Like exchanging presents and drinking egg nog, holiday light shows are a tradition in the U.S. and many destinations around the globe during this time of year. They bring out the kid in all of us, whether we have children or not – you can’t help ooohing and aaaahing over their magical beauty. This year, the Voyage Vixens went to two very special light shows in Louisville, Kentucky and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
In addition to the two we went to, here are some other spectacular holiday U.S. light shows:
Baltimore’s 34th Street is like any other street for most of the year, but in December a magical transformation happens. In its 62nd year, the “Christmas Street” light display sees thousands of visitors in this inconspicuous neighborhood to view some of the most unusual lights in North America. Each house is decorated according to the owner’s individual flair. Some sights you’ll see in Baltimore’s 34th Street include hubcap Christmas trees and rooftops dotted with toy trains.
It’s all about extreme these days: Extreme Makeovers, Extreme Adventures, and even Extreme Light Shows. In Fort Lauderdale, witness the Hyatt family’s Extreme Holiday light show, an annual production for over 20 years. Kathy Hyatt says her family begins preparations for their holiday production in August, with September and October devoted to stringing more than 175,000 lights, assembling a Ferris wheel and testing a small army of lighted Christmas figurines. The Hyatt family certainly brings on the Christmas spirit with a capital “S”, we just don’t want to see their light bill for the month of December.
Coeur d’ Alene Holiday Boat Light Show
Travel to the “North Pole” on a 40-minute boat ride from the Coeur d’ Alene Resort across Coeur d’ Alene Lake to visit Santa and find out if you’re on his nice list. We were surprised when we heard Santa call our names, but hey, we’ll take all the good will we can get!
The CDA Holiday Boat Show, an idea spawning from the resort’s owner, Duane Hagadone, is the largest on-the-water resort holiday light show in America with over 1.5 million sparkling lights. It’s also home to the world’s tallest living animated Christmas Tree, located at the Idaho “North Pole”.
It was the first time we zip lined underground and it was the first time we saw a holiday light show underground in Louisville’s former limestone quarry. In fact, Lights Under Louisville is the only underground light show on the planet. The Louisville MEGA Cavern is transformed into an underground drive-through holiday light spectacular with 17 miles of underground passageways. With over 800-lit characters and 2 million points of light illuminating the pitch black cavern, it is an astounding sight to see.
Farmington, New Mexico
As a part of Lanee’s family Christmas tradition, her dad would take her and her three siblings to see the luminarias at San Juan College. Luminarias, paper bags aglow from a candle inside, are a common Christmas decoration in New Mexico and Mexico. But imagine seeing nearly 40,000 lit up. It’s a holiday labor of love as each candle has to be hand-lit, but the dramatic landscape is worth it.
Head to Frommer’s10 Holiday Light Shows Around the World article on HuffPo for more holiday illumination.