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Best Places to See Christmas Lights in New England

From kid-friendly zoos to holy shrines, these spots are some of our favorite places to see and enjoy Christmas lights in New England.

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Whether it’s piling into the car with a steaming travel mug of hot chocolate to cruise the holiday lights in your own community, or heading out to a larger “destination holiday light spot,” the glow of twinkling lights is one of the earliest and easiest ways to get into the holiday spirit. If you want to venture beyond home for maximum wattage, check out some of our favorite places to see Christmas lights in New England in a big way.

Note: While we tried to feature a light display destination in each state, Vermont left us scratching our heads! If you know of a Vermont holiday light display that can handle a large amount of traffic, please let us know! Want more holiday fun? Check out the Best Christmas Celebrations in New England and the Best Historic Christmas Celebrations in New England!

*** Updated for 2016 ***

Best Places to See Christmas Lights in New England

Best Places to See Christmas Lights in New England

Fatima Shrine – Holliston, MA
Bundle up for a walking tour of the popular annual Christmas lights display at Fatima Shrine, featuring lights, candles, and a beautiful nativity.
508-429-2144

Winterfest and the Tunnel of Lights at the Connecticut Trolley Museum – East Windsor, CT
Celebrate the season with a 3-mile carol-filled trolley ride through the twinkling “Tunnel of Lights.” Back at the Visitor Center, enjoy hot cocoa and music while you admire the museum’s model trains and displays.
ct-trolley.org

Best Places to See Christmas Lights in New England

Holiday Light Fantasia in Hartford, CT | Best Places to See Christmas Lights in New England

Channel 3 Kids Camp

Holiday Light Fantasia – Hartford, CT
Raising funds to benefit year-round programs at Channel 3 Kids Camp, Holiday Light Fantasia is a nightly 2-mile light show that transforms Goodwin Park into a drive-through wonderland of holiday spirit. Over one million lights depict whimsical holiday scenes, familiar characters, and local tributes that shine bright in both lighted scenes and individual displays. Special Military Appreciation Day December 27th. holidaylightfantasia.org

Gift of Lights at New Hampshire Motor Speedway – Loudon, NH
With more than a mile of lights, this drive-through light show is a recent addition to the list, but is already a popular one. Featuring more than one million lights and hundreds of individual light displays (not to mention hot chocolate and visits with Santa), you won’t want to miss seeing how spectacular over-the-top decorating looks while being able to brag you’ve driven around the track. giftoflightsnhms.com

Best Places to See Christmas Lights in New England

A row of Christmas trees on display at La Salette Shrine in Attleboro, MA | Best Places to See Christmas Lights in New England

K.B. Lindeborg

La Salette Shrine – Attleboro, MA
Dating back to 1953, when a simple but beautiful outdoor manger was the only attraction, the annual holiday show at La Salette Shrine has since grown into a spectacular display of more than 300,000 lights, inspiring displays, concerts, and other events during the Christmas Season. See for yourself why so many families consider a visit to the shrine part of their annual holiday tradition. lasalette-shrine.org

Bright Nights – Springfield, MA
“Bright Nights at Forest Park” is the Northeast’s premier holiday lighting experience with nearly three miles of lighting displays spanning the traditional like “Victorian Village” to the childhood-flashback, like “Jurassic World” and “Seuss Land.” Santa is also on hand, not to mention horse-drawn wagon rides and activities like “Dinner with Dickens.” brightnights.org

Best Places to See Christmas Lights in New England

Festive indoor displays at the Festival of Trees in Methuen, MA | Best Places to See Christmas Lights in New England

Courtney Kovach

Festival of Trees – Methuen, MA
For more than 2 decades, the sights and sounds of the holidays draw visitors to the indoor Festival of Trees in Methuen, with more than 240 trees, wreaths, and displays that you could win! The event also features “special nights” throughout the season like Paint Night and Sports Night. methuenfestivaloftrees.com

Fantasy of Lights – New Haven, CT
Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven becomes the perfect place to cruise for Christmas cheer each holiday season. With over 100,000 bulbs, the festival contains 60 animated displays, and it feels extra nice knowing that proceeds benefit the local Easter Seals organization. eastersealsgoodwill.org/fantasyoflights

Best Places to See Christmas Lights in New England

Getting up close and personal with the animals at ZooLights in Stoneham, MA | Best Places to See Christmas Lights in New England

Zoo New England

ZooLights at the Stone Zoo – Stoneham, MA
ZooLights dazzles. Featuring a winter wonderland of tree-lined paths lit by thousands of twinkling lights, you’ll stroll through festively decorated Yukon Creek — home to bald eagles, North American porcupines, reindeer and arctic foxes. Meet the reindeer up close, visit with Santa, and enjoy a magical holiday animal world. zoonewengland.org/zoolights

Wilton Lights – Wilton, ME
With a synchronized display set to music that you listen to via the radio, this festive display turns the average car into a chariot of holiday cheer. wiltonlights.com

Did we miss your favorite place to see Christmas lights in New England? Let us know!

