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Holiday Light Displays to Brighten the Season


With snow officially hitting the ground at our HQ in St. Louis today, we are officially ready to go full force into the holiday season. The feeling is mutual for our KMers around the country as they are finding festive ways to celebrate the holiday season while staying socially distanced. So what are some of the best light displays according to some of our KM offices? Check out the list below to find out.

Austin, TX

The Round Rock community is continuing their 2-day Light Up the Lake holiday event featuring both cold and hot air balloons hovering over the lake and sprinkled with various light displays. From holiday food and refreshments to live music this spectacular event is happening this weekend on Friday, December 4, and Saturday, December 5 on 24 acres at Old Settlers Park. The mile-long trail makes it perfect for social distancing and to ensure that crowds stay manageable the event is issuing a limited number of FREE tickets for each night.

Chicago, IL

Anyone who’s ever been to Chicago knows how important public transit is to the city living there. That why the Chicago Transit Authority is keeping their CTA Holiday Train and CTA Holiday Bus tradition going. The event has been modified to help keep Santa and the elves safe and socially distanced during their time in Chicago though and the CTA Holiday Train and CTA Holiday Bus will travel “out of service”, so unfortunately customers will not be able to board this year.

However, don’t let that discourage you from seeking out a sighting of the train or bus, even just a glimpse of them is sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face. The train will be decorated with holiday lights, Santa and his reindeer riding outside to wave to viewers. However, when Santa catches a ride on the bus, he is more likely to pop out through the roof so keep your eyes peeled there.

Columbus, OH

If you’re tired of those holiday lights tours where you just sit in your car, the Segway Holiday Lights Tour is just what the doctor ordered for you! Running from November 30th to December 23rd with tours going at 6 pm or 8:15 pm hop on a Segway to tour through downtown Columbus and the Scioto Greenway to enjoy seasonal decorations, lights, and holiday music. Never ridden a Segway before and worried about how you might handle it? Don’t worry, you’ll get a lesson on riding one before the ride and included in the $49 cost per rider.

Dallas, TX

We decided to head out to Forth Worth, just 30 minutes west of Dallas for this modern take on holiday lights at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Going on now through January 17th, The Modern Lights are back for the fourth year as trees around The Modern are lit with an impressive array of lights. While you can easily see them just as a passerby for free, patrons of the museum will enjoy the unique vantage point coupled with some beautiful art.

Denver, CO

Put on by the Denver Botanic Gardens at their satellite location, Trail of Lights at Chatfield Farms offers that outdoor experience so quintessential to the Denver experience. Just 20 minutes from Downtown Denver, Chatfield Farms’ lights take you on an incredible walk through the Countryside.

Whether you take the shorter path to the children’s play area or the extended version to the Green Farm Barn and silo this is a wonderful option for adults and kids. In fact, even the children’s area has music synchronized to the lights.

Houston, TX

The Marriott Marquis Houston provides us perhaps one of the most unique holiday light experience with their Texas Winter Lights nightly rooftop event. Take a dip in the hotel’s Texas-shaped lazy river lit by one mile of lights on either side of you.

Don’t worry about the temperature, the river is always heated to 80° so you’ll stay warm while scoping out the downtown views from the rooftop. Additionally, don’t miss their Insta worthy photo ops, light-up lawn games, s’mores kits, and movie nights every Thursday.

Los Angeles, CA

We may not be meteorologists but it’s safe to say a white Christmas is pretty much out of the question in LA. That being said, the group from WonderLAnd (who brought you Haunt’Oween) gets you pretty close to that feeling.

This Woodland Hills drive-thru experience hosts millions of Christmas lights, a holiday-tree forest, and maybe even an appearance by Santa himself. Keep your eye out for the holographic displays which are new this year.

Minneapolis, MN

If you want to experience the Twin Cities like a true Minnesotan, you have to get out in the cold to do it. That may seem daunting but Twin Cities Sightseeing Tours has just the option for you and your quarantine bubble, a ride in their open-air fun bus.

During the All is Bright Holiday Lights Tour, your group of 13 get the bus to yourself, allowing for maximum social distancing without saddling that one person with the responsibility of driving. Bus rental is only $150 for your group of 13 so that’s only $11 per person for a full bus!

New York, NY

Just over the river in Bergen County, New Jersey is the Orchard of Lights. Take a break from city life with this truly rustic guided tour through 32 acres of lights. Afterward, warm up in front of the fire pit with some hot cocoa and treats from the farm market. And before you head out be sure to visit Santa’s singing Reindeer and get the ultimate 2020 holiday picture with a face masked Santa!

Seattle, WA

If you were anything like us, you probably missed going to a county or state fair this summer. If so the Washington State Fair has you covered, with their festive drive-thru experience, Holiday Magic at The Fair. Full of breathtaking light displays enjoy your traditional Fair foods from the safety of your car or head down Candy Cane Lane for the hot cocoa bar!

If you’re up for it, each car can grab a fun scratch ticket to participate in the scavenger hunt which is redeemable for two weekday 2021 Spring Fair admission tickets and 2-holiday ducks (a $25 value). Pro Tip: To get the full experience, grab some Snowflake 3D glasses, trust us, they’re a game-changer.

St. Louis, MO

Just on the other side of the Mississippi River in Illinois (where quite a few of our KMers commute from is WonderLight’s Christmas at World Wide Technology Raceway! This is perhaps one of the most immersive displays in the area, with over 1 million LED lights that fully synchronize to Christmas songs both new and old!

The real crowd favorite is always one of the five enchanting tunnels of lights. The route is two miles long with over 50 minutes of music so it’s quite the production and sure to be a different experience than any other lights around St. Louis.

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