Holiday Time

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25 Festive Events to Keep that Holiday Feeling Through the New Year (December 2017)

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Seeing Various Shades of Green: St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations in the South (March 2012)

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A MoonPie, a Pickle, a Horseshoe and More: Ringing in the New Year Southern-Style (December 2011)

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Tours and Treats Along Virginia’s Inn to Inn Cookie Trail and Tour (November 2011)

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Published: December 2017
25 Festive Events to Keep that Holiday Feeling Through the New Year  



The holidays may be over, but the fun isn't. There is still time to enjoy festive events through the new year.

Take a break from packing up the decorations and cleaning the house, and gather up friends or family members and keep that holiday feeling going.

  1. From Arkansas Trail of Holiday Lights to Holiday Trail of Lights in Louisiana to 100 Miles of Light in Virginia, the region twinkles, sparkles and shines during the holiday season. You can still enjoy the sights of the many lights and other activities.

  2. Not only can you see the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales at Warm Springs Ranch Holiday Lights (ends Dec. 30) in Booneville, Missouri, but also enjoy thousands of twinkling lights. For those over 21, there's free sampling available.

  3. Check out "Let There Be Lights!" at Promised Land Zoo in Branson, Missouri. Through Dec. 31, the two-mile drive-thru, recognized as the longest display in the city, features dozens of displays along with views of the animals.

  4. Heralded as “the Christmas Capital of Texas," Grapevine offers the Light Spectacular Show through Jan. 7, 2018. The 20-minute show showcases the Grapevine Christmas Tree in historic downtown.

  5. The Magical Winter Lights at Gulf Greyhound Park in Houston, Texas, is a holiday festival like none other. Through Jan. 2, 2018, you can view creative lantern designs in seven themed sections such as Magical Wonderland, Mystical Forest and Santa's Christmas Village. New this year is The Lone Star State section, complete a 36-foot-tall cowboy lantern. Other highlights include nightly acrobatic performances, rides, live entertainment and more. There's even a dinosaur exhibit with dinosaur rides.

  6. You have until Jan. 7, 2018, to play in Ice Land, see the Festival of Lights or go skating, or more at Moody Gardens on Galveston Island, Texas.

  7. Go ice skating or slide down an ice slide at NOLA ChristmasFest in New Orleans, Louisiana. Through Dec. 31, the indoor festival features carnival rides, inflatables and more.

  8. During Natchez (Mississippi) Christmas, tour antebