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Get Into the Spirit of the Season with a Holiday Light Show

posted by Teresa Farrell at 2018-11-21 20:34:00

As the snow begins to fly and the holiday season approaches, it’s not too early to get into the festive spirit. And what better way to do that than by experiencing a holiday light show?

For some, looking at the lights is an annual tradition reaching back to their own childhood. But there’s still time to start a tradition of your own! Memories are made when you bundle up with family or friends, pack a thermos of hot cocoa, turn the radio to the holiday music station and pick a neighborhood to drive through. Some places are known year to year for their awesome light displays, but half the fun can come from checking out different areas and finding a new location to return to year after year.

You can also visit one of the many holiday light displays put on annually in city parks around the state. Most of the time, these displays run from November until late December or early January and while tickets are required, kids love to see the different themed light displays set up throughout these drives. In Central New York, you can visit Lights on the Lake in at Onondaga Lake Park in Liverpool (near Syracuse), a local favorite for the past 29 years that, at two miles long, clocks in at one of the longest drive-through light shows in the state.

If you’re closer to the Capital Region, take a drive to the Capital Holiday Lights in the Park. Set up in Albany’s Washington Park from just after Thanksgiving to just after New Year’s, this festive light display is in its 22nd year in 2018 and features more than 125 unique light displays to enjoy. Or, out in Western New York, visit the Fairgrounds Festival of Lights in Hamburg, a weekends-only light display that runs from Thanksgiving weekend until the weekend before Christmas and includes not only a drive-through light show, but also holiday shows and kid-friendly activities to enjoy as well.

Of course, there are more than just light displays going on for the season. Virtually every town across the state has its own variation of a tree-lighting ceremony, a Christmas on Main Street celebration, or a holiday stroll and many include perks like cocoa and Christmas cookies, ice skating, horse-drawn carriage rides, meet and greets with Santa and more.

A few to consider include Rochester’s Liberty Pole Lighting Ceremony, which kicks off the opening of the Roc Holiday Village, or Buffalo’s Downtown Christmas Tree Lighting, which each take place the first weekend in December in 2018. Or, the following weekend, check out the Lights on the River festival, featuring fireworks, live reindeer and hundreds of decorated Christmas trees set up along the riverside in the town of Owego, near Binghamton.

Whichever way you decide to enjoy them, just make sure you get out and soak up the sparkle and splendor of the holiday lights before they’re gone—whether you’re with kids, friends, family, or your sweetheart, it’s a beautiful way to brighten the winter season as the holidays approach!


Residential holiday lights photo credit Isabell Hubert
Santa and friends photo credit Lights on the Lake
Lights on the Lake with cars photo credit Lights on the Lake
Reindeer photo credit Timo Newton-Syms

posted at: 2018-11-21 20:34:00, last updated: 2020-03-17 20:21:08

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