. As this is the 60-year anniversary of the shrine, they are going all out for this Christmas season. Make sure to visit the illuminated walkway on the pond—it is striking. This event is free to all.

    947 Park Street, Attleborough, MA.

    Photo: Šarūnas Burdulis/Flickr

     
  • Marblehead Christmas Walk

    From December 5-8, visit the quaint New England town of Marblehead, MA for a great Christmas stroll. Although celebrations will be happening all weekend, the big event is Friday night tree lighting at 7pm. On Saturday, there will be a Christmas walk parade featuring all the sights and sounds of Christmastime in this seaside village. Santa will be arriving by lobster boat Saturday morning at 9:30am!

    Click here for more!

    Photo: sunchild123/Flickr

     
  • Zoolights

    Head to the zoo for some holiday magic! Stone Zoo in Stoneham, MA is hosting Zoolights, a great holiday excursion for people of all ages! This huge holiday lights display incorporates dazzling lights into every part of the zoo. If you have little ones, make sure they get a visit with Santa and the Zoo’s resident reindeer!

     149 Pond Street, Stoneham, MA. (781) 438-5100.

    Photo: Mark Dumont/Flickr

     
  • Festival of Lights

    Edaville USA is a family favorite year-round, but this amusement park brings something extra special to the table during the holidays. Join Edaville for their annual Festival of Lights, all viewed from coach trains! This year’s festivities feature thousands of lights displays, holiday themed treats, vintage amusement rides, Santa and more!

    5 Pine Street, Carver, MA. (508) 866-8190. 

    Photo: Eric Kilby/Flickr

     
  • Gardens Aglow

    Known in the summertime for its sprawling botanical gardens and horticulture displays, Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich, MA is also a do-not-miss this holiday season. The grounds will be embellished with 117,400 beautiful lights that will brighten the holiday season! Aside from viewing the lights, visitors are also invited to attend mini-workshops that will teach them to fashion great holiday decorations, like handmade topiary wreaths!

    67 Grove Street, Sandwich, MA. (508) 888-3300.

    Photo: KWDesigns/Flickr

     
  • Holly Days

    Take the family on a close to home trip to Holly Days at the Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, MA! This year, the theme of this huge lights display is “Woodland Magic.” There will be thousands of twinkling lights adorning the grounds, as well as whimsical, woodland-themed decorations with a natural touch. If you head over on a Wednesday or Thursday evening, make sure to come hungry. There will be “Food & Fire,” featuring comfort foods that will warm you up after a chilly walk!

    11 French Drive, Boylston, MA. (508) 869-6111. 

    Photo: Tori Siegel/Flickr

     
  • Holiday Light Fantasia

    Take a trip to nearby Connecticut to enjoy Holiday Light Fantasia. This is a two-mile light show featuring over 1,000,000—yes, one MILLION—sparkling lights dedicated to celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years, and Three Kings Day . There are animated scenes, tributes to favorite family characters, and so much more.

    1130 Maple Avenue, Hartford, CT. Click here for more.

    Photo: Ben Pollard/Flickr

     
  • Winterfest

    The Connecticut Trolley Museum will come to life this holiday season for their annual WinterFest and the Tunnel of Lights. This great event has become a family tradition throughout southern New England and beyond. Visitors will enjoy a trolley ride on a closed car or electric sleigh through the Tunnel of Lights, while singing traditional carols. The Visitor’s Center will have plenty of hot cocoa and entertainment!

    58 North Road, East Windsor, CT. Click here for more.

    Photo: mrhayata/Flickr