Last updated on December 3, 2019 at 02:17 pm
The East Coast shines this time of year with spellbinding spectacles, visits from Santa and family-friendly festivities. From New Hampshire to Pennsylvania, we’ve compiled some of the season’s most Instagram-worthy destinations for holiday light displays. Leave the hustle and bustle behind and begin your holiday road trip tradition today!
- Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth – Portsmouth: This historic seacoast city transforms into a magical winter wonderland, featuring ice skating at Puddle Dock Pond, an Annual Gingerbread House Contest and The Strawbery Banke Museum’s Candlelight Stroll. The Ogunquit Playhouse’s heartwarming holiday production of Annie is not to be missed.
- Gift of Lights at New Hampshire Motor Speedway – Loudon: Every year, the speedway hosts a 2.5 mile-long drive-through illumination show complete with millions of brilliant LED lights, over 500 displays, 80 scenes, a s’mores pit, pictures with Santa and the truly dazzling Tunnel of Lights.
- Nantucket Noel – Nantucket: The picture-perfect island comes to life the first weekend in December with its Christmas Stroll, featuring live entertainment, caroling and craft shows. The festivities continue all month with a holiday house tour, Festival of Trees and more.
- The Bright Nights at Forest Park – Springfield: Add New England’s largest light display to your yuletide bucket list. Celebrate the holidays with themed displays including Jurassic World, Never, Never Land and Dr. Seuss. Newly added for 2019 are the Toy Land and Springfield Thunderbirds displays.
- Festival of Silver Lights – Meriden: Featuring over 350,000 simply elegant twinkly white lights shaped mostly like animals nestled in their natural habitat, this drive-through display is pure magic. After your drive, stop by the selfie station to get your picture taken with Santa. Guests enjoy free admission all season long, until January 1.
- Mystic’s Holiday Festivities – Mystic: This quaint coastal town converts into a charming holiday village with character meet and greets, live entertainment and ice carving demos. Start a new family tradition at Winterfest or Northern Lights, or stroll through beautifully adorned Olde Mistick Village.
- Dyker Heights Christmas Lights – Brooklyn: Take a bus tour through this over-the-top, jaw-dropping wonderland that spans multiple blocks of outrageously embellished houses. Highlights include oversized inflatables, a 15-foot-tall Santa and a special house described as “Christmas meets Las Vegas.”
- Rockefeller Center – New York City: Everyone should visit one of the world’s most iconic holiday destinations at least once in their lifetime. Twirl with loved ones on the city’s famous ice rink, walk past wondrous window displays, marvel at the magnificent tree and watch the awe-inspiring Christmas Spectacular.
- Magic of Lights – PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel: Bask in over a mile of magical light displays and animations from the comfort of your car. This year, check out the all-new Toyota Holiday Village, featuring ice skating, a petting zoo, photos with Santa, cookie decorating and classic holiday movies.
- Storybook Land’s Christmas Fantasy with Lights – Egg Harbor Township: Mr. and Mrs. Claus spread holiday sparkle, illuminating the park with over a million lights. Kids and kids at heart can enjoy rides and attractions as they stroll through the settings of their favorite storybooks and nursery rhymes.
- Philly Holiday Attractions — Philadelphia: Getting into the holiday spirit is easy with Philly’s family festivities including ice skating, carousel rides, the city’s official tree and Wintergarden at Dilworth Park. Hit the Holiday Market and Christmas Village for your holiday shopping, and visit the Philadelphia Zoo for the all-new LumiNature light experience.
- Koziar’s Christmas Village — Bernville: What began over 70 years ago as one man’s love of decorating his farm for the holidays turned into a beloved seasonal destination. Santa’s Toy Shoppe, the country kitchen and elaborate light displays will delight guests of all ages.
Share your favorite holiday light display in the comments below.