Seeing festive displays of Christmas lights in North Carolina is a must-do family tradition for us. While there are many to name, we thought you should know about a few that we keep in mind.
You may know about the bucket-list-worthy lights at Gaston County‘s Christmas Town USA and the stunning sights at Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock. However, there are additionally awesome Christmas light displays waiting to be found, from the mountains to the sea!
Seeing these Christmas lights in North Carolina rank high among our favorite things to do throughout the state.
Christmas Lights in North Carolina
As we’ve done with previous monthly roundups, we’ve ordered these Christmas Lights in North Carolina by starting date and alphabetized by place name.
For those ready to visit these displays of Christmas lights in North Carolina, our map includes the visual location of all of these places.
Candlelight Christmas Evenings at Biltmore (November 6 to January 9)
Inside Biltmore House, you’ll find decorated Christmas trees all around and 135,000 LED and mini lights twinkling around the property. A visit to Antler Hill Village and Winery is included with admission, with more Christmas lights displays and wine tastings waiting.
Tanglewood Festival of Lights (November 16 to January 1)
Tanglewood Festival of Lights is a Drive-Thru Christmas light display in Clemmons, North Carolina. For this season, they are open nightly until New Years Day.
Rates start at $15 per family but check out their website for discounted rates on certain nights! If you’re looking for a special way to view the lights, then consider their Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides or Tractor Hayrides.
Mike’s Farm Light Show Hayride (November 19 to December 23, December 26 to 27)
Join a light Show Hayride at Mike’s Farm in Beulaville (not far from Jacksonville) for a beautiful Christmas light display. It’s $10 per person and you and the family can come through without reservations.
Give their homestyle restaurant, which has raving reviews, a try as well! It is available by reservation only.
Speedway Christmas (November 21 to January 17)
Charlotte Speedway Christmas is back for another season of Christmas light displays in Cabarrus County! Enjoy over 4 million lights on a 3.75-mile course that incorporates music if you tune in to the local Christmas radio station.
For extra fun, enjoy FOX 46 WJZY Movie Nights from Thursdays to Sundays for a Christmas-themed drive-in theater. Tickets start at $20 per car and prices depend on the day of the week you decide to visit.
Festival of Lights at Hill Ridge Farms (November 26 to December 27)
Hill Ridge Farms in Youngsville (Franklin County) has transformed their Festival of Lights to an all-new drive-thru Christmas light display! For $20 per vehicle, your family can view the over one mile long light display that is bigger and better than ever before.
Enchanted Airlie (November 27 to 29 & December 4 to 22)
Note: Tickets for 2020 are SOLD OUT, but we kept this one for you notetakers for next year’s round of Christmas lights in North Carolina.
Tickets start at $30/vehicle.
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden (November 27 to January 3)
Head over to Belmont for the annual Holiday in the Garden at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. These Christmas lights in North Carolina are just a day trip away from Charlotte and the perfect way to get in the holiday spirit.
For $14.95 per adult, you can enjoy topiary displays, Piedmont Prairie, and cherry blossom trees illuminated for their Christmas light display. Also available is a food truck, s’mores roasting pit, and warm or cold beverages.
Sweet Valley Ranch (November 27 to December 30)
Sweet Valley Ranch’s Christmas light display is the first of two ways we’ll mention celebrating the season in Fayetteville. This beautiful farm is transformed into a glowing wonderland, perfect for your family to visit!
Prices start at $7 per person with discounts available if you bring more people. Military, first responders, and senior citizens also receive discounted admission.
Chetola Resort Festival of Lights (November 29 to January 31)
Admission is free to the public.
The Elizabethan Gardens (November 30 to January 18)
WinterLights in Manteo’s Elizabethan Gardens on the Outer Banks is back again for another year! Enjoy a walkthrough of the grounds and take in the Christmas light displays of the gardens, festive décor and trees of the Gatehouse and Reception Hall.
End your tour at the warm fire on the Great Lawn. A seasonal gift shop and plant sales will be onsite as well. Tickets are $11/adult.
McAdenville Christmas Town USA (December 1 to December 26)
Visit the Christmas light display affectionately known as Christmas Town USA in McAdenville, over in Gaston County. For 65 years, people have traveled from across North Carolina (and beyond) to view displays in the town common areas as well as the homes, free of charge.
This is considered one of the best ways to enjoy Christmas lights in North Carolina! Before you go, we think you’ll want to know about our favorite things to do in Gastonia!
Cape Fear Botanical Garden (December 3 to December 23)
Santa Claus will be making an appearance and s’mores, entertainment, and more will be available. Prices range from $8 to $12 per adult depending on membership status.
Dillsboro Lights & Luminaries (December 4, 5, 11, & 12)
Visit this Christmas light display in Dillsboro (Jackson County) to see the entire town decked out in over 2,500 lights leading to shops and studios! Hot cider and cocoa will be served by shopkeepers and carolers, Santa, and Mrs Claus will be making an appearance.
Dix Park Nights of Lights (December 16 to December 27)
Check out Raleigh’s Nights of Lights Christmas light display at Dorothea Dix Park! The 1.3-mile route will showcase illuminated trees, light displays, and local art installations starting at $15 per vehicle through Dix Park.
Tickets must be ordered in advance.
Enjoy Christmas Lights This Year and Beyond!
We understand that getting in the holiday spirit is much harder this year. But hopefully, these festive Christmas lights in North Carolina will brighten your season!
If you’re planning to visit any of these displays, we’d love to know which ones and why. Plus, if you know of one (or more) that belongs on this list, we’d always love to learn more about them, too!
Happy holidays and we hope you’re able to enjoy some festive cheer, wherever you call “home.”