Looking for a little Holiday cheer? I’m happy to announce that there are still a bunch of options for lights displays this year. This years list has been updated to showcase festive illuminations for 2020! While there sadly are a few that have canceled this year due to COVID-19; there are still many that are open. I hope these playful displaces bring a twinkle to your eye. Happy Holidays from our family to yours.
(Always remember to check with the event you are visiting to check for cancelations or changes made due to inclement weather or COVID-19 regulations.)
ANNMARIE GARDENS IN LIGHTS
Date: November 27, 2020 – January 1, 2021 (Closed November 30 & December 1, 7, 8, 24, 25)
Time: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM Nightly
Place: Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center- Solomons, MD
Price: Advance tickets required – Members free; Non-members $10-12/person (depending on night), kids 2 & under free; Museums for All $3/person
Information: Walk through the wooded path and enjoy lighted vignettes of famous people, places and works of art. Look for hidden treasures in the trees and green shamrocks in each vignette.
B&O RAILROAD – HOLIDAY FESTIVAL OF TRAINS
Date: November 27 – December 19, 2020
Time: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM Friday’s & Saturday’s Only
Place: B&O Railroad – Baltimore, MD
Price: $30 Adults, Senior $25, Kid $20 and Members $10
Information: Each evening, tour through Santa’s Winter Village shops, model train layouts, enjoy a visit from Santa and share cookies with spiced cider or spiked cider for the grown-ups. The train ride includes child-size light-up reindeer antlers to wear on the Reindeer Railway to help light the way for Santa!
BROOKESIDE GARDENS GARDEN OF LIGHTS
2020 Season Canceled
BULL RUN FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS
Date: November 6, 2020 – January 10, 2021
Place: 7700 Bull Run Dr, Centreville, VA 20121
Price: $25-$30 (Purchase Tickets Online)
Information: Every year from Thanksgiving until just after New Year’s Day, you can experience the Bull Run Festival of Lights, 2.5 miles illuminated by holiday light displays. Drive the festival route from the comfort of your car; turn out your headlights and just follow the magical glow. After viewing the lights, bring your family and friends to the holiday village to enjoy rides, refreshments, and of course, photos with Santa Claus (holiday village open select nights). The festival happens annually at Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville, Virginia. Monday – Thursday 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday – Sunday and Holidays 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. (Holidays include November 26, December 24, 25, 31, and January 1.)
BUSCH GARDENS – CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS
Date: November 13, 2020- January 3, 2021
Place: Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, VA
Price: Cost of Admission to park
Information: The holidays would not be complete without a visit to Busch Gardens® Williamsburg, the world’s most beautiful theme park. Park guests can safely celebrate the holidays as they stroll through plenty of outdoor space during this new, limited capacity experience. Sparkling lights, beautiful decorations, festive foods, live seasonal music, exciting coasters and attractions, plus abundant shopping with physical distancing will make the spirit of the season come alive. Busch Gardens Christmas Celebration will offer day and evening reservation windows on select dates Nov. 13 – Jan. 3.
CHRISTMAS AT COX FARM
Date: November 27, 2020 – December 21, 2020
Place: Cox Farm- Centerville, VA
Price: $20 Per Car (Must Pre-Purchase Tickets online)
Information: Christmas on the farm is different this year; however, still lots of fun! The Holiday Market, Christmas tree farm and holiday hayride (self-drive thru) are a few of the fun festivities to take part in.
CHRISTMAS DOLLS AND TRAINS EXHIBIT AT ST CLEMENTS
Date: December 1, 2020 – January 3, 2021 (Closed Christmas Eve & Christmas)
Time: 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Place: St. Clements Island Museum, 38370 Point Breeze Road, Coltons Point, MD
Price: $3 Adults/ $1.50 Children 6 – 18, FREE Children 5 and under.
Information: Exhibits will feature special doll collections from the Black-eyed Susan and Southern Maryland Doll Clubs. Dolls will be arranged to depict Christmas scenes and vignettes of Chesapeake coastal living in the early 20th century. Learn more.
CHRISTMAS AT MONTPELIER FARMS
Date: November 27, 2020 – December 20, 2020 (Friday, Saturday & Sunday)
Place: Montpelier Farms- MD
Price: $7 Per Person
Information: Glide through the woods and cornfields on a peaceful Wagon Ride while enjoying our delightful trimmings, lights and holiday decorations (unlimited rides)! A blazing bonfire is available all evening to roast s’mores and to warm your tootsies & footsies! Receive one FREE steaming cup of hot chocolate, coffee or hot apple cider, as well as a complimentary candy cane for everyone! Enjoy a different Holiday Movie Screening each night. Ho, Ho, Ho! Bring your cameras for FREE (Social Distanced) pictures with “Santa”!
CHRISTMAS ON THE POTOMAC
2020 Seasonal Festivities Canceled – Gaylord National Hotel is Temporarily Closed to the public. However, you can view visit National Harbor to see the outdoor tree lite and there will be a virtual Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
DRIVE THRU CHRISTMAS TABLEAU
Date: Sunday December 6, 2020 (4:30 PM – 5:30 PM)
Place: First Baptist Church of Waldorf- 10045 Bunker Hill Rd. Waldorf, MD
Information: First Baptist Church of Waldorf’s Childrens Ministry has a special treat for you this Christmas Season! Join us for a family-friendly, socially distant, drive-thru Christmas experience. Enjoy the story of the birth of Jesus and the beginning of Christmas performed by adorable costumed actors and live animals.
DRIVE THRU CHRISTMAS LIGHTS DISPLAY
Date: December 17-19, 2020 (5:30 PM – 8:00 PM)
Place: Goose Creek Camp Grounds, PAX River, MD
Information: Come enjoy a Holiday event from the comfort of your car. (MILITARY /BASE ACCESS ONLY!)
