Parents delight in continuing traditions with their children that their parents and grandparents enjoyed with them. One such tradition that brings young and old together each year is a trip to see the holiday lights. Although many light spectaculars are too far way to get to easily, a number of holiday light shows in eastern North Carolina are worth the drive.
Benson's Meadow Lights
Located just west of Benson, North Carolina, Meadow Lights has been attracting visitors for more than three decades. Meadow Lights is one of the largest Christmas light shows east of Raleigh. The family-run business continues to add new features and elaborate decorations each year. Lighting displays greet you as your car full of folks approach the entrance. It's difficult to decide whether to ride one of three trains that take you throughout the farm-turned-wonderland or hop onto a 16-horse carousel just outside where Santa awaits to make notes about your wish list.
The enchanting holiday light show and carousel ride mark the end of your visit. Shop for old-fashioned penny candy or drink a bottled soft drink in the Old Country Store. Of course, the candy costs more than a penny these days, but it's a fantasy land. Retro candy is bound to take you down memory lane as you introduce your children to candies you haven't encountered since you were a kid. Old-fashioned fruit cakes for sale in the store make ideal holiday gifts and souvenirs for folks back home. Vintage toy wagons, tricycles and bicycles are on display here, many of which are for sale.
4546 Godwin Lake Road
Benson, NC 27504
Clayton's Lights on the Neuse
Lights on the Neuse in Clayton, North Carolina, is "where every day is Christmas Eve and the snow falls every night." Kids of all ages will squeal with delight as they hop out of the car and into the hay wagon and travel back to days gone by as they view lighted scenes and displays that grow more spectacular each year. Visit the Christmas Barn with its Winter Wonderland, visit to see Rudolph, nativity-themed rooms and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year rooms. There's even a Christmas Carousel you can ride. Lights on the Neuse boasts more than a million lights.
You'll want to visit Santa's Sweet Shoppe for hot chocolate, kettle corn and home-cooked Smores.
Lights on the Neuse
1620 Loop Road
Clayton, NC 27527
Wendell's Lake Myra Christmas
The lights at Lake Myra Christmas in Wendell, North Carolina, are another family-created and designed holiday light show. This show attracts visitors from miles around because of its special effects and creativity. Many of the displays features lights that "dance to music," causing you to wonder how on earth they do all that. Years of experimenting has resulted in a truly spectacular show. Trees appear to dance and snow actually falls (artificial, of course). A special "Four Candles of Light" display honors deceased individuals from the community. The Williams family and Phillips family consider the Lake Myra Christmas show their gift to the community.
Wendell's Lake Myra Christmas
6601-6605 Lake Myra Road
Wendell, NC 27591
- Photo Credit christmas lawn display image by Micah Jared from Fotolia.com