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The Best Drive-thru Christmas Light Shows All Over The World

Note: Please use caution when traveling. While Gift Wonk continues to unearth the country’s hidden gems and must-visit destinations, we live in uncertain times, with public health standards continually changing. We advise our readers to continue being inquisitive while staying cautious.

It’s that time of the year that most of us are looking forward to.

With the COVID-19 epidemic still active, global limitations are slowly lifting and have given us the ability to travel as we typically would at this time of year. People travel to see drive-thru Christmas light shows all over the world because they add to the holiday cheer.

We’ve never had a greater demand for this kind of safe, social distancing fun. Towns and cities all across the world celebrate the holidays in their own unique ways, from illuminated boat parades to breathtaking light extravaganzas.

The Christmas season is a special time of the year! We have some other great ideas on what you can do during the holidays:

That’s why we listed the Top 10 world’s largest, greatest, and most extravagant Christmas displays. 

Drive-thru Christmas Light Shows All Over The World

Christmas Light-up on Orchard Road 

Orchard Road, Singapore

Image from Rove

Orchard Road, one of Singapore’s most popular neighborhoods and a world-class destination for avid shoppers and discerning visitors alike, comes alive as Christmas approaches.

Orchard Road transforms into a Christmas wonderland filled with millions of lights, enchanting Christmas decorations, irresistible festive buys, and endless bustle from holiday shoppers.

Soak up the Christmas spirit, find the ideal Christmas gift, and create lasting memories with your family and friends.

Orchard Road is lit up for the holidays, creating a luminous Christmas wonderland. 

Every year, Christmas comes early to Singapore, with festivities beginning in mid-November. The official light-up ceremony will transform the buzzing lifestyle precinct of Orchard Road into a wonderland of light, sound, and color, allowing you to get into the holiday spirit early.

While everyone enjoys receiving Christmas gifts, there are some gifts that money cannot buy, such as love, peace, and happiness. The theme of this year’s light-up is “The Greatest Gift,” which honors these heartfelt emotions.

From Tanglin Mall to Plaza Singapura, the thousands of lights and decorations stretch 3.88 kilometers (including Scotts Road, Grange Road, and Orchard Link)

Christmas Lights on the Boulevard

Melbourne, Australia

Image from Starts at 60

After nearly six decades in the same family that started it all, an original shining star of one of Melbourne’s most popular Christmas lights streets — The Boulevard.

The house at 239 The Boulevard, Ivanhoe East, is known for its beautiful front yard that comes alive with decorations and neon-bright lights every December and has been described as a “once-in-a-generation opportunity.”

City Hall Park

Vienna, Austria

Image from Pikist

The dazzling lights on Vienna’s streets put us in the Christmas spirit like nothing else. You cannot go wrong with a stroll through Vienna’s brightly lit streets and lanes during this magical Advent time.

Vienna is draped in particularly festive cloak magic of lights every year. At the beginning of November, the first lights are turned on. Over two million LED lights will sparkle in 33 of Vienna’s shopping streets once all of the Christmas lights have been installed. 

Furthermore, approximately 190 kilometers of cable are required. It’s no surprise that Vienna’s Advent illuminations have become cult-like, successfully putting locals and visitors alike in the Christmas spirit. 

As a result, they’ve put together a particularly lovely and Christmassy tour of Vienna, revealing which street illuminations make a winter city stroll particularly worthwhile.

Vienna’s Graben is decorated with Christmas lights in the style of a magnificent chandelier, so pre-Christmas walkers can enjoy a beautiful sight just a few minute walk from Annagasse. 

The illuminations are also celebrated each year with Vienna’s mayor at the top end of Graben, more precisely at Stock-im-Eisen-Platz, with festive choral singing included. A peek into Habsburgergasse is also highly recommended. 

In Graben’s side street Vienna appears imperial, Christmas lights shaped like crowns pay homage to Vienna’s imperial past.

Riverhead Holiday Light Show

Long Island, New York

The Riverhead Holiday Light Show is Suffolk County’s largest drive-through light show! Featuring dozens of dazzling displays for the whole family to enjoy!

Dance to the beat of the music! The show’s sparkling lights dance to the music playing on your car radio—it’s a truly immersive experience!

