It’s that time of year to bundle up, pack a thermos of cocoa and watch little eyes go saucer-sized at these super sized holiday lights displays. Holiday lights help to set the mood for a merry holiday season. We’ve rounded up some of the best lights displays to see in the USA and around the world. But first read our 5 tips for making the most of your holiday lights experience!
Planning the Perfect Holiday Lights Family Outing
Few things can warm up a winter night and raise the level of holiday cheer quite like a brilliant holiday lights display. From New York to Hawaii, South Dakota to Texas, London to Sydney, towns around the world are planning extravagant holiday lights displays this year. We’ve got the regional roundups that will tell you where to see holiday lights displays and celebrations around the world. First, allow us to help you plan the perfect holiday lights experience with your family. Read on for the tips you need to know before you go. Just looking for the lists? Scroll to the bottom for roundups by region.
5 tips for the Perfect Family Holiday Lights Trip
1. Select the right type of light display.
When planning your holiday outing, keep in mind that there are many different types of holiday light displays. Selecting the right type of event for your family is key to the success of your trip.
For toddlers and preschoolers with short attention spans events at the Zoo or a Christmas-themed light festival with activities will minimize meltdowns. Elementary-aged kids can sit for a little longer at illuminated boat parades and participate in trails that wind through numerous towns. Multigenerational families will enjoy events like Christmas markets that offer a little something for everyone.
2. Dress and pack appropriately.
Nothing kills a happy outing like a toddler who decides she’s freezing two minutes into the excursion. Dress the family in layers. Even in the warmest climates, the temperature will dip in the evening when the lights come on. Being prepared is key.
Other things to throw in a bag? Snacks, phone chargers, a blanket for hayrides and a thermos of cocoa if you’re feeling festive. One of our TravelingMom’s found out that a wagon can make a big difference when visiting holiday lights.
3. Review safety procedures.
No, we don’t mean how to make the quickest exit to the car. Light displays tend to happen at night. Add in crowds and darkness and it becomes easy for a little one to dart away quickly.
On the way to the light festival, remind preschoolers what to do if they get lost and who they can ask for help. With older kids, set a meeting spot. Line the kids up for a quick photo before heading into the event. If they do disappear, you’ll know what they were wearing.
In all likelihood, your visit will go off without a hitch but being prepared is always good! For crowd safety tips to review with your kids head over to TravelingDad.
4. Try something new!
Maybe you always visit the same living Nativity or drive the same stretch of the 100-mile holiday lights fest. With so many unique light experiences out there, seek out something different this year. From underground caverns of lights to giant ice sculptures to a Three Kings Parade or even some free things to do in your city there are so many options. Involve the kids in planning. Present them with a few options and let them pick. You don’t have to spend loads of money to enjoy holiday lights. Some of the best displays are free or raise money for important community entities.
5. Plan, plan, plan.
We love to wing it here at TravelingMom and be spontaneous. Winging it on light displays can be tricky though. Many involve reservations, tickets and set times.
Reading tips from folks who have been there can make a huge difference. Learn the best ways to avoid crowds and maximize your time. You’ll learn what to pack and tricks to parking nearby.
If you’ll be traveling to reach your lights destination be sure to read up on how to avoid common holiday travel mistakes.
Crashing with family, be sure to be a perfect houseguest.