Last updated on December 7, 2020 at 04:02 pm
The East Coast shines this time of year with spellbinding spectacles and family-friendly festivities — many of which can be enjoyed from the safety and comfort of your car! From New Hampshire to Pennsylvania, we’ve compiled some of the season’s most Instagram-worthy destinations for holiday light displays. Start your holiday road trip tradition today!
Before you head out: be sure to check the website of each attraction for COVID-19 health and safety protocols, including wearing face coverings and social distancing.
- 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. Visit The Music Hall for must-see entertainment.
- 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 and the truly dazzling Tunnel of Lights.
- Gillette Stadium’s Magic of Lights – Foxborough: Enjoy this mile-long drive-thru display of LED lights and digital animations from the cozy comfort of your car. This year will feature classics like Winter Wonderland and 12 Days of Christmas, as well as the newly created Blizzard Tunnel.
- 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, Toy Land and Springfield’s very own Dr. Seuss.
- Reindeer on the Rails – Essex: The Essex Steam Train & Riverboat presents a new, safe and socially distanced family excursion featuring an hour-long train ride through the lower Connecticut River Valley. On board, kids will receive a gift from Rudolph, make their own ornament and write a letter to Santa! Each family will enjoy their own continental-style breakfast or lunch.
- Festival of Silver Lights – Meriden: Featuring over 350,000 simply elegant twinkly white lights, this drive-through display is pure magic. Singing, costumed characters plus hot chocolate and cookies make this event fun for the whole family. Guests enjoy free admission all season long, until January 1.
- 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.” If riding the bus, remember to pack your face masks and hand sanitizer.
- Rockefeller Center – New York City: Everyone should visit one of the world’s most iconic holiday destinations at least once in their lifetime. While you’re there, walk past wondrous window displays and marvel at the magnificent tree.
- Magic of Lights – PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel: Bask in over a mile of magical light displays and animations, right from your car. The Toyota Mega Tree Spectacular with 240 feet of LED Christmas trees is a family favorite.
- 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, the city’s official tree and Wintergarden at Dilworth Park. Hit the Holiday Market and Christmas Village for your holiday shopping.
- 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.