2016 HOLIDAY LIGHTS
A Guide to Some of the Local Favorites
In Chapel Hill / Durham / NC Triangle
Lights in Carolina!
* Hill Ridge Farms Festival of Lights (near
* Lights on the Neuse (Clayton, NC)
Tanglewood Festival of Lights (Clemmons, NC)
* Meadow Lights (Benson,
Also Candelight /Holiday Events at
Historic NC sites:
* Duke Homestead
* Historic Hillsborough by Candlelight,
* Historic Old Salem
(scroll down for 2016 details/dates)
Come on out and enjoy the
lights, lights, lights! Thousands and millions of brilliant lights, (but
without the noise, noise, noise, so even the grinchiest of grinches
can’t help but be delighted). Read below for details.
Hill Ridge Farms Festival of Lights – Youngsville, NC (near Raleigh)
Nov. 24th- Dec. 31, 2016
OPEN 7 Nights a Week!
Sun-Thurs. 5pm to
Fri & Sat 4pm-10pm
During the annual
Hill Ridge Farms Festival of Lights, the local farm that is legendary
for its fall pumpkin festival and farm fun year-round (birthday parties,
picnics, events all year, train rides, super-slide, farm animals) is transformed into a magical celebration
of Hometown Christmas Cheer and a huge holiday lights display!
Festival of Lights at Hill Ridge Farms features:
Festival of Lights
(Covered wagon hayride through the Festival of
Pictures with Santa
Smores/Hot Chocolate/Apple Cider
for sale at the Apple House
Great Food at their Chuckwagon Grill
Old Fashioned Candy Store
Train Rides - on a REAL Choo Choo Train!
HUGE Jumping Pillow
Even the Hill Ridge hay wagons and their train have been
decked out with beautiful Christmas lights! Celebrate the holidays with
your friends and family at Hill Ridge Farms! For ticket info,
Hill Ridge Farms has PLENTY of parking,
a charming country store and indoor restaurant/concessions, beautiful
indoor facilities/bathrooms, pathed walkways / wheelchair accessible.
Hill Ridge Farms
703 Tarboro Rd., Youngsville, NC 27596
Lights on the Neuse – Clayton, NC
Family Farms offers this fun holiday lights event every year, featuring
a one-mile long, old-fashioned tractor-pulled Christmas Hayride through
a magical lights display extravaganza, and a visit to the Christmas Barn
and 3D Christmas house. Santa's Sweet Shoppe offers old-fashioned
Christmas candy, hot chocolate, coffee, kettle corn and Smores kits that
you purchase and cook yourself at the picnic area. You can also have
photos taken with Santa. Tickets include the Christmas Lights Hayride
and admission into the Christmas Barn and 3D Christmas House. Visit the
website for ticket info/hours.
Open weekends November 23 – December
24, and on a few weekdays. Visit
for complete schedule.)
on the Neuse
Rd., Clayton, NC.
Tanglewood Festival of Lights – Clemmons, NC
Recognized as one of the top 20 holiday lights displays in the Southeast
United States, and one of the 100 best in North America, Tanglewood’s
Festival of Lights features a spectacular variety of whimsical and
charming displays, with over a million individual lights! The Tanglewood
lights display is over four miles long, with more than 100 displays,
from horses galloping over a field, to a fireworks display in
synchronized holiday lights, to a pirate ship blasting cannon balls into
the water and making a lighted-display splash … The choreography of
lights and the variety of scenery and animation is amazing. (For added
cheer, tune your radio to 99.5 WMAG to hear festive holiday music for as
you drive through the Festival of Lights.) You can also take a
horse-drawn carriage ride to view the lights from the comfort of a
carriage drawn by a Percheron horse.
The Tanglewood Gift Shop in the Red Barn offers holiday crafts and
woodwork made by local artisans and food, coffee and hot chocolate. The
Red Barn offers marshmallows for roasting over the bonfire, and photos
with Santa are available. The Tanglewood Festival of Lights is open
nightly November 17 - January 1, from 6pm - 11pm. Admission is per
vehicle. (For shorter wait times, visit on weekdays rather than
weekends.) Tanglewood Park is located ten minutes west of Winston-Salem,
right off I-40 in Clemmons, NC, at
4201 Manor House Circle,
Clemmons, NC 27012.
