The holiday season is upon us, and people everywhere are heading out in droves to enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas. From caroling to festive fun and frolicking, there’s certainly no shortage of spirit right now, and one of the most recent trends to emerge at this time of year is that of intricate lighting displays. Whether it’s individual homes coming alive with projections of angels, snowflakes, and Christmas scenes, or plazas, squares, and boulevards decked out with ornaments, decorations, and strings of fairy lights, you’re bound to find fun Christmas lights pretty much anywhere you go. It’s also a great opportunity to go out and be a tourist in your own town.
In honor of all that, we thought we’d check out some of our favorite Christmas light displays from around the globe.
Japan’s capital is known for its bustling intersections, loud audiovisual spectacles, and quirky character, and this really comes to the fore at Christmas time. Various neighborhoods across the city enter into something of a competition to see who can produce the best winter light installation, giving tourists visiting the city around the holiday season the treat of glittering arrangements in lots of different districts. One of the most popular winter illuminations is located in Midtown, where visitors can see a carpet of blue lights laid out on the ground. The “Starlight Garden” area here also features a whopping 190,000 LED lights.
Las Vegas, Nevada
“America’s Playground” is undoubtedly one of the most extravagant places in the world all year round, but it really outdoes itself when it comes to Christmas lights. The Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a race track that’s turned into a neon tunnel every holiday season, where visitors can venture beyond the famous Strip and ride down the two-and-a-half-mile “Glittering Lights” circuit. All in all, 500 displays appear in the LED setup, so you’re sure to be entertained while you wait for your turn.
The Irish capital is a great place to visit at any time of year, but lovers of the winter holidays will find that Dublin has a couple extra-twinkly treats in store for Christmas. The city’s famous Christmas lights are switched on every November, but this year the city’s most prominent buildings, including Trinity College, Central Bank, and the Customs House, are used as canvases for projections of Christmassy displays that make for a great walking route for anyone new to the city and looking to explore.
The cultural capital of Texas is no stranger to top-notch light shows, as it’s been hosting its “Trail of Lights” event for some 50 years now. Visitors can follow a 2.1-mile-long trail that takes them through the city’s Zilker Park, where an incredible 800 trees are lit up. An additional 50 light displays round out this amazing spectacle, cumulatively taking over 500 volunteers to set up each year. Austin is also home to the Zilker Tree, the self-proclaimed “World’s Tallest Manmade Christmas Tree” that towers 155 feet above the ground.