FLAT IRON FARM CHRISTMAS
2020 Season Canceled
LIGHTS ON THE BAY
Date: November 2, 2020 – January 2, 2021 (5pm – 10pm) *Including holidays*
Place: Sandy Point State Park
Price: $20 Per Car
Information: Head to Sandy Point State Park from November 19th to January 1st. Not only will you see Christmas lights, but 3D glasses are available to make your experience even more amazing.
LIGHTS UP THE NIGHT- BOAT PARADE
Date: December 12, 2020 at 6:00 PM
Place: St. Michaels
Information: Our Christmas in St. Michaels elves will be lighting up the harbor area too so be sure to check that out!
KINGS DOMINION TASTES OF THE SEASON
Date: December 5-25, 2020
Place: Kings Dominion- Doswell, VA
Price: $29.99-$39.99 Per Person
Information: Experience Kings Dominion like never before during the Taste of the Season! See the park decked out in festive décor featuring some of your favorite family rides, shows, seasonal shopping and dozens of delicious holiday food options.
MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET
Visitors are welcome to drive by; however, festivities have been canceled for the 2020 season.
NATIONAL CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHT CEREMONY
Date: December 3, 2020
Place: Washington, DC
Information: This years National Tree Lighting ceremony will not be available live; however, you can stream the display online.
NORTH POLE LIGHTS WALK
Date: November 21, 2020 – January 3, 2021
Place: 8109 Telegraph Rd. Severn, MD
Information: Enjoy holiday fun at Willow Oak! Take a self guided walk to the North Pole!
SIX FLAGS HOLIDAY IN THE PARK
Date: November 21, 2020 – January 3, 2021
Place: 13710 Central Ave, Upper Marlboro, MD
Price: Park Admission
Information: This dazzling, winter spectacular will make your holiday shine with more than a million glittering lights, holiday entertainment, delicious seasonal treats, visits with Santa and theme park rides! To learn more read the Playful Parent Guide.
SOUTHERN MARYLAND HOLLY JOLLY LIGHT TRAIL
Date: December 11, 2020 – January 1, 2021
Place: Southern Maryland Area
Information: Follow the Holly Jolly Holiday Light Trail to see over 120 decorated homes and business. Just check the map and enjoy riding around looking at the twinkling lights. They are looking to spread some holiday cheer throughout our community by awarding the Top Decorated Homes! The winners will be selected and voted on by our community from December 11th – January 1st. It is absolutely FREE to participate!
SYMPHONY OF LIGHTS
Date: November 25, 2020 -January 2, 2021 (5:30 PM-10PM)
Place: Symphony Woods at Merriweather Park, Columbia, Maryland
Price: Wed.-Fri. and Sun. $20, Sat. $25 (Purchase Tickets Online)
Information: The Symphony of Lights is a time-honored Howard County holiday tradition. This family-oriented spectacular is a dazzling display of more than 100 larger-than-life animated and stationary holiday light creations, made up of more than 250,000 bulbs. Proceeds from the event benefit Howard County General Hospital. Lots of new elements this year to include: new course design, new displays, 100% LED lighting, laser show.
WINTER FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS AT WATKINS REGIONAL PARK
Date: November 27, 2020 – January 1, 2021
Place: Watkins Regional Park, 301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Price: Tickets range from $8 per car or van to $30 per bus, see website for details. (Free November 30 & December 25.) Pre-Purchase Tickets online.
Information: Bring a little twinkle to your holidays at this spectacular drive-through event featuring dazzling displays with more than 2.5 million lights throughout the park! You won’t want to miss our giant, 54-foot LED musical tree!
WINTER GLOW AT MT VERNON
Date: November 27, 2020 – December 28, 2020 (Select Weekends)
Place: Mount Vernon, VA
Price: Experience an enchanting evening of winter lights at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. See the estate illuminated with soft lights and holiday patterns as you listen to Christmas carolers and visit an 18th-century winter encampment.
ZOO LIGHTS- DC
Date: November 27, 2020 to December 19, 2020 (Select Weekends)
Place: Smithsonian’s National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington DC
Information: ZooLights will not be held on-site at the Zoo this year. Instead, the 24-foot ZooLights Express truck, festively decorated with light displays and featuring “Panda Claws,” will hit the road Nov. 27 to Dec. 19 and visit one Washington, D.C., ward each Friday and Saturday night from 6-8 p.m.
ZOO LIGHTS- BALTIMORE
Date: November 20, 2020 to January 3, 2021 (5:00 PM – 8:00 PM)
Place: Maryland Zoo- Baltimore, MD
Information: A brilliant seasonal spectacle is coming to the Zoo this winter! Drive or walk through a festival of lights shaped like wildlife and your face might just light up too. Plus, get that warm glowing feeling inside knowing you are supporting the Zoo’s animal care and conservation work. Advanced reservations are required and Zoo Members save on all ticket types. Both Drive-Thru and Walk-Thru options available.
Happy Holidays from The Playful Parent! Wishing your family many blessings of love and joy! Hoping this giveaway is lots of fun for everyone. You can enter online or on Social Media (Facebook or Instagram). Contest is open to all Playful Parent fans in the local area now through November 26, 2020 at 12:00 PM. One lucky fan will be randomly drawn to win four passes to Annmarie’s Garden in Lights! To enter it’s super easy:
***UPDATE THE WINNER THIS YEAR IS Ann-Lorraine Haag!***
The Playful Parent is non-profit that provides free resources to families in order to advocate learning through play and promote family bonding.