Fall is such a great time to adventure with children because first we get all the different options for fall festivals and then we pivot into all the holiday-themed events. There are just so many options to fill up all the weekends, if you truly wanted to.
Here are some of the most popular holiday light displays in our area:
Drive Through Christmas Lights:
- Lights on the Bay This classic kicks off on November 19 and runs through January 1. There are often Groupons for this that include the “3D glasses for the kids” so make sure you check there before going.
- The Festival of Lights Another regional favorite that takes place at Watkins Regional Park in PG County and kicks off on November 24.
- Symphony of Lights The musically-inclined display takes place at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia and starts November 23.
- Luminary lighting at Antietam This one is a bit of a drive, but on December 2, they light 23,000 candles to honor those that fell during the battle.
Walk Through Christmas Lights
- North Pole Walk This is one of our favorites, hands down, and takes place at Willow Oak Farm. It starts on November 24 and runs through December 30. This one feels really magical as you walk through the gardens on a windy path, enjoying all the different lights and decorations. You wind up at Santa’s Cabin where you get one-on-one time with Santa for pictures.
- Garden of Lights at Brookside Gardens begins on November 17.
- Anne Marie Sculpture Garden’s Garden in Lights kicks off on November 24.
- Sailing into the Winter Solstice is a light display in downtown Frederick that began November 18. This one is amazing; I highly recommend planning a day trip to downtown Frederick, getting food, walking around and shopping, and then staying to see the lights. There are all these decorated boats in the canal, and the kids just love it. I recommend parking in the East All Saints Parking garage as that puts you right at the start of the canal. You can also pair this with the Walkersville Railroad Santa train if you can get tickets for that.
- The Ellicott City Harry Potter House has become famous for their Harry Potter themed decorations and it is truly impressive! If you are a Harry Potter fan, this is worth the trip for some great pictures.