Dazzle the whole family with Christmas light displays

Karen Graham

As the weather gets colder, finding family-friendly activities outside becomes more of a challenge. The holidays bring lots of opportunities to see amazing light displays. Here are three that everyone is sure to enjoy.

Koziar’s Christmas Village

Koziar’s is celebrating its 67th year in Bernville, Pa., bringing smiles and holiday spirit to the thousands of people who visit. Koziar’s began in 1948 when William Koziar began decorating his home for his wife and four children. The decorations expanded every year and continue to expand under the second generation, filling the grounds and buildings around a large pond. Visitors driving over a small hill are enchanted by the multi-colored scene, illuminated by a half-million lights, that spreads out before them and is reflected in the water.

Koziar’s is now considered as one of the top 10 travel attractions in Pennsylvania and has been named to the American Bus Association’s Top 100 Destinations List for 2015.
The Christmas Village is open Friday through Sunday nights, from Nov. 1 through Thanksgiving, then is open every night through Jan. 1.
Unlike many holiday light displays, you walk around the village. It usually takes about 90 minutes to view all of the exhibits, take photos with Santa, check out the shops, and enjoy refreshments.
Admission is $7 for children under 11, $8 for seniors, and $9 for those 11 and older.

MORE: See a video of Koziar’s Christmas Village here.

Gaithersburg Winter Lights Festival

The Gaithersburg Winter Lights Festival, in Gaithersburg, Md., is a 3.5-mile journey through beautiful Seneca Creek State Park that is filled with twinkling, animated and thematic holiday lights.
“It’s an amazing, magical experience that makes for wonderful family bonding and joyful memories,” said Carolyn Crosby, who works on the project.

via Gaithersburgmd.gov
via Gaithersburgmd.gov

Crosby recommends enjoying the 365 illuminated light displays on foot or by trolley during one of the special events being held before the show opens to vehicles, Nov. 28-Dec. 31.
New this year, on Nov. 15, is “Wine Under the Lights,” with wine tasting and live music in a heated tent. On Nov. 21 is “S’more Lights,” with trolley rides and s’more-making. Dogs are welcome on Nov. 25 for “Leashes ‘n Lights.”

To beat the crowds, Crosby suggests visiting during the week. Beginning in mid-November, discounted tickets will be available on the Certifikid Deals website.

Regular admission is $12 per car Mondays through Thursdays, and $15 per car Fridays through Sundays. The light show is open 6:00-9:00pm, Sundays through Thursdays, and 6:00-10:00pm, Fridays and Saturdays.

Winchester’s Winter Wonderland

Take a stroll through Clearbrook Park in Winchester, Va., for the annual light show, then stop at the cabin for a visit with Santa or to enjoy some hot chocolate and cookies.
The display opens Nov. 28 and runs through Jan. 4, 5:30-9:30pm, and is closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve. Admission is $5 for those 12 and older and $3 for ages 2 to 11.

Learn more
Koziar’s Christmas Village: koziarschristmasvillage.com
Gaithersburg Winter Lights: gaithersburgmd.gov/leisure/special-events/winter-lights-festival.
Winchester Winter Wonderland: visitwinchesterva.com

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