It’s all about lights and decorations at the holidays, and for these homegrown displays, there’s no such thing as too much. Skip crowded city centers for the festive, sometimes kitschy light shows at these neighborhood displays. Get into the holiday spirit with even more craft, gift and recipe ideas.
Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, NY
The lights of Rockefeller Center dim in comparison to the private homes in this cozy Brooklyn neighborhood, nicknamed Dyker Lights during the holiday season.
Get into the holiday spirit with even more craft, gift and recipe ideas.
34th Street, Baltimore, MD
Each year, thousands of people flock to Baltimore’s 34th street to see houses ablaze with Christmas lights. Sign the guestbook left out by the family who started it all, the Hosiers.
Santa Clarita, CA
Santa Clarita becomes a veritable Christmas village when the holidays roll around. View holiday lights in high style with a limo tour of the houses, take a train ride, meet Santa or sing along with holiday performances. Go to www.santaclaritaguide.com for an interactive map of the most brilliant houses.
Tacky Light Tours have spread all over the country, but hop on a tour in Richmond, Virginia, where it all started. Buses will take you to see the most beautiful and hilariously overdone houses in town. After the tour, go to the website to vote for the homes in fun categories, like Most Likely to be Seen From Space.
Avondale Estates, GA
A small village founded in 1924, Avondale Estates runs an annual home lights tour, now in its 19th year. Take the kids on a trolley tour of the community and stop by the holiday market for some last-minute shopping. Tickets start at $12.
Hyatt Extreme Christmas, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
The Hyatt family takes Christmas seriously. Featured on The Early Show, Redbook and Forbes magazine’s list of America’s Best Christmas Displays, the Hyatt home lights up the neighborhood with about 200,000 bulbs and a nativity scene with a separate walkway.
Jeff and Bridgette Trykoski, Frisco, TX
One video of the Trykoski’s annual synchronized music and light display has more than 6 million YouTube views. See the real thing for yourself. For more information go to www.friscochristmas.com.
James & Carri Kiehl, Kenosha, WI
James and Carri Kiehl’s lights sing the praises of the season, literally. Take the kids to 6834 106th Avenue to be amazed by more than 80,000 animated lights set to 30 popular Christmas songs.
Downs Family, Norman, OK
Each year, the Downs family strings up more than 8 miles of lights to create breathtaking animated light displays set to music. Best of all, the family collects canned food and cash donations for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, one of the largest food banks in the country.
The Liquori Family Winter Wonderland, Glen Cove, NY
After 25 years of decorating, the Liquori Family at 33 Francis Terrace has Christmas decorating down to the science. Even HGTV has noticed the more than 500 lawn ornaments and 20,000 lights they haul out each year.
Holdman Family, Pleasant Grove, UT
The lights on the Holdman Family home at 3183 Millcreek Road look good and do good. The dramatic animated display is 100% wind-powered and every person who makes a $10 donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation gets a DVD of the twinkling lights.
The Fred Loya House, El Paso, TX
Traditional Christmas carols not for you? Fred and Maria Loya’s more than 400,000 lights dance to an upbeat techno soundtrack. Visit Santa in the guesthouse and then show off your dance moves.
Christmas Fire Truck, Trumbull, CT
Crazy Christmas displays aren’t just for houses any more. Every year, the Long Hill Fire Department of Trumbull, Connecticut covers Satellite 203 with 16,000 animated lights, fireplace and a snow machine.
Candy Cane Lane, Seattle, WA
Starting on December 15, take the kids to Ravenna Boulevard and Park Road, a neighborhood that’s been lit up since 1941, when it entered a city-wide decorating contest. The decorations are a year-round affair. Neighbors hold a garage sale in summer to off-set their electricity bill, then begin planning the theme in September.
Hayward House, Joppa, MD
The Haywards light up their corner of Maryland at 3008 West Franklinville Road with nearly 100,000 lights, some projected images and homemade decorations. The whole thing takes about six weeks to set up but it’s well worth it.