Updated for 2016
Among the countless seasonal traditions to take part in – baking cookies, caroling and attending festive events to name a few – gazing at illuminated displays is at the top of many families’ lists, and for good reason. There’s something about how the lights brighten the dark winter evening that lifts Christmas spirits and leaves kids of all ages in awe.
If the season’s lights bring you Christmas joy, then go ahead and bundle up, pack your family in the car and check out one of these Hudson Valley holiday attractions. You won’t be disappointed!
Named after the children of creators Tim and Grace Gay, this holiday light display is not to be missed. The numbers are impressive: over 500,000 lights synchronized to 230+ songs, and each year it gets bigger and better. Make sure to tune your car radio into 95.3 FM to get the full effect! The display is free but donations are accepted for various charities. Where: 8 Patrick Drive, Lagrangeville. When: Daily Nov. 25th – Dec. 28th starting at 4:45pm. Check the website for more details and the full schedule.
With Frosty’s Enchanted Forest light display, Santa’s Magical Mansion and North Pole, live holiday characters, kid-friendly shows and more, A Frosty Fest offers a full family holiday adventure! Visitors can choose to drive through the Enchanted Forest on their own or bundle up and take an old-fashioned hayride. Where: 778 Broadway, Ulster Park (Headless Horseman Hayrides). When: Friday – Sunday, Nov. 25th – Dec. 23rd. Fridays 6:00-8:00pm, Saturdays 4:30-8:00pm, Sundays 4:30-7:00pm. Read our review of A Frosty Fest here!
Every year, the Orange County Arboretum offers free garden-themed light displays throughout their grounds. The paths and gardens become illuminated with a variety of flowers, critters and more. Volunteers are available to answer questions about the Arboretum, sell handmade goods and serve free hot cocoa. Where: Orange County Arboretum, Thomas Bull Memorial Park, Route 416, Montgomery. When: Friday – Sunday, Nov. 25th – December 24th, then daily Dec. 26th – December 31st (closed Christmas Day). 5:00-8:00pm.
Another all-inclusive family holiday destination, Kevin McCurdy’s Holiday Spirit Festival offers plenty of Christmas fun. Take a stroll through the Enchanted Forest of Lights and gaze upon the animated display including snowmen, penguins, Santa and more. Stick around to experience the rest of the attractions including the Polar Express Train and Village, the Holiday Stage Show, “Find the Frost Fairies” Scavenger Hunt game, Santa’s Workshop Meet & Greet and others. Where: 38 Sheafe Rd., Wappingers Falls. When: Friday – Sunday, Nov. 25th – Dec. 23rd. Fridays 6:00-9:00pm, Saturday & Sunday 4:30-9:00pm.
Stay toasty in your car while you drive through the mile-long illuminated display including hundreds of inflatables, lighted arches and more. Tune your radio to 107.9 FM for music that will add to the festive mood. Requested donation of $5.00/car. Where: 310 Scotchtown Road, Goshen. When: 2016 Dates TBA 6:00-9:00pm.
If you live near Newburgh or are willing to take the drive, you’re in for a treat! Christmas on Colden Hill is a fantastic animated house display synchronized to music that is broadcasted on 102.5FM. And to top it off, it’s free! The show runs for 26 minutes and starts on every half hour. Where: 125 Colden Hill Rd., Newburgh. When: Daily Nov. 25th – Dec. 31st, every half hour from 5:00-11:00pm.
Bruschi Christmas is an animated light display designed to bring the joy and hope of Christ to our community as we celebrate the birth of Christ! There are over 20,000 lights that dance to the music and plenty of parking so you can enjoy the music on our very own FM station: 87.9 Bruschi FM! Where: 5 Madre de Cristo Rd., Wallkill. When: Daily Nov. 25th – Dec. 31st, 5:00–10:00pm.
A generous family’s gift to the community, the impressive Hudson Valley Holiday Lightshow is synchronized to music and fun for all ages. Where: 346 Mullock Rd. Middletown. When: Fridays – Sundays, Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, 5:30 – 10:30pm.
A massive holiday display featuring over 100,000 lights, over 40 inflatables including a 15 foot tall Rudolph, as well as a “Leg Lamp” from the classic movie “A Christmas Story”. Tune to 102.5FM to listen to the holiday music that accompanies the lights. Where: 123 Patch Road, Saugerties
Tune into 87.9 to watch the lights dance along with music! Where: 6 Field Ct., Poughkeepsie. When: Daily Nov. 25th – Dec. 31st, 5:00-11:00pm