In the Northern Hemisphere, December is the darkest month of the year. The good news is that there are thousands of tiny, twinkling lights around to keep all of our spirits up during this season of long nights and short days. The holiday light displays across the U.S. are one of the most magical sights of the holiday season. Whether you enjoy holiday lights simply by taking a walk around your neighborhood, or think it’s worth jumping in the car to check out local lights near you, holiday light viewing is a great way to enjoy the magic of the season. Bring some hot chocolate to sip on, and enjoy a Christmassy adventure for all the family!
There are several fantastic holiday light displays within driving distance from Front Royal. Read on for help planning your light-viewing outing this season.
1. Have a Wonderful Walk at Clearbrook Park
Head north of Front Royal to Clearbrook Park to enjoy Walking in a Winter Wonderland! The 0.5 mile trail is surrounded by stunning light displays with just the right holiday tunes playing to surround you in a magical experience. It’s a fun outing for all the family. Be sure to plan ahead as advance ticket purchase is required.
2. Enjoy Gardens Transformed into a Winter Wonderland
You’ll need to venture closer to the big city for this one, but if you want to see one of Northern Virginia’s Botanical Gardens transformed into a magical winter wonderland, it’s worth the trip. The Meadowlark Botanical Garden’s Winter Walk of Lights includes displays of flowers, animals, and trees, as well as seasonal holiday themes. If you need to warm up, hot chocolate and coffee are available for purchase, as well as snacks, and even cold drinks if you’re in the mood! Tickets are required: plan ahead and reserve your tickets now to avoid disappointment!
3. Cruise through Miles of Magic at the Bull Run Festival of Lights
If you want to enjoy some holiday lights from the comfort (and warmth!) of your car, the Bull Run Festival of Lights in the nearby town of Manassas is for you! Turn off your headlights and enjoy the magic of this 2.5 mile display. There’s even a special radio station you can tune to so you can enjoy seasonal music while you drive. After enjoying the light display, stop by the Holiday Village and Carnival. Here you can enjoy bonfires, s’mores, camel rides, carnival rides, and much more! Buy your tickets here.
4. Enjoy Lighting Small-town Style on Main Street, Front Royal
Though perhaps not as grand as some of the displays around, don’t forget that Front Royal’s own Main Street is picturesque during the holiday season! Take a stroll one evening and enjoy wreaths and lights on the lampposts, and a lit up tree at the gazebo.
There's also 'Front Royal Light Fight', a first for Front Royal! This is a friendly Christmas light competition promoting fellowship, fun, and community. Organized by Lori Oaks, a local real estate agent whose mission is to bring value to the communities she serves. Monetary prizes will be awarded to six winners! Check out the competitors here and mark your map to get out and view them!
Being local, you can even fit in some Christmas shopping while you’re out, or take a break and treat yourself at one of Main Street’s many fantastic eateries.
5. Get Away from it All and Gaze up at a Star-filled Sky
If you’re a lover of nature, and also looking to escape some of the crowds and hustle and bustle, why not switch out a holiday light viewing outing for a removed stargazing adventure. Mother Nature’s display of thousands of twinkling lights is more magnificent than any other! The night skies around Front Royal are dark and free of light pollution, and with Shenandoah Nation Park on our doorstep, it’s a great place to plan holiday stargazing trip for yourself or your whole family. Don’t forget to pack hot chocolate and blankets! See here for more of our tips on stargazing in the Front Royal area.
So if you’re in the Front Royal area this holiday season, there are lots of opportunities to enjoy the magic of holiday lights. Whether you’re looking for a magical walk, an enchanted car ride, a stroll in a pretty village, or the silence and majesty of a starry night sky, you’ll find it around here. Guaranteed to lift your spirits, and delight children and adults alike, an outing to see the lights could be the next staple tradition for your holiday season!
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