Which neighborhoods in your area have the best outdoor Christmas and holiday lights? The kind where you can slowly cruise through the neighborhood listening to holiday tunes, dressed in your snowman pajamas while munching on doughnuts and sipping cocoa. Or spectacular single houses that go all-out, like the Osborne family in Little Rock, Arkansas, used to do before the city made them take down the "spectacle" and Disney World bought it.
A leisurely drive through megawatt neighborhoods at... night is one of the most fun and memorable things to do during the holiday season, whether you have one passenger or a carload full. Another perk? It's free. We share some of the best, along with how to locate them.
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Apps to Locate Holiday Lights
An easy way to locate a decorated house or neighborhood is via an app on your phone, many of which show nearby homes or any location you enter, for that matterMost apps are available on iTunes unless stated otherwise.
One of the simplest to navigate is the aptly titled Christmas and Holiday Light Displays. It provides a map with a brief description, along with a list that provides addresses, allowing you to visit several displays in one outing.
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Baltimore's Hampden Neighborhood
The "Miracle on 34th Street" light display is a neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland, rowhouses that string holiday lights across their street, which, appropriately, is named 34th Street.
One block in Hampden puts on a Christmas light display that is surely visible from space. Neighbors in this block of rowhouses string Christmas lights across 34th Street. Inflatable snowglobes, musical trains and blinking angels adorn homes. A few even allow visitors to peek inside.
The seasonal... festivities include an annual New Year's Eve ball drop and running of Baby New Year.
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Brooklyn's Dyker Heights
Brooklyn's Dyker Heights section goes all-out with the holiday lights and even has a contest for the best light displays. If you're a fan of blow mold Christmas decorations, some homeowners have sizable collections that populate their front lawns and entryways. Limousine or van tours (some with food and drink) are a popular way to view the nightly light displays, as traffic can become an excruciatingly slow crawl.
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Formerly known as Lights of the Valley for a dozen years or so, California Christmas Lights was revamped into a headquarters for neighborhood and residential Christmas light displays in the highly populated state of California. Most listings are in Northern and Central California, with plans to include Southern California as well, according to webmaster Alex Dourev.
The site has an interactive community feel, with a House of the Day featured, along with photos and information on lighting,... decorations, set-up, computer light programs, etc. Addresses and maps are also included on the site.Continue to 5 of 14 below.
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Dallas Neighborhood Lights
Two areas in Dallas have heavy participation in their neighborhood light displays: Interlochen and Kessler Park.
Interlochen hosts one of the largest holiday light displays in north Texas comes to life when more than 200 Interlochen homeowners dress up their homes and lawns with Christmas lights and an assortment of holiday-themed displays. Interlochen is in Dallas' Arlington section.
Another big attraction is the community effort of Dallas' Kessler Park neighborhood, which displays lights... and other Christmas decorations throughout the season.
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Little Rock, Arkansas, is home to several neighborhoods that are worth a visit or at least a drive-by. Little Rock, by the way, is where the Jennings Osborne family's megawatt display entertained residents before it was sold to Disney World.
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Milwaukee's Candy Cane Lane
What's this? Another Candy Cane Lane? It seems that Candy Cane Lanes can be found in many cities across the United States, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin is no exception.
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Oklahoma City Neighborhood Lights
In addition to many public lighting displays for the holidays, the Oklahoma City area boasts several residential neighborhoods that go "all out" with dazzling lights in December. Festive neighborhoods. Included: Branches, Downs, Lewis, Markwell and Nichols Hill displays.Continue to 9 of 14 below.
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Seattle Holiday Light Displays
Candy Cane Lanes are everywhere, and Seattle is no exception. Three neighborhoods are cited as putting together the best Christmas light displaysAlso check out West Seattle Lights for light displays in the western part of the Seattle area.
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Out in the Southern California desert near Palm Springs is where Michael Simmons and his family transform their Cathedral City home into a spectacularly synchronized light and music show. In 2010, the Simmons Family’s Dancing Christmas Lights Show was named Best Christmas Lights Display in America by The Early Show on CBS.
The Simmons family uses more than 100,000 LED lights, which Michael says adds only about $10 to his electric bill during the period that of the light display. The Simmons... family also collects donations for various charities in their community, and have collected more than $10,000.
The house is located at 68000 Estio Road in Cathedral City, California. Check the website for directions on visiting the nearby Candy Cane Lane neighborhood in Cathedral City.
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St. Louis LightsNeighborhoods in St. Louis, Missouri, go all-out with holiday decorations and lights, including the South St. Louis area known as Candy Cane Lane. That's a giant sand sculpture on Candy Cane Lane, created by sand sculptor/artist Dan Belcher.
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More than 200 homes participate in Corpus Christi's Candy Cane Lane. An annual parade and block party is held annually for residents and friends.Continue to 13 of 14 below.
13 of 14Which neighborhoods are worth checking out during the holidays in Louisville, Kentucky? This list reveals where they are, what you'll see, and other details.
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San Diego has plenty of neighborhoods that go all-out for the holidays. Of course, there's a Candy Cane Lane in the bunch, and at least a couple of the neighborhoods' lights are synchronized to local radio stations that play holiday tunes throughout the season.