Holiday Lights & Mini Family Adventures.

This week I have been thinking about the magic of the season and the dozens of terrific places to enjoy twinkle time with children. Sharing the joy of the holiday season often means finding fun in small doses. From miles of lights along the Boardwalk on Virginia Beach to the magic of Winterfest in Pigeon Forge, celebrating is in the air. The newest additions to the Santa Trans & Holiday Lights vacation planning folder reveal ways to share the best holiday lights with children.

Pigeon Forge Holiday Lights

Twinkling lights enhance the magic of the season in Pigeon Forge.

As any parent or grandparent knows time together is a very precious commodity and during the holiday season a night filled with twinkling lights has the potential to mean more than any material gift because there is never a wrong size when it comes to sharing time with family.

I have posted an assortment of mini holiday adventures along with the locations of terrific Christmas light displays in a folder dubbed Santa Trains & Holiday Lights.

The newest additions embrace the season with positive energy delivering fun for families.

  1. Festival of Lights in Riverside, California with Cupcakes, and Ice Skating.
  2. Whistle Stop Christmas Lights in Cleburne, Texas with Holiday Music and Train Whistle Blowing.
  3. Lights on the Lake in Syracuse, New York with Land of Oz Lights and Fairytale Magic.
  4. Bull Run Festival of Lights in Virginia with S’mores and Camel Rides.
  5. Christmas at Biltmore in North Carolina with Santa and Sugarplum Fairies.
  6. Bentleyville Tour of Lights in Minnesota with Flying Pterodactyls and Free Popcorn.
  7. The Gift of Lights at Christmas Ranch in Ohio with Reindeer Express and Santa’s Snow Wagon.
  8. ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago with 3-D Fun, and Animal Encounters.
  9. Hershey Sweet Lights! in Pennsylvania with Twilight Express and Candylane.
  10. Oglebay’s Winter Festival of Lights in West Virginia with Twinkling Snowflakes and a Christmas Tree Garden.
  11. Zoo Lights at Reid Park in Tucson with Jingle Bells and Falling Snow.
  12. Leavenworth Christmas Village of Lights in Washington with Caroling and S’more by Firelight.

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Santa Trains & Holiday Lights – Celebrating the Season

This week I am making my plans to enjoy a holiday rail adventure from Grapevine to Fort Worth, and share holiday lights in as many places as I can schedule on the calendar. For our family the holiday season is about sharing time together, enjoying old family recipes, and reviving traditions which may have been couched because of geographic separations.

Santa awaits passengers for this year’s New Hope North Pole Express.

Across the country the possibilities are endless to share short breaks with sleigh rides, twinkling lights, Santa trains, and even the magical Polar Express. Walk through a fantasy land of twinkling lights; meet with Santa and Mrs. Claus; sip hot chocolate with Christmas elves; sing carols together; ride a special “Yule Train”. From miles of lights along the Boardwalk at Virginia Beach to the magic of Winterfest in Pigeon Forge celebrating is in the air. This year’s lists of reveal a plethora of ways to share the magic with kids including unique lists for Florida and Britain.

My favorites include Winterfest in Pigeon Forge because it offers not just dancing bears, trolley rides, and twinkling snowflakes but great family-style entertainment in the area. For pure fun, I also like the efforts of LEGOLAND in Carlsbad where from mid November to January the “Holly Jolly Holidays” include thousands of twinkling lights, jolly holiday entertainment, nightly fireworks, and  “Let it Snow’ the musical.

In New Hampshire the Hobo Railway will be running a Ho-Ho-Hobo Express which includes the jolly elf himself, and on select dates the magical Polar Express. The family adventure begins with a wonderful evening train ride accompanied by storytelling elves, and of course, Santa himself. The New Hope & Ivy and Railroad in Bucks County, PA will be running the annual North Pole Express- a train themed to match the Polar Express story. Passengers ride the rails with Santa and Mrs. Claus; sip hot cocoa and enjoy cookies; listen to local musicians play & sing Christmas carols.

You will find many more Christmas train excursions on file as well as holiday adventures showcased in our new Away for the Holidays folder.