Best places to view Christmas lights
Editor-in-Chief and A&E Editor
Food, presents, and family all add to the festive mood surrounding the end of the year, but perhaps one of the overlooked aspects of the holiday season would be the outdoor decorations. Many take joy in watching the dazzling displays of Christmas lights, which usually appear a couple days after Thanksgiving. Occasionally, there will be a couple houses on a street with an enormous amount of outdoor decorations and lots of lights. Buildings and homes actually dressed in bright Christmas attire can be far and few between, making it difficult for families who have a tradition of viewing Christmas lights together. But the area still offers quite a few light shows; one just needs to know where to look. Here are the locations of some amazing light exhibitions.
NC Chinese Lantern Festival at the Koka Booth. This festival will be running all the way through Jan. 3 of next year. There will be more than twenty displays composed of thousands of LED lights. One will be able to walk through the venue to admire all of the displays, which depict traditional Chinese architecture, symbols, and more. This event is definitely an exciting one, and people can attend Sunday through Thursday from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. or Friday to Saturday between 6:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here. For more information, check out their website.
Magical Winter Lights in Morrisville. Park West Village will be holding their annual light show Dec. 11 through Dec. 13 at Stone Theatre - Park West 14. Unfortunately, it is just one weekend. Still, it is close, free, and pretty amazing. The show actually consists of something known as paintscaping, which is 3D projection mapping, and it will occur upon the building of the movie theater. You can click here to see some of last year’s show. The show will be from 6 to 8 p.m., but it will be composed of multiple mini shows. For more information, view their website.
Valley Creek Lights in Clayton. Alright, there is a bit more of a drive to 213 Valley Creek Drive. But it could be worth it to see the amazing lights the Fuller family puts up at their home. They were last year’s winners of ABC’s “The Great Christmas Light Fight,” and this year they are planning to do even more. They have over half an acre of decorations, most of which are animated. The Fullers use light controllers so they can synchronize the visual display with music. People are welcome to drop by and even walk up the driveway, but the family asks that people park off the road to the best of their abilities and refrain from entering the yard. “... our goal is to offer an experience that is not only dramatic, but peaceful, joyful, relaxing, and one that brings back memories for adults and creates memories for children,” says the Fuller family. Their decorations are definitely magnificent, and viewers will surely have fun watching them. The operating hours are 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. If you want to know more, head over to their website.
Boyette Family Farms in Clayton. Sound familiar? This is the home of the famed Fear Farm, which a lot of students attend around Halloween. The location is farther away, but there are a lot of attractions. There is a Christmas Hayride, a sweets shop, and a sugar cookie decorating station. The Christmas Hayride is a thirty minute ride through “a beautiful Lights Extravaganza, filled with Christmas music and holiday magic.” Admission for those twelve and over is just $10, but the schedule for when people can attend can be a little confusing. So be sure to check out their website thoroughly before making plans. Follow this link to purchase tickets.
Festival of Lights at Hill Ridge Farms. This is the farthest away, but it’s also the largest and has the most flexible schedule. Open seven nights a week, the Festival of Lights offers a covered hayride, bonfires, train rides, a candy store, and more. It’s affordable, just $10 for teens, and has great hours. Monday through Thursday it’s open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Check out their magical website for more information.
Don’t feel like going to a large light show? If you prefer to just go on a drive and view some great light displays, check out these homes.
Tatton Place, Cary. Some houses in this neighborhood go all out. There is one house, at 203 Billingrath Turn Lane, which has its lights choreographed to music and puts on a small light show. It’s incredible and incredibly close.
Picardy Pointe, Cary. There are some nice lights set up in this development. But one house, at 106 Glenhigh Court, has an insane amount of lights and decorations all over their house and their yard. Lights in the trees, icicle lights, and numerous props. It’s amazing, but there are no set hours, so it might be wise to come a little earlier.
Green Level Road. These lights are spectacular. When you turn off Highway 55 onto Green Level Road, as you’re driving towards 540, you are sure to see them. Decorations, lights, and tons of inflatables. You definitely do not want to miss these houses. There is not any music, but the houses are still astounding. You’ve got to check these out.
Happyland Christmas Lights at 5504 Huntingwood Drive, Raleigh. This house, at the corner of Penny Road and Huntingwood Drive, is loaded with lights connected to music. The lights are on Monday through Thursday from 6:30 to 10 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 6 to 10:30 p.m. On Christmas Eve, the lights will be on from sundown until 10:30 p.m., after which, only the manger will be lit up. Visit their Facebook page for more information.
Stonehenge, Raleigh. Huge light displays can be found in this neighborhood. At 2216 Abbey Lane Road, there is a large light show synced with music. There are other displays throughout the neighborhood, but this one is definitely the biggest. Be sure to check out this house if you decide to pass through.
Admiring all the Christmas lights can be a great thing to do with friends or family. It is something that gets people in the holiday mood, and it is a fun tradition to start or continue. But however you choose to celebrate the holidays, just be sure to enjoy them.
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