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Best Christmas Lights in VA

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Best Christmas Lights in VA

Busch Gardens Williamsburg is lit up with millions of lights for the holiday season.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg is lit up with millions of lights for the holiday season.

Kings Mill

Busch Gardens Williamsburg is lit up with millions of lights for the holiday season.

Kings Mill

Kings Mill

Busch Gardens Williamsburg is lit up with millions of lights for the holiday season.

Caroline Austin, Staff

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In an attempt to get into the Christmas mindset, everyone has their go-to activities that serve to boost their holiday spirit year after year. From tree-decorating to movie-watching, gift-buying, cookie-baking and beyond, people always find exciting ways to ring in the Christmas cheer when December rolls around. This year, we’re presenting to you the best places on the peninsula to go see Christmas lights!

First on our list is a local favorite, and a yearly tradition for many York County families. Newport News Park hosts their 26th annual Celebration in Lights this year from November 22, 2018 through January 1, 2019. From the comfort of your car you can pay $12 to drive through two miles of spectacular lights. Some of their special light displays include the local history of the Monitor and the Merrimack, “Santaland”, and an all-new gingerbread house display.

Senior Emma Bryant says, ” I really enjoy their different light displays and how they have the appearance of moving! My family and I go and see them almost every year!”

The Celebration in Lights is open from 5:30 to 10 pm nightly. You can save $2 off of regular car admission with the donation of a non-perishable food item at the ticket window. All information is posted on the Newport News Park website at https://www.nngov.com/814/Festivals-Special-Events

Mario Barkley www.mbarkleyphotography.com
Newport News Park hosts 26th annual “Celebration in Lights”

Next up we have a residential home off of Dare Road in the Jacob Springs neighborhood located across from Dare Elementary school. The home of Melanie and Jimmy Schultz is one of York County’s most marvelous, and cost-friendly, Christmas light displays. With no viewing fee and tens of thousands of twinkling lights that include, penguins, polar bears, and tons of other Arctic creatures, cars line up from all around the 757 to drive by this spectacular display of holiday cheer. Read the full Daily Press article here: https://www.dailypress.com/news/dp-xpm-20111216-2011-12-16-dp-nws-christmas-lights-1224-20111216-story.html

Other popular residential Christmas light displays include the Stern Family Holiday Light Show located at 108 Sheffield Way in Newport News and the Franktronics Light Show at 3618 George Washington Memorial Highway in Gloucester Point, VA. Most displays are on from six to ten p.m.

Libby Carver says that, “Driving around different neighborhoods to look for lights is fun because when you find a cool house you feel really accomplished.”

To find local lights and official operating hours, use zipcode “23692” and check out https://www.christmaslightfinder.com/displays/?distance=25&house_holiday=Christmas&operation=search&lat=37.1645418&lng=-76.4447397

If you’re willing to drive a bit farther, you need look no further than the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. VA Beach is proud to host the Bayport Credit Union Holiday Lights Merry Mile for yet another Christmas season. From November 22, 2018- December 30, 2018 you can drive through some of the most renowned Christmas lights on the Southside. Displays include jumping dolphins, a 40-foot tall Christmas tree on the beach, and tons of other nautical-themed Christmas fun.

Brayden Hodges, a senior, says, “It’s fun to drive down the boardwalk because you never get to do that!”

For hours and admission prices, visit https://www.beachstreetusa.com/festivals/bayport-credit-union-holiday-lights-merry-mile

Hampton Roads
Nautical-themed holiday lights on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk.

Another popular favorite in York County is Busch Gardens’ famed Christmastown. With a spectacle of more than 10 million lights, the tickets are well worth the cost. Senior Lainey Griffin cites Christmastown as her favorite place to see Christmas lights, “…because the sheer amount of lights is breathtaking and the hot cocoa makes it even better!”

Last on this holiday light hit-list, but certainly not least, is the Richmond Tacky Lights Tour. If you and your family are looking to take a day trip, head on up to Richmond, VA to tour through the most tackily-decorated houses in the city. Every year, the city of Richmond compiles a list of the houses with the most outrageous Christmas decorations for your drive-by viewing pleasure. Houses wishing to be put on the official tour list must have a minimum of 40,000 lights. Highlights from some of the houses include a live Grinch available for photo ops, the utilization of a real firetruck, and lights set to music. For the official list of addresses and more information, visit  https://www.richmond.com/holiday/tacky-lights/the-richmond-tacky-lights-tour-house-list/article_48dbd12a-d312-5672-b32e-9c16da561432.html

Courtesy of homeowners Al and Esther Thompson
9716 Wendhurst Drive is lit up for the 2018 RVA Tacky Lights Tour.

Whether you wish to stay local or travel, it’s certain that you’ll be able to find Christmas cheer, and get lit, wherever you go!

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