Around the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area, Christmas trees and lights are popping up everywhere. Are yours up yet? It’s time to put on your jackets and hats, folks, because the Christmas season is upon us, and it’s bringing with it the most festive and colorful light displays in the Triangle area.
Some of the shows on this list are put on by professionals, while some are put on by enthusiastic individuals at their own home at their own expense. However, before you make your Christmas light show pilgrimages, please keep in mind the following tips:
- Make sure to visit these light shows’ website or other social media to double check if they have any discounts, changes in schedules, etc. The information listed below may be subject to change at any point.
- If the light show is free, please consider donating especially if it is put on by an individual homeowner (if they accept donations).
- For certain light shows, you will have to turn on your radio and tune it to a certain station to hear the synchronized music. If the light show is in a residential area, please be considerate with your music’s volume.
- Bring cash.
- Drive slowly, keep an eye out for pedestrians, wear warm clothes, and enjoy!
So, with the above tips in mind, bring your family, your friends, your guests, and see how many light shows on this list you can visit this year!
1. Lake Myra Christmas Lights
- Website: https://www.lakemyrachristmaslights.com/
- Address: 10 S. Cypress St, Wendell, NC 27591
- Schedule: Sunday–Thursday: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday: 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
- Open Nov. 21–Dec. 31
- Free admission (hot chocolate included on certain nights!)
- Park and walk to the viewing area to watch the show. No driving or walking through lights required, though you may want to bring a lawn chair.
- Shows run about 30–90 minutes
2. Meadow Lights
- Website: http://www.meadowlights.com/Home_Page.php
- Address: 4546 Godwin Lake Rd, Benson, NC 27504
- Schedule: Sunday–Thursday: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
- Open Nov. 16–Dec. 31
- Free admission; the lights are visible from the road.
- Features not only 30 acres of Christmas lights, but also six sceneries of Jesus’ life in mannequin form.
- They operate trains through 10 acres of land if you want to see the lights this way instead of from the road. For all ages, $2 per person.
- They also feature a carousel (for all ages, $2), Santa pictures ($6, no personal cameras) until December 24, an old-fashioned candy store, and a concession stand.
3. Piper Lights
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/piperlights
- Address: 5725 Fixit Shop Rd, Wake Forest, NC 27587
- Schedule: Sunday–Thursday from 5:30–9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5:30– 10 p.m.
- Open Nov. 23–Jan. 3
- Free admission, but donations are greatly appreciated.
- Winner of the top prize in the 2016 Great Christmas Light Fight on ABC
- You drive through the light show. You can then park and ride the free Santa train.
- Speaking of Santa, he’s around Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 7–9 p.m.
- Old-fashioned candy store and souvenirs are available. Cash only.
4. Chinese Lantern Festival
- Website: http://boothamphitheatre.com/nc-chinese-lantern-festival-cary/
- Address: 8003 Regency Parkway, Cary, NC 27518 (Koka Booth Amphitheatre)
- Schedule: Tuesday–Sunday evenings: 6–10 p.m.
- Open Nov. 23–Jan. 13 (Closed Mondays, except Dec 24 & 31)
- Tickets are $20 per person. Children 2 and under are free. However, there are date-specific and age-specific discounts. You can find more information and purchase your admission tickets by clicking here.
- Plan to walk half a mile (about 45-75 minutes) through the Chinese lanterns.
- While not necessarily Christmas-themed, this is a spectacular light show you shouldn’t miss.
- Concessions are available. They do not provide wheelchairs.
5. Festival of Lights at Hill Ridge Farms
- Website: http://www.hillridgefarms.com/
- Address: 703 Tarboro Rd, Youngsville, NC 27596
- Schedule: Sunday–Thursday: 5–9 p.m., Friday–Saturday: 4–10 p.m.
- Open Nov. 22–Dec. 29
- Tickets range from $9-$12. See this page for more details. Online ticket sales are not available.
- Hayrides through the farm and the lights are available.
- Santa will be at the farm Nov. 22–Dec. 23 for pictures.
- They advise you to go during the week as high traffic during peak dates will likely affect wait times for attractions and rides.
- Concessions are available.
6. Lights on the Neuse
- Website: https://lightsontheneuse.com/
- Address: 1620 Loop Road, Clayton, NC 27527
- Schedule: Open 6–9 p.m. Check the calendar on the website for specific details.
- Opens Nov. 23 and runs on select nights through Dec. 24. Open every weekend.
- Tickets are $9. Children 2 and under are free. You can buy your tickets at the farm or buy them here.
- Hayrides are available to show you through the lights. The light show runs for a mile and the hayride takes about 30 minutes.
- Santa will be at the farm available for pictures for $8.
- Old-fashioned candy and treats are available at Santa’s Sweet Shoppe, which you can cook yourself at their picnic area. There is also a Sugar Barn where kids can decorate cookies.
BONUS: Christmas Light Shows Outside of the Triangle
If you and your family are looking to get out of town, you can also visit these other spectacular Christmas light shows outside of the Triangle:
- Christmas at Biltmore - Asheville. Always a popular annual attraction, the Biltmore Estate and the city of Asheville offer various Christmas fare.
- Speedway Christmas - Charlotte. A staggering 3.75-mile course featuring the biggest Christmas light show in North Carolina.
- Christmastown USA - McAdenville. The whole town of McAdenville transforms into a giant Christmas light show for the 63rd year in a row.
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