There will be more spectacular displays than ever before! This year, they’ve added a ton of new animated displays that you’ve never seen before!

The Riverhead Holiday Light Show collaborates with a variety of non-profit organizations to assist them in raising funds during the critical holiday season.

Alumbrados Navideños

Medellin, Colombia

Image from Travel Blog

The EPM Lights (Alumbrados EPM) or simply “Lighting” (El Alumbrado) are a traditional seasonal event in Medellin, Colombia, where the city hangs millions of brilliant lights and hosts light shows and other cultural events. 

It has been a tradition to place lights along the Medellin River and La Playa Avenue since the 1990s, with over a hundred other sites now participating in the display. 

The colorful lights are designed and sponsored by Empresas Publicas de Medellin (EPM), the city’s public utility company, and the event usually lasts from the beginning of December to the beginning of January.

The event has grown each year as a result of its tourist appeal, with increased availability of energy resources and budgets, as well as increased participation by local citizens. 

The Day of the Little Candles, marks the unofficial start of Colombia’s Christmas season. However, lighting has begun earlier in recent years to accommodate the increase in tourism. 

Children under the age of 12 are free to all recreational parks and museums, and admission to the Antioquia Museum is free for everyone during this season.

Mercado de Navidad de Plaza Mayor

Madrid, Spain

Image from Astelus

Madrid decorates the streets with dazzling light displays during the Christmas season. You will find twinkling and colored lights and decorations in various squares and streets throughout the city, no matter where you go.

Plaza Mayor, Alcala Street, Velázquez Street, and the Gran Via are some of the best places to see lights in Madrid. Nonetheless, there are some spectacular light displays throughout the city.

The Royal Botanic Garden in Madrid, which is located next to El Retiro Park, has been transformed into a sparkling Christmas Garden with Christmas majestic lights display and original LED light figures. The exhibit is part of the Christmas Garden project and is a great way to see the gardens at night.

Christmas Boat Parade and Ring of Lights

Newport Beach, California

What are your plans for the holidays? The holidays are a time for spending time with family, eating large and delicious meals, exchanging gifts, and attending holiday office parties. 

Of course, you won’t want to pass up the opportunity to see the festive holiday lights and decorations

You wouldn’t want to miss the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade Of Lights. With their Ring Of Lights competition and one of the biggest decorated boat parades in the country, bayfront estates put on elaborate Christmas light holiday displays. 

Hundreds of decorated ships of all sizes compete in over a half-dozen categories for top honors. Each season, over 1.5 million people watch the Newport Beach Boat Parade, making it one of the largest boat parades you’ll ever see. 

The Newport Beach Boat Parade and Ring Of Lights decorations feature millions of holiday lights, making Newport Bay a must-see during the holiday season.

Christmas Lights on Oxford Street

Oxford Street, London

Admire the seasonal window displays lining Oxford Street and be stunned by some of London’s most magnificent Christmas lights. 

Last year’s Oxford Street Christmas lights display featured 27 magnificent curtains of light made up of over 200,000 glittering bulbs, which displayed a poignant poem to honor the nation’s heroes and express gratitude for their service.

The lights on Oxford Street are frequently the first to turn on in London, with special entertainment, in-store promotions, and performances accompanying them. 

A million people attend the major switch-on ceremony. Every year, the decorations are based on a different theme. There are approximately 750,000 lights and nearly 1,800 decorations in total.

Natal Luz 

Gramado, Brazil 

Image from Brol

Natal Luz, which translates to “Christmas of Lights,” is a Christmas festival held every year in Gramado, Brazil. 

The festival began in 1986 with a small concert conducted by Eleazar de Carvalho, one of the most renowned orchestra conductors in the country. It has evolved into Brazil’s largest Christmas event over the years.

Gramado, a city in Rio Grande do Sul, celebrates Natal Luz. Gramado has been designated as the country’s Christmas capital for more than 20 years.

Every year, around 1.5 million people attend the festival is one of the world’s longest Christmas festivals.

The Natal Luz celebration includes a variety of events and attractions, including one that allows visitors to experience what it’s like to be inside a Christmas tree. The 99-foot-tall “magic Christmas tree” features over 3500 ornaments, 2600 string lights, 1000 strobe lights, and a snow machine. 

