10 Tips to Make the Most Out of Viewing Holiday Lights

One of the most challenging things about the holidays is trying to fit in everything you want to do.

I’m sharing useful tips for how to make the most of viewing holiday lights this Christmas season with family or friends.

Lights on Tosha Christmas Light Display in Burlington Kentucky

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1. Organize Your Calendar With All of Your Family Members’ Important Upcoming Dates 

Family calendars fill up quickly with parties, sports, concerts, and social obligations, especially around the holidays.

You don’t want to double book your holiday plans and miss out on something that you really want to attend.

Make sure that you overcommunicate important family gatherings with text reminders and visuals on the family calendar.


2. Decide on the Holiday Activities That You Want to Cross Off Your List

Write the dates on your calendar with their start times. You may also need to factor in drive time.

Let the whole family share their input on their favorite traditions.


You can get more ideas by clicking the image on either style of my FREE Holiday Bucket List Ideas Printables.

Snow Angel photo area at WinterFest

3. Take Inventory of Your Winter Gear Ahead of Time

There is nothing more frustrating than discovering that you are missing crucial winter gear, or that winter gear no longer fits, right before you step out the door.

We have discovered missing winter accessories many times this way, and it makes for a stressful departure.

Save the stress and check inventory a few days before so that you have time to purchase or locate missing items.

Winter Gear Essentials:


4. Pack a Thermos or Travel Mug with Warm Beverages

Hot chocolate or coffee in your favorite to-go thermos can make the drive to your destination even better.

Christmas Nights of Lights at Coney Island Amusement Park

5. Bring Cozy Blankets and Your Favorite Christmas Music for Your Drive

Dress in layers so that you are comfortable in any temperature. If you are driving around looking at lights, I would still bring a coat.

This way you are prepared in case you want to check out a walk-thru display during your drive. Cozy blankets also make the drive a little more comfortable during the drive.

Christmas Light Display Bingo

Play Christmas Light Display Bingo

Search for each holiday display icon when you visit each house.

Christmas Light Display Bingo Instructions

6. Pack Snacks

Let’s face it, it doesn’t matter if you ate before you arrived, as soon as you smell certain foods you will be instantly hungry.

It doesn’t hurt to bring a few portable individual snacks to munch on.

fire table in Leavenworth, Washington

7. Plan Your Meal Ahead of Time

Ask yourself a few questions:

  • Will you eat at the venue?
  • Have you checked their menu and pricing?
  • Will you eat before you go?

(If so, make sure that the meal is easy to make and clean up quickly so that it doesn’t cut into your time at the venue)


8. Know the Hours/Peak Times and Search Online for Discounts

You don’t want to make plans to visit an attraction only to discover that the hours/days are different than you thought.

Confirm the details on their website and call ahead if you are traveling far.

Visit midweek when possible to avoid the crowds.

Check if there is a discount for ordering tickets ahead of time and you will also avoid lines. 


8. Search Online for Deals and Discounts

The more money you save, the more you can spend somewhere else.

Check for deals on the attraction’s website, deal sites like Groupon or a Google search that includes the terms “attraction + discount tickets or admission.”

Use the discount code “ADVMOM” for 50% off a POGO Pass that gives you entry to multiple attractions.

There are POGO Passes with multiple attractions in the following cities:

  • Cincinnati
  • Phoenix/ Tuscan
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Kansas City KS/MO
  • Dallas/ Ft. Worth Texas
  • Austin/San Antonio, TX
Festival of Lights at

9. Check Your Parking Options

Determine if there is nearby parking for free within a reasonable walking distance, in a safe neighborhood.

If you will be bringing younger kids, you might want closer parking within the venue for safety and convenience purposes.

Sometimes our family is willing to walk farther to save money so that we can spend money on a treat when we get there.


10. Bring Cash and Set a Budget Ahead of Time

Avoid unnecessary fees by swinging by the ATM ahead of time.

It’s always good to have some cash on you “just in case.”

Check online to make sure that you can use a card for your larger purchases.

Decide what is important to you when it comes to the cost of admission, concessions, rides, etc.

Know where you can scrimp and what is worth the money to you.

Sometimes you just need to eat those overpriced German roasted almonds in the name of nostalgia and that’s ok.


Where are the best places to visit for Holiday Lights?

3 thoughts on “10 Tips to Make the Most Out of Viewing Holiday Lights”

  1. Great post and perfect tips. A little planning in the beginning will make it more memorable for all and in the best way possible.

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