Mariah: I’ll never forget going with some college friends to Temple Square in Salt Lake City, and witnessing the moment all the Christmas lights were switched on. It was one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen, the dreary evening suddenly bursting into color and glow.
Christmas lights enhance the magic of the season, and that’s why we set aside time every year to go admire them. Sometimes we make special trips to see a particular display, like the popular Magic Tree in Columbia, Missouri.
Last year, my family attempted to go to Opryland Hotel to see the lights there, but some insane traffic and blocked roads forced us to take a different route. We hit a stroke of serendipity as the very road we ended up trapped on for over an hour (with a screaming 5 month-old and bored 2 year-old) went right by a Dancing Lights drive-thru experience. We happily paid the 20 bucks to get in, and got to enjoy a really cool show! All the time being stuck in the car in bumper-to-bumper traffic had been worth it to see the joy in my daughter’s face when the lights danced to “Let it Go” from Frozen.
This year, we had a quieter experience as we stayed close to home. But it was still so fun to pick a giant neighborhood and just drive around, listening to tiny exclamations of “Oooo!” “Wow!” coming from the backseat. We saw some gorgeous displays! And some funny ones. Can anyone explain the Santa Pig that I keep seeing everywhere?
Maegan: Two of my favorite Christmas memories involve lights: Walking by the spectacular Christmas lights at Silver Dollar City as a little girl was absolutely magical. And riding home from my grandparents’ Christmas Eve party, snug and excited for Christmas, looking at lights on the Southern Missouri farmhouses as I drifted off to sleep.
Every year we try to give magical Christmas light experiences to our children too. Kansas City is my favorite place to live for Christmas lights! Crown Center, Union Station, and Country Club Plaza are always gorgeous. Several neighborhoods around Ward Parkway and the Waldo area are completely decked out in amazing lights. Our children beg to go to Christmas in the Park as many times as possible during the season.
Since we go on several light drives each year, we also love to sing Christmas carols, drink cocoa, and read A Christmas Carol while we drive through familiar neighborhoods. This weekend we’re excited to try Mariah’s Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt (see below for a free printable!)
Do you have a favorite spot to see lights? Do you drive or walk?
Click here for your Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt Printable