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The Magic of Holiday Light Shows has Already Started

posted by Teresa Farrell at 2023-11-01 17:56:00

A s soon as spooky season passes, resident across Upstate New York  know to start looking out for annual holiday light displays. Many of the iconic displays throughout the state kick off before Thanksgiving, so there’s no need to wait to get into the holiday spirit. Here’s a sample of light shows you can catch before the snow flies in 2023—most will be here throughout the end of December, so there’s plenty of time to explore more than one!

In Central New York, Syracuse’s festive Lights on the Lake kicks off its 34th season on November 13 and runs through the end of December. This two-mile-long drive through Onondaga Lake Park features an extensive collection of holiday lights and displays set to the sound of holiday music, and it has become a famous favorite in the region. In nearby Chittenango, the Wild Animal Park features a walk-through Winter Wonderland of Lights, with light displays and some of the animals out and about to be seen as well; opening night is Wednesday, November 22, Thanksgiving Eve.

Western New York is home to several light shows getting an easy start. Outside of Rochester, in the town of Victor, the RocLights Holiday Light Show at Victor Hills drive-through event kicks off November 25 and 26 and winds through a mile-and-a-half-long path through the Victor Hills Golf Club, with more than 20 light displays to enjoy. And outside of Buffalo, the Fairgrounds Festival of Lights is back at the fairgrounds in Hamburg on November 24-26, with more than 70 light displays to drive through as well as a chance to get out and walk around to enjoy festive activities.  

In the Capital Region, Holiday Lighted Nights at theWashington County Fairgrounds kicks off November 24-26; you can drive or take a wagon ride through the fairgrounds to see the displays. Meanwhile, in the Adirondack town of Tupper Lake, the Wild Center kicks off its Wild Lights walk-through display of decorated, lit trees on November 24, with the season running until the end of February.

To the south, in the Catskills, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is back with their Peace, Love and Lights drive-through show that puts a groovy spin on the traditional holiday lights. Drive the nearly two-mile path through the dazzling light displays starting November 24-26. Also, check out A Frosty Fest in Ulster Park, which features a variety of different themed light displays to walk or drive through and also opens for the season November 24-26.

The Hudson Valley has plenty of light displays to see as well. Wonderland of Lights, held at the Duchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck kicks off November 22; and Westchester’s Winter Wonderland in Valhalla begins November 24. If you’d like to set out on foot, check out LUMAGICA: An Enchanted Forest in New York at Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard in New Salem, which opens November 18.

Of course, before you head out, make sure that you check the hours, reservation information, and ticket prices for these light shows—some are free and open daily, others require tickets purchased either ahead of time or on site, and several are open only during certain days and hours. Once you’ve got the details down, bundle up, grab a thermos of hot cocoa, and enjoy the bright lights of the season!



North Pole Station photo credit Lights on the Lake
Victor Hills lights photo credit ROC Lights at Victor Hills
Holiday Lighted Nights photo credit Washington County Fair
Peace Love and Lights display photo credit Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
Car in light tunnel photo credit Westchester Winter Wonderland

posted at: 2023-11-01 17:56:00, last updated: 2024-01-04 06:50:41

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