Travel + Adventures

The Colorventurer’s Favorite Christmas Light Displays

Christmas light displays surely make the season merry and bright!

The weather outside might be frightful, but one thing that is certainly delightful about Christmastime is seeing all of the shimmering, twinkling lights everywhere! Every year, my family and I make it a tradition to go see some spectacular Christmas light displays, and luckily there are quite a few to see in my hometown or not too far away from it.

One of my favorite light displays known as Christmas Tree Lane, for example, is one that my family and I have gone to every year since I was a young child. Each year we would go and get hot cocoa from Starbucks and a hot dog from Wienerschnitzel (weird combo, I know), and my parents would pull me along in a red Radio Flyer wagon. Granted I can no longer ride in the wagon (boo to growing older—ha!), we still love marvel at the lights each Christmas season. One new favorite that we’ve added to our favorite Christmas lights display list is the Cambria Christmas Market, which is a seriously spectacular Christmas display filled with 2 million sparkling lights.

So, whether you have lights up at your own home or take a family drive to go see some, holiday light displays are bound to get you in the Christmas spirit. Plus, it just wouldn’t be Christmas without all of the sparkling lights! This holiday season, I have compiled a list of some of my favorite holiday light displays to help get you in the Christmas spirit.

Scroll through to check out some impressive seasonal light displays, and maybe add them on to your holiday travel bucket list to visit in the future!

Christmas Tree Lane

Christmas Tree Lane has been and will always will be my favorite holiday light display. Located in my hometown of Fresno, California, Christmas Tree Lane is a nearly century-old Fresno tradition that lights up North Van Ness Boulevard. During the holidays, the residential street becomes a one-way, lined with over 140 homes and 300 trees fully decked-out along the two-mile stretch. Visitors can drive along, listening to Christmas Tree Lane’s local radio station and marveling at all of the lights and character displays.

In addition, on two nights during the holiday season, Christmas Tree Lane closes down the street to traffic and allows everyone to walk the lane to see the lights in person. We always love to go on one of these nights since you can walk up to the light displays (and sometimes even through them!), hear carolers along the lane, and enjoy treats and warm beverages from local organizations. Each home has their own theme and it is so fun to see how everyone decorates, especially this first house at the beginning which always goes all out (and even won the Christmas Light Fight TV show a few years ago!)! Plus, Santa always makes a stop along the lane, so you can greet him and take pictures in his sleigh.

It is free to attend Christmas Tree Lane on the drive-through or walk-only nights, but donations are greatly appreciated to help keep the tradition alive.

Cambria Christmas Market

Located in Cambria, California, the Cambria Christmas Market is modeled after the traditional Christmas markets in Europe. Here you’ll find lots of shop and food booths to peruse and live entertainment to listen to, as well as tons of spectacular light displays. The Cambria Christmas Market is truly a sight to behold with over 2 million sparkling lights. Pretty impressive, right?!

I love that as you move through each decorated space, all the displays have such unique and fun themes. One of my favorite displays is the tunnel of lights, which is filled with tons of colorful lights and truly gets you in the Christmas spirit! You can also find Santa’s workshop there, as well as lots of giant animals, musical displays, and even the Golden Gate Bridge. Overall, there are so many light displays to see that you actually have to move between two separate areas! No wonder the Cambria Christmas Market team has to start at the end of the summer to start putting all of the lights up!

This event does require tickets to enter, so make sure to secure your tickets online ahead of time.

Candy Cane Lane (aka Cindy Lane)

Like Christmas Tree Lane, Candy Cane Lane is another impressive residential community turned Christmas spectacular! During the holiday season, the residents of Wawona Ranch Estates in Clovis, California all team up to create a magical Christmas experience—a tradition that has been around since 1993! Each home displays lots of fun holiday lights and figurines, including one home that displays a giant light-up pirate ship and another home that has a cute mini ferris wheel in the front yard. You can even find one house that will take your photo with Santa. How cool is that?!

The nice part about Candy Cane Lane is that it’s open for both pedestrians and drivers every night. Drivers are just encouraged to dim the lights on their cars and watch for pedestrians, and pedestrians are asked to park outside of the neighborhood and walk in. But since the entire neighborhood is lined with sidewalks, it’s nice to be able to walk along the houses to look at all of the lights.

It is free to attend Candy Cane Lane.

