7 Regional Christmas Attractions Not to Be Missed

The Guernsey County Courthouse light show in the Dickens Victorian Village. Photo: DickensVictorianVillage.comNo matter where you live there is likely to be a Christmas display that will light up your heart. Certain areas of the US have the advantage of “traditional” Christmas weather, with snow and crisp, cold air to show off their displays. But enthusiasts who love to create and enjoy Christmas attractions are everywhere. In fact, there are so many regional or historical Christmas attractions, you could spend the entirety of the holiday season traveling to see them, and still barely scratch the surface. Some are very traditional, some are high-tech, but all are lots of fun.

IMPORTANT: Dates, schedule and prices are subject to change. Please contact individual Christmas attractions to confirm details.

Sharpsville Lights, Christmas in the Country

The Sharpsville Lights display in Sharpsville Indiana is a high-tech event that is controlled by a computer software program called “Light-O-Rama,” that synchronizes the lights to Mp3 music files. The over 100,000 lights are controlled by 336 computer circuits, and music is transmitted to your car radio (99.1) as you drive through the 2-acre display. The Sharpsville Lights are located about 30 miles north of Indianapolis on US 31 and runs through December 30. The show lasts about 45 minutes, and is open from 6-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 6-11 p.m. Friday to Sunday. The fee is a donation that supports various charities.

Royal Light Show at Dutch Wonderland

Dutch Wonderland is a unique amusement park in Pennsylvania Dutch country located in Lancaster, PA. The Dutch Winter Wonderland offers a variety of holiday themed rides, music, and activities to go along with the Royal Light Show, which looks like a fireworks display at ground level. The holiday themed program runs Saturdays from 3-9 p.m., Sundays from 3-8 p.m. until December 23. The display and events reopen on December 26 through Friday December 30. Ticket prices are $12.99 for ages 3 and up and free for 2 and under.

A Brandywine Christmas

Not all Christmas displays are about the lights. At Brandywine Museum, located in Brandywine, PA you can experience the holidays with a “step-in” doll house whose “rooms are filled with exquisite handcrafted furnishings, a large display of rare antique dolls, the popular O-gauge model train display covering 2,000 feet of track, and thousands of whimsical ‘critter’ ornaments made from natural materials,” as stated on the museum’s website. The Christmas display runs through the first week of January. Museum hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m; Closed December 25. Admission is $18 for adults, $15 for seniors, and $6 for students with ID and children age 6 to 12. Children under 6 are admitted free.

Dickens Victorian Village

Located in historic downtown Cambridge, Ohio, the Dickens Victorian Village is advertised as “old-world England. Visitors can stroll amidst “40 vignettes of 105 lifelike figures representing classic scenes from Victorian society.” The display,described as a public art project, has scenes located along Wheeling Avenue at each antique lamppost and bench between 6th and 11th streets. The life-sized, handmade mannequins are individually sculpted and painted by local artists. Particularly featured are characters from Dickens “A Christmas Carol.”  Dickens Historic Village runs from the beginning of November through December 31 and is open to the public Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving. Christmas and New Year's Day.

Holiday Light Show on Lake Meone

The holiday light show on Lake Meone features over 100 Christmas trees described in several articles as “magically floating,” and lighting up to synchronized music. Admission is free and the lake is located in Historic Smithville, NJ. See website for hours of the display. Closed December 25.

Holiday Lights at Shore Acres

A community event, Shore Acres State Park in Coos Bay, Oregon will feature over 325,000 lights in the shape of sea animals, birds, flowers, ships, and more. Located at along the Oregon coast, the display runs from Thanksgiving through December 31 and is open to the public from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. each night including Christmas Eve and day. The park is located off Cape Arago Highway just south of Coos Bay. Visitors are also treated to “stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and immaculate gardens,” according to the park’s website.

River of Lights

Started in 1997, the River of Lights is a fundraiser sponsored by the New Mexico BioPark Society. The display is located in the Botanical Gardens in Albuquerque. Each year, the show unveils “ingenious new sculptures and stunning displays made by ABQ BioPark artists and craftsmen,” according to their website. The River of Lights is noted to be New Mexico’s largest walk-through light show, featuring hundreds of thousands of lights and “dazzling holiday displays.” Hours for the show are 6 to 9:30 p.m. from Thanksgiving through December 30; closed December 24 & 25. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children 3-12.

Let your holidays be bright!

Updated November 29, 2018.

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