The Prettiest Places Near Philly to Drive Around and See the Lights
The lights at City Hall, Franklin Square and Dilworth Park have all turned on for the season, but they’re not the only places to visit for some holiday cheer. Hop in the car for some socially distant, seasonal fun and head to these other incredibly illuminated destinations nearby. Between professional light shows and impressively adorned homes, these twinkly, bedecked marvels are worth the trip.
The 42 houses that host The Miracle on South 13th Street individually decorate their facades, but the collective effect is enough to rival any professional display. With well over 300,000 lights as well as Santas, snowmen and other holiday figures, it’s a sight only gets better each year.
Lights in the Parkway in Allentown
Drive along more than a mile of twinkling lights, holiday scenes and familiar characters at this annual Allentown event inside Lehigh Park. This year’s event runs nightly November 27 through December 27 from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. with the exception of Christmas Day. Tickets must be reserved in advance online if you want to see it for yourself.
Deer Road in Cherry Hill
Neighbors on this Cherry Hill Cul de sac come together every holiday season to put together a fantastic spectacle that in past years has attracted trolley-loads of onlookers. One resident says he starts decorating around Halloween and keeps going through December. Expect to see thousands of lights, inflatables, and even “Santa’s Workshop.”
West Chester and Exton
Chester County is rivaling the North Pole these days with its vast assortment of lights. Start by paying a visit to the West Chester Griswolds. Starting Thanksgiving night, more than 115,000 lights have illuminated 304 Dutton Mill Road in West Chester with the help of nearly 2 miles of extension cords. Four miles away, the West Chester Christmas Lights at 895 South Concord Road will raise money for the Brandywine Valley SPCA by powering more than 5,000 lights and 40 inflatables. Feeling extra festive? Head over to Exton and hit the Swedesford Chase neighborhood, Brookview Road and the Marchwood Lights at 423 Fairfax Drive for even more holiday cheer.
Out in Bucks County, more than 1 million lights have flicked on at Peddler’s Village, where the shops, restaurants and gardens are all dressed up for the season. There’s plenty to see both here and at the garden center Bountiful Acres and shopping center Buckingham Green just two miles down US-202 South. If you continue on, look for 4318 US-202 in Doylestown (it’s hard to miss!) and then visit 212 Stags Leap Circle and 61 Cherokee Road for a couple more festively decorated homes.
The Main Line always looks charming during Christmastime, but stop by the Festival of Lights in Rose Tree Park in Media for an extra dose of cheer. The free annual light show includes handpainted displays and dozens of trees illuminated from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. nightly. Elsewhere in Media, Linvilla Orchards has more than 40,000 cut-your-own Christmas trees as well as a gorgeously decorated farm market and garden center for picking up last-minute gifts.
Abington, Willow Grove and Hatboro
This trio of Montgomery County towns has it all going on. Start by driving 28 Saint Dunstans Road and 3708 Renninger Road in Hatboro, two homes that top must-see lists. Next up, swing by the most decked-out house in Willow Grove located along Terwood Avenue and Brendan Circle. Each year, the Valenza family brings out more than 100,000 lights to adorn their facade and front yard. Finally, set your GPS for 1075 Arbuta Road, Abington, where the Kaye family hosts its annual Light Up the Night.
Shady Brook Farm
With more than 3 million lights, this Yardley family farm doesn’t mess around with its drive-through, two-mile light show complete with illuminated tunnels. You can also take a stroll down Candy Cane Lane, where the LEDs “dance” to music. Note: You can buy timed tickets in advance here and reserve your spot.
Just across the border in Delaware, Smith’s Lights On The Hill at 1900 Prior Road, Wilmington, shines so bright it’s visible from I-95. It’s worth getting closer for a good look, though. While in Wilmington, don’t miss the lights (and Christmas shop) at Old Country Gardens on 414 Wilson Road. With poinsettias, cyclamen, fresh-cut trees, homemade wreaths and even “elves,” it’s a bonafide winter wonderland.
The Shore never looked quite so bright, especially at these particular residences. Lights on Poplar at 15 Poplar Avenue uses its destination status as a way to solicit donations for Toys to Tots. The Krug Family Holiday Light Show at 2 Thorobred Road synchronizes its twirling, flashing display to music, with a giant Santa even made to look like he’s singing. (Last year’s show went for five whole minutes.) Last but not least, Offshore Illuminations at 100 Offshore Road has swapped out its orange Halloween lights for a myriad of Christmas decorations worth your visit.
This is a paid partnership between Lexus and Philadelphia Magazine's City/Studio