Local Christmas light shows

The places that will make your holidays a little brighter


Photo courtesy Google via Creative Commons

Laura Gilbert, Author

There are a few places close by that will spark Christmas spirit and brighten upcoming festivities. Many students at Battlefield are already feeling jolly and are looking for light shows to enjoy with friends and family. Cameron Bell, a junior here at Battlefield, says, “The light show was awesome. I went to a drive through one, so a bunch of my friends and I were crammed into a car.” Others have a long tradition of going to light shows.  Alyssa Elazar, a sophomore at BHS says, “I go to one in Ocean City every year with my family! My family loves going and my favorite part is pretty much all of it!” Whether you are new to light shows, or go every year, everyone needs to check out a light show this holiday season.

One of the places that should be on everyone’s bucket list for the winter is the Bull Run Festival of Lights. This is a drive-through light show, and is open from Thanksgiving until January 8th. The drive lasts two and a half miles and is encompassed with glimmering light displays. At the end of the show, there is a fair called Holiday Village that has many fun attractions. Available are pictures with Santa, food, a Ferris wheel, crafts, camel rides, holiday merchandise, and much more. The light show is open from 5:30pm- 9:30pm. on weekdays and from 5:30p.m. to 10:00p.m. on weekends and holidays. According to their website, “Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays are our busiest nights. Please take advantage of the Monday through Thursday discounted price and avoid a long wait.” Prices vary by the amount of people, but are always cheaper on weekdays! Lots of students at Battlefield go to this light show. Ella Gadoury, a freshman at Battlefield, says, “I always used to go to the Bull Run Festival of Lights when my sister (Keara) and I were little. My favorite part was when you drive by the penguins and igloo. It was one of my favorite things to do around Christmas time with my sister.”

Another great place to visit is the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens and Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights in Vienna. It is a half mile, walk-through light show that is open until January 8th from 5:30 to 10:00. Lights are wrapped around trees and reflecting in the lake, making it one of the prettiest strolls. The Snowflake Shoppe, located in the visitor center, offers many festive souvenirs and gift ideas. LIGHT Refreshments, located near the fire on Garden Plaza, offers drinks and snacks to help you stay warm. Meadowlark also offers special events, crafts, and a station designated to writing letters for Santa.

The final place to visit is the National Zoo’s ZooLights. They are open until New Year’s day, excluding Christmas and Christmas Eve. The best part about this event is that it is free. There are many fun things to do there, including a train that takes you on a tour of the Zoo, a 150 feet tall snow-less tubing area, and a carousel. They sell hot beverages, tasty snacks, and offer dinner at the Zoo’s many restaurants. The Zoo also has lots of places to shop to make your holiday shopping more eco-friendly.

Make your holidays more festive and enjoyable by attending a light festival. To have even more fun, go with a bunch of friends or family members. Go to a light show to see watt you are missing out on!