ZooLights at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo

For this annual holiday event, the entire Fresno Chaffee Zoo is transformed into a magical Christmas wonderland with decorations on display and lights strung for miles! One of my favorite parts of the Zoo to see during ZooLights is Sea Lion Cove. If you look closely at the window into the giant tank, you can spot the sea lions and seals swimming around in the dark. So cool! I also love to see the giant tunnel of lights and all of the safari animal displays near the African Adventure section.

You can also enjoy live entertainment and festive treats and holiday beverages (for both kids and adults) at ZooLights. In addition, they always offer these super cool holographic glasses that you can wear and it’ll turn all the holiday lights into fun shapes like Santa’s face or Rudolph. Speaking of Santa, he also makes a stop at ZooLights, so you can meet him and take photos together!

This event does require tickets to enter, so make sure to secure your tickets online ahead of time.

PJ Night at Hillcrest Tree Farm

Have you ever dreamed of taking a ride on a train in your pajamas with hot cocoa, like The Polar Express? Then PJ Night at Hillcrest Tree Farm in Reedley, California will make those dreams come true! PJ Night is the only time of the year that Hillcrest is open at night to the public, and it is so unbelievably fun to ride their stream train through the dark, especially because they line the entire railway with festive Christmas light displays. Plus, they don’t call it PJ Night for nothing! All the families that attend PJ Night don their coziest (and often times matching!) pajamas.

At PJ Night, you can also enjoy unlimited hot cocoa and cookies (YUM!) by the fire bowls to keep warm on those crisp December nights. There’s also live entertainment, plenty of cute photo spots, and food trucks to grab some delicious food from. The best part, however, is that Santa makes a stop at Hillcrest during PJ Night so you can say hello and even take photos with him, all thanks to his helpers!

This event does require tickets to enter (and usually start selling in October), so make sure to secure your tickets online.


While this is technically not a Christmas display, Sensorio is still as magical as any other holiday lights event. An enormous multi-acre walk-through installation in Paso Robles, California, artist Bruce Munro’s Field of Light at Sensorio is comprised of an array of over 58,800 stemmed spheres lit by fiber-optics, gently illuminating the landscape. This stunning display is ethereal and such a sight to behold. One of the most magical parts is that you can follow the pathway to walk along all the lights and look at the beautiful bulbs.

There are also food options available at Sensorio, so you can grab a bite to eat while sitting and enjoying the entire view of lights as far as your eye can see.

This event does require tickets to enter, so make sure to secure your tickets online ahead of time.

Lights on Dovewood

Located at 2764 W. Dovewood Lane in Fresno, California, this magical Christmas light display is such a joy to watch with a variety of songs and funny comedy sketches between two Christmas trees. The best part is you can watch this exciting Christmas light show from the comfort of your vehicle—just tune your car radio to 100.7 FM and watch the lights dance to the music! And, my goodness, is there a fun arrangement of songs—from The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” to Frozen 2’s “Into the Unknown”.

According to homeowner Jordan Willis, there are over 11,000 lights in the display and it took approximately 350 hours to put it all together.

While you’re there enjoying the light show, you can place a donation in the donation box set up outside the house. All donations will be given to the Saint Agnes Foundation in memory of Willis’ recently passed father-in-law. 

You can take your family to see this light show every night from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. until January 3rd.

Christmas Lights Display on Winchester

Located at 6047 N. Winchester Avenue in Fresno, California, this festive light display consists of over 10,000 lights. This light show can also be watched from the comfort of your vehicle, so tune your car radio to 100.7 FM to hear the fun Christmas music, including Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton’s “You Make it Feel Like Christmas” and for KING & COUNTRY’s “Little Drummer Boy”.

This show contains four songs, so you’ll be able to easily watch the entire show. The Mega Tree in the front yard is also a lighted screen and projects all of the lyrics to the songs, as well as fun scenes to watch.

A donation box is set up outside of the house where you can donate to Two Cities Church and the Central California Food Bank.

You can watch the show with your family every night through Christmas.

I hope you enjoyed all of these beautiful light displays and that they brought a little magic to your holiday season!

Do you have a favorite Christmas light display where you live that you like to visit each year? Let me know in the comments below!

Merry Christmas! I hope it’s merry…and bright!

4 thoughts on “The Colorventurer’s Favorite Christmas Light Displays”

  1. Such a beautiful display of lights on all these locations. These should definitely be on a bucket list. Loved your article!


  2. Only in America , you don’t see that here. Here its getting less each year. I realy enjoid your pictures. I love Christmas. Much love from us. Jannie.


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