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The Best Places To See The Holiday Lights in Ann Arbor and Beyond

Linda Lombardini

"Linda is the consummate professional when it comes to dealing with real estate in the Ann Arbor area...

"Linda is the consummate professional when it comes to dealing with real estate in the Ann Arbor area...

Dec 5 6 minutes read

The holidays have arrived!

Not only do we love this time of year, but we love seeing all of the gorgeous lights and decorations all over Ann Arbor and North America.

Local Lights

Lohr Rd Private home: Always amazing and over the top! House at the southwest corner of Textile Rd and Lohr Rd (approximately 1510 Mallard Cove Dr., Ann Arbor, MI  48108)

Bazillion Lights: Private home in Livonia

(If you see other great homes, let us know! I will add them to the list.)

Wayne County Lightfest - The Wayne County Lightfest is a drive-through light viewing experience. There are more than 47 giant animated holiday displays with more than a million lights. The Lightfest opens on Thursday, November 21st and runs through December 31 (closed on Christmas). The Wayne County Lightfest is open from 7-10p on Monday-Friday and 6-10p on Saturday-Sunday. Santa will be at his Workshop from November 22nd through December 23rd. Admission is $5/vehicle (cash only). 

Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo - The Detroit Zoo also offers a Christmas light show, Wild Lights. We have never been to the Detroit Zoo’s show since we live closer to the Toledo Zoo and were members there for several years. Wild Lights begins on November 16 and runs on Friday-Sunday through December 15 and nightly December 19-January 5 (except Christmas Day & New Years Day). They also offer the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 4-D Experience film during Wild Lights (a 15 minute 4-D version of the classic holiday special). Prices are $11-18/person in advance and $19 at the gate (if tickets are available). Parking is $8. The Rudolph Package is an additional $5. They also offer ticket packages that include skating on the Winter Rink or all you can eat on the Polar Patio.

 Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village - Step into a living Christmas card — the glowing candlelit windows, the scent of roasting chestnuts, and the sounds of carolers and sleigh bells — when you enter Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village. The Henry Ford has added nights to keep up with demand, so book tickets quickly before the most popular nights sell out! A great event for the whole family at one of the nation's true hidden gem locations.

Carolers at Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village | Photo courtesy of KMS Photography

Nite Lites – Jackson - One of Michigan's largest Christmas light displays, this animated drive-through display is over three miles long! The popular holiday display has a new home at Michigan International Speedway. Millions of dancing lights will make up 65 different themes, a 250-foot lighted tunnel, and a forest of mega trees. Tell Santa Claus your Christmas wishes and take a ride on the holiday train. Real live reindeer will be stopping by for a special visit on three nights only so plan your visit now.

Nite Lites | Photo courtesy of John Spink, Nite Lites

North America


1. Hershey Sweetlights | Hershey Park, Pennsylvania

Experience the magic of nearly 600 illuminated displays from the comfort of your heated car! Hershey Sweetlights, is located inside of Hershey Park and is a part of Hersheypark Christmas Candylane, a seasonal festival held every year at the park that includes over 4 million lights, rides and roller coasters and more.

2. Winter Festival of Lights | Niagara Falls, Ontario

This spectacular celebration dates back to 1982 and is Canada's largest illumination festival. Over 1.8 million people flock to Niagara Falls every year to enjoy 15 Canadian Wildlife displays, over fifty trees wrapped in lights, the world’s largest Canadian-American Flag, a light show on the Toronto Power Generating Station, the two-storey tall Zimmerman Fountain, and a visitor favourite, Noah’s Ark!

3. Illumination at Morton Arboretum | Lisle, Illinois

This award-winning light show is a mile long walking tour through the 50 acre arboretum with stunning lights, music, and projections. You can even warm up by the crackling fire while roasting marshmallows!

4. Austin Trail of Lights | Austin, Texas

See Zilker Park transform into the walk-through Trail of Lights that attracts thousands of locals and tourists every year. The celebration includes two million lights, 90 holiday trees, over 70 displays, and nightly entertainment. This year marks the 55th annual celebration!

5. Busch Garden's Christmas Town | Williamsburg, Virginia

Busch Gardens goes all out for their holiday celebration, including over 10 million lights, a tree maze, rides and coasters, festive food and drinks, holiday shopping, and heart-warming shows. Even Rudolph stops to make an appearance at the celebration!

6. Denver Botanic Gardens | Denver, Colorado

Celebrate the holiday season at the Blossoms of Light at the Denver Botanic Gardens! This event has been a local favorite for over three decades and transforms York Street into a winter wonderland. You won't want to miss the spectacular 360-degree immersive light experience!

7. Disneyland | Anaheim, California

Who wouldn't want to celebrate one of the most magical times of the year at one of the most magical places in the world? As expected, Disneyland goes all out for their seasonal celebration with festive decor, classic park attractions turned into a winter wonderland, and the Season of Lights evening shows.

8. Festival of Lights | Vancouver, Canada

Hosted in the VanDusen Botanical Garden, the Festival of Lights is a yearly celebration that includes a carousel, mesmerizing dancing lights on Livingstone Lake, Santa's Lodge for free photos with Santa, and tons of selfie spots and photo opps for the whole family!

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