More New England Christmas:

Where are your favorite places to see Christmas lights in New England?

This post was first published in 2013 and has been updated.

Comments
  • Some Xmas lights to see in Burlington, VT. First at Echo on the waterfront and then look straight up the hill (east) and see the display at the Pomerleau building. Only two good ones I know of this year.

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  • What is the address on Farnum Pike of the house w/ the lights? Is there rad parking near it? We love looking at lighting displays.

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  • Does anyone know if the yearly display will be up in Chesterfield NH Thanks

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  • Beans Corner Lights in Jay, ME. Over 30,000 lights synchronized to music over fm radio while you relax in your car. Large parking area in the lot for Beans Corner Baptist Church.

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  • Not to mention the Littlest Christmas Tree on Shawme Pond, lit following the reading of Thornton’s Burgess’s book of the same name. The “Giants” around town – with Angels, Chesterton, Dan’l Webster, Fireman & truck, Fish, Glass blower, Old Man Winter and many more. And the Grand Finale, First Night Sandwich with various arts events, ice skating, a parade and the lighting of the “Lighthouse” at Shawme Pond. Google Holly Days, Sandwich!!

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  • Lasallette Shrine Attleboro Ma. Nothing short of awesome and free !! Bundle up —head to toe. Worth it!!!!

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  • Somehow the location and event got separated from my comment. I’m speaking about Heritage Museum in Sandwich MA

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  • We love the Fantasy of Lights in New Haven, CT. It is worth the trip from anywhere, as it’s on the water & very pretty. There is an admission price per carload at $10.00 as of 2014. Hubbard Park in Meriden Ct is another pretty place to visit, there is no admission charge & if you wish, you can walk around to see the displays. We also love the lights at La Salette Shrine in Attleboro, MA. Just be sure to bundle up, as you walk around to see these lights. Enjoy the Season & Merry Christmas to You!

    Reply
  • Victoria

    MIDDLEBROROUGH, MA: The Middleborough (MA) Tourism Committee is pleased to announce that the 2nd Annual Festival of Lights will be held Saturday December 12, Sunday Dec. 13, Saturday Dec.19 and Sunday Dec. 20 from 4pm-9pm daily at the KOA Campground located at 438 Plymouth Street, Middleborough, MA. Attendees can drive through and view thousands of lights. Refreshments will also be available. There will also be a cabin decorating contest. Admission is only $1 per vehicle. Special Guest: Santa Claus (You might even see The Grinch)! For more information visit ww.discovermiddleborough.com or contact us at discovermiddleborough@gmail.com or 774-766-6335

    Middleborough Tourism Committee
    774-766-6335
    discovermiddleborough@gmail.com
    http://www.discovermiddleborough.com
    http://www.facebook.com/MiddleboroToday
    http://www.twitter.com/MiddleboroToday

    Reply
  • Love the Methuen Festival of Trees. Our family has made this a Thanksgiving tradition and it really gets us in the holiday spirit. Well worth the ride.

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  • My best place to take in a fine view of Christmas Lights, is right at home! My wife puts in a lot of effort to

    create many attractions in, and about our home.

    We watch Scrooge on the television, with the enjoyment of hot chocolate, with a fresh pastry.

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  • We just had a wonderful visit to Tower Hill Botanic Garden in central Massachusetts. $12 admission per person. Website is http://www.towerhillbg.org . We visited mid-afternoon to see the indoor displays before the lights came on. Highly recommend.

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  • In RI there is Slater Park in Pawtucket. I don’t recall all that was there to see but they feature trees that are “adopted” and decorated by individual folks. There is, of course, more to see but that’s what I remember most.

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  • We took the drive to the Louden, NH Speedway to see the lights because of the generous write-up in Yankee Magazine. After an 1 1/2 drive, we were very disappointed to see that they didn’t even complete the “Merry Christmas” sign as you approach the track. Several of the lite letters were missing so it read “Merry Christmas”. Wouldn’t that be the first thing you’d complete? They charged $18 a car. I would not recommend driving more than 15 minutes to see it.

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  • As a former resident of Sandwich, we always try to make it back for this holiday event. The whole place is lit up with lots of family friendly activities. The carousel is always a highlight! This is the best holiday lights display I’ve ever seen–in a beautiful setting. Plenty of parking…bathrooms…food….lots to see and do! VERY family friendly!!

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  • La Salette Shrine in Enfield, NH….my children loved this Christmas display when we were living in Lebanon, NH!

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  • There’s a private residence that welcomes the public on Farnum Pike in Smithfield,, RI every night 5-9 from thanksgiving night through Christmas night with lights and music, no charge.

    Reply

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