back to articles | December 12, 2022 | Greg Thibodeau

Categories: Useful Automotive Information

16 of the Most Brilliant Drive-Thru Holiday Lights Displays in the U.S.

What better way to unwind and get into the festive spirit than by taking a drive to enjoy the holiday lights?


The holiday season is a busy time and it’s easy to get lost in the hustle that it takes to make it magical. What better way to unwind and get into the festive spirit than by taking a drive to enjoy the holiday lights? It’s no surprise that for many it’s become a tradition.

We have compiled a list of our favorite places to see the festive decorations. These drive-thru holiday lights displays are not your average trip around the neighborhood. With your favorite people to keep you company and a thermos full of hot chocolate you'll be feeling jolly in no time.

1. Trail of Lights - Austin, Texas

Head to Zilker Park for this drive-thru holiday lights event. More than 2 million brilliant lights to delight your eyes including 90 lit up trees. While you’re there you can tune in on the radio for holiday themed music and fun trivia while you enjoy over 70 holiday displays and light up tunnels.

2. Lights Under Louisville - Louisville, Kentucky

The unique part about this drive-thru holiday lights display is that it is underground. The 17 miles winding through the Louisville Mega Cavern take about 30 minutes to navigate. Along the way you will see 6 million lights arranged into more than 900 displays.

3. Gardens Aglow - Boothbay, Maine

Once meant to be enjoyed on foot, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens has evolved into a drive-thru holiday lights experience to be viewed from the car. More than 500,000 LED lights decorate the gardens in stunning displays. The neighborhoods around the gardens participate in a holiday lights decorating contest ensuring that your drive to and from will be just as memorable.

4. ZooLights - Portland, Oregon

The Oregon Zoo puts on a spectacular drive-thru holiday lights show. There are over 1.5 million lights arranged into amazing displays. There are lit up animal displays and bright tunnels. If you want to stretch your legs there is a walk-through section too.

5. The Lights Of Christmas - Stanwood, Washington

This drive-thru holiday lights display has been delighting visitors since 1996. There are over a million lights arranged in unique exhibits. The kids will also be delighted by the costumed holiday characters that wave and interact with guests.

6. Festival of Lights - Wheeling, West Virginia

The Oglebay Resort hosts one of the largest drive-thru holiday lights displays in the U.S. It’s over a million LED lights and 90 lighted attractions spread over 300 acres. It’s a 6 mile drive that will leave you breathless.

7. Butch Bando's Fantasy Of Lights - Delaware, Ohio

The Alum Creek State Park incorporates over 3 million lights into its beautiful displays. There are holiday activities for the whole family too. Don’t forget your letters for Santa to drop off in the on-site holiday mailbox.

8. Winter Fantasy Of Lights - Upper Sandusky, Ohio

The holiday season is about helping others and giving back to the community. This drive-thru holiday lights display helps you do just that as the event supports local charities. Get in the spirit of giving while you enjoy a drive illuminated by millions of lights.

9. Glittering Lights - Las Vegas, Nevada

This drive-thru holiday lights attraction features a 2.5 mile drive with millions of lights and colorful displays. Santa has been known to make an appearance so keep your eyes open. For those who prefer not to use their own vehicle, there is an open-air tram available.

10. Sweet Lights - Hershey, Pennsylvania

This drive-thru holiday lights show will take you on a 2 mile trip through Hersheypark. There are 5 million lights and close to 600 animated displays to enjoy. The wooded trails make for a perfect backdrop on this drive.

11. Santa Claus Land of Lights - Santa Claus, Indiana

In the town of Santa Claus the holidays are a really big deal. The Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort puts on a great show full of colorful LED lights. What makes this drive-thru holiday lights display even more special is that it tells the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in the span of 1.2 miles.

12. Speedway Christmas - Charlotte, North Carolina

The Charlotte Motor Speedway is home to this drive-thru holiday lights display. There are 4 million lights along the 3.75 mile course which lets you drive along the oval, the infield, and the Roval. There is even a drive-in holiday movie theater that is open on some nights.

13. Magic of Lights - New York

This drive-thru holiday lights show is right in the heart of the city. Just outside of Manhattan the Jones Beach State Park is a sight to behold. Twinkling LED lights as far as the eye can see and digital animations make this an unforgettable outing.

14. Zoo Lights - Dallas, Texas

The Dallas Zoo hosts this drive-thru holiday lights display and there is plenty here to delight the eyes. There are more than a million lights throughout the zoo and huge animal lanterns to greet you. The centerpiece is Santa’s workshop which is sure to amaze younger visitors.

15. Winter Wonderland - Portland, Oregon

The Portland Raceway is home to the largest drive-thru holiday lights display in the Northwest. The twinkling lights and spectacular displays span the entire racetrack. Guests don’t come away empty handed. There are virtual loot bags with deals and discounts that are sure to come in handy for your holiday shopping.

16. Rockin’ Christmas, Glendale, Arizona

The Westgate Entertainment District puts on a one of a kind holiday show. This symphony of sights and sounds is one mile long and it’s sure to delight each passenger in your car. Animated displays and millions of colorful lights make it easy to get into the holiday spirit.

The holidays are a time for family, fun, and festivities. There is a lot to do this time of year but it’s good to set aside some time to enjoy what the holidays have to offer. The festive season shouldn’t just be about completing a long to-do list.

This can be a stressful time but it can be difficult on your car too. All of the family get-togethers, shopping trips, and drive-in holiday lights displays mean extra wear and tear on your vehicle. Is your car up to the job? Maybe it’s time for an upgrade. Find out how myAutoloan can help.