Tree lighting shows, games, contests, parades, reindeer exhibits, musical performances, and dramatic readings of classic holiday play like “Fantastic Christmas Factory,” a musical about a child who was able to witness the wonders of Christmas coming to life, are all part of the festivities.

The Nativitaten(Nativity) is one of the most anticipated events of the Natal Luz. The celebration, which takes place in the center of the Joaquina Rita Bier Lake, includes a floating lights show, a performance by choirs, sopranos, tenors, and musicians, as well as a circus act, all set to a backdrop of fireworks.

The show is usually divided into five acts that depict mankind’s journey through history, from the creation of the world to the birth of Jesus Christ, the coming of darkness, and finally, the day of salvation.

Christmas Lights on the Champs-Elysees

Paris, France

In mid-November, dazzling Paris Christmas lights begin to appear throughout the city, and they continue to do so until early January.

The Paris Illuminations take many forms: lavish displays on the Champs Élysées and other famous avenues, sparkling decorations on 150+ additional streets throughout the city, elaborate creations in department store windows, spectacular over-the-top light shows at Disneyland Paris, and cheerful strings of lights at the famous Paris Christmas markets, to name a few.

Look for special lights in the plaza in front of the Hotel de Ville, where you can also take a stroll through a sparkling forest, purchase snacks, and artisan products with the Made in Paris label from chalets, and enjoy free rides just for kids. 

More lights can be found in the Place de la Bastille, Place de la Concorde, and along the Seine River’s banks.

Inside Paris churches, you’ll find some of the most beautiful, albeit more subdued, Christmas decorations and lights

Take one of the evening cruises to see the illuminations of historic buildings and monuments while enjoying a gourmet dinner or Champagne as you float down the Seine River for a completely different type of experience.

Winter Festival of Lights 

Niagara Falls, Ontario

Image from Clifton Hill

The annual Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights, Canada’s largest outdoor light festival, is the most enchanting of Niagara Falls attractions. Enjoy the 3 million light display along the Niagara Parkway, the Dufferin Islands, and across Niagara Falls.

Wide-open park spaces allow for easy physical separation when admiring the light shows.

Wrap yourself in a blanket! Take advantage of the chilly weather! Wear gloves, scarves, and face coverings while walking the festival routes to increase your comfort and safety.

Enjoy the experience and glow of the festival lights, in your own little world from the comfort, warmth, and safety of your vehicle.

Many hotels offer views of the city’s 3 million lights, which are on display throughout the city.

Final Thoughts

The holiday season has arrived. Holiday traditions, celebrations, and travel are common during this time. But what about this year? 

Not at all. Large family dinners, cocktail parties, and group gatherings are being encouraged to be canceled. It’s both sad and necessary. 

That is why there are other safe ways to enjoy the season. A perfect way to do this is to take a look at the massive light displays in drive-thru Christmas Light Shows around the globe.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some tips for getting the most out of a Christmas light drive-thru experience?

  • Observe the speed limit.
  • Listen to the designated radio station if applicable
  • Give space and keep on rolling.

Where in London can you find the best Christmas lights?

There are plenty of beautiful Christmas decorations in London, but you should put Oxford Street at the top of your list.

What does Oxford Street look like now?

Year after year, the West End thoroughfare is known for its no-holds-barred light displays, and its impressive line-up of restaurants and shops doesn’t hurt either.

Every year, the street has a gleaming new look: 27 LED curtains of lights with a total of 222,000 individual bulbs draped down the length of the street.

What can I do to make my visit more enjoyable?

If possible, dim your lights. Keeping a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Move to the right if you’re not in a hurry so the vehicle behind you can pass.

Is it possible for me to go outside and look at the displays?

Unfortunately, not all Christmas light drive-thrus will allow it. For safety reasons, guests have never been permitted to exit their vehicles in the drive-thru area. 

Because of the circumstances this year, it’s critical that everyone stays in their vehicles to ensure the safety of other guests and workers. For the safety of visitors, please don’t let anyone exit your vehicle.

Who would enjoy a Christmas light drive-thru event? 

Everyone! Christmas light drive-thrus are an unforgettable experience for people of all ages, including families, couples, groups, and corporate events!

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