Christmas light shows you need to see


Beaming with light, this display is almost unmistakable. Flooding Instagram feeds all throughout Raleigh, people recognize the dragon from the Chinese Lantern Festival. However, not all of the greatest light displays in Raleigh are as well-known.

Janie Inscore, Staff Reporter

 A chill is in the air and the songs of Christmas have made their way to the radio stations of Raleigh. The start of the Christmas season, and of all the traditions it brings, is officially here. One of the most common practices of Christmas is the stringing of lights all throughout homes, yards, and trees. These spectacular glowing lights give everyone the chance to bundle up, grab a friend, and experience the bright decorations of Christmas. Senior Maddi Bille said, “I love going to see Christmas lights because it always gets me into the holiday spirit.” The following destinations are guaranteed to do so and are known as the best light displays in the Triangle.

 Perhaps the most popular destination to view lights is the Chinese Lantern Festival at Koka Booth Amphitheatre. While this attraction is one that tends to fill everyone’s Instagram feed, it lives up to the hype and can provide a great picture backdrop. At the festival, thousands of LED lights illuminate a pathway, guiding you through a cultural experience that is fun for all ages. Additionally, over twenty new displays are being added this year.

 A second, lesser known attraction is Piper Lights. Located at a home in Wake Forest, this display has quickly turned into a destination visited by many. Featuring more than one million lights, visitors have the option to drive through the display or stop for a mini train ride. There is also an old-fashioned candy store, a firepit, and a chance to meet Santa! In case you need another reason to visit, this light destination is free, and donations are appreciated.

 The Lake Myra Christmas Light Show is a bit of a different display; visitors are invited to bring a lawn chair and sit to enjoy the show. Lights here are controlled by a computer, causing the lights of the show to “dance” in response to music. Admission to this family-run light show is free, and the show typically lasts around thirty minutes, with some shows reaching up to ninety minutes.  

 While many have heard of Hill Ridge Farms for their pumpkin patch and fall harvest, not many people know the farm for their Holiday Festival of Lights. In this Christmas celebration, you can take a hayride through each display on a covered wagon, shop in a store selling hot chocolate, candy, and apple cider, visit the play-area including a giant slide and jump house, or enjoy a s’more next to the bonfire.

 The final Christmas light show that you need to see is Meadow Lights, an attraction located just outside of Benson, which is a short 20 minute drive from Millbrook. Started more than forty years ago, this Christmas display focuses on sharing the true meaning of Christmas through thirty acres of lights. You have the option of viewing the lights from a train or on a carousel ride for a low cost. Santa visits here nightly as well, and a store is open with a variety of old fashioned treats. So grab a friend and a blanket, and make your way to one of these glowing Christmas light shows!