Visit Historic Old Salem - All Dressed Up for
When you go
to see the Tanglewood Festival of Lights,
plan an afternoon visit to nearby Old Salem
and tour the beautiful historic town, with townsfolk dressed up as the
Moravian settlers would have dressed and lived almost 250 years ago.
Stop by the Winkler Bakery (circa 1800)
for fresh-baked bread and treats (still baked in a wood-fired stove just
as they were baked in Old Salem centuries ago).
When dusk falls, head over to the
Tanglewood Festival of Lights for a joyful holiday tradition!
Meadow Lights – Benson, NC
over an hour’s drive from Chapel Hill, Meadow Lights is the oldest and
one of the largest (more than 30 acres) Christmas light show in eastern
North Carolina, lighting up the holidays in Carolina for more than 40
Meadow Lights operates three trains
through acres of their lights displays, featuring a giant rocking horse
as it rocks back and forth; tin soldiers marching in formation; a race
car getting ready to zoom … and countless more dazzling scenes, all lit
up in sparkling, choreographed lights.
***NOTE: Be sure to GO EARLY
-- Repeat: BE SURE TO GO EARLY!
We recommend arriving a little before Meadow Lights opens (for
example, if they're opening at 5pm, get there a little before 5pm, park,
get your train tickets and enjoy the show as it gets dark. Get in line
for the train EARLY.) This way you can avoid substantial traffic backing
up as more cars arrive looking for parking spaces in the early evening.
Meadow Lights is open for the 2016 holiday season every night from
November 20 - December 31. Admission is free, but bring spending money
for the train ride ($2.00) and the candy shop.
4546 Godwin Lake
Road, Benson, NC 27504.
More Holiday Lights in Chapel Hill,
Durham, Hillsborough / NC Triangle
What is it about the
unabashedly over-the-top displays of holiday lights that bring such
joyful anticipation? In our neck of the North Carolina woods, a
multitude of holiday lights brighten the winter nights, bringing back
that feeling of childhood excitement, awe and happiness. Cheerful
garlands of lights and shooting stars festoon the streets of downtown
Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Durham and the NC Triangle.
Many local neighborhoods celebrate the holiday
season with a riot of light displays on front lawns. It is great fun to
drive around the neighborhoods to gaze at the creative bursts of light
displays. For years, in Carrboro there was a
classic antique flat bed truck, dressed up with lights as Rudolph (with
a shiny red nose on the hood of the truck and antlers made of twigs
wrapped with twinkling lights.) (Anybody have a picture? Email it to
us and we'll post it here!)
On Old 86 in
Hillsborough (a few homes away from Hampton Pointe/Hillsborough
Walmart shopping center)
there is an (annual) amazing light display (private home) featuring a plethora of
lit-up, animated Santas. There are Santas on a ferris wheel going round
and round, a Santa keeping watch over a nativity scene, Santas on the
roof, Santas everywhere!
(Note: There is no room to pull over on Old 86 to get a better look,
we just slow down and take a gander, so we
haven’t counted how many Santas take part in this cheerful holiday
It is a joy to behold!
Historic Hillsborough is
just up the road, where the Annual Hillsborough Candlelight Home Tour
takes place each year in early December.
(Sat. December 10, 2016, 3pm -
Another favorite holiday
candlelight celebration is the 1870 Christmas by Candlelight at the
Duke Homestead, with evening tours for the whole family, featuring
period decorations, caroling, and hot apple cider.
Fri. Dec. 2 and 9, 2016
6:45pm - 9:15pm
(Last tour leaves at 9:15pm)
Purchase tickets for
specific tour times on the website - tours leave every 15 minutes.
Tickets: $6 (+ tax) adults, $3 (+ tax) children
tour tickets (schedule for specific times, every 15 minutes).
We also have within an
easy drive several dazzling light displays,
Hill Ridge Farms
Festival of Lights
(open Nov. 24 - Dec. 31, 2016 - 7 nights a week!)
the Tanglewood Festival of Lights,
* Lights on the Neuse,
festive neighborhood light displays,
(Scroll up for NC Triangle Holiday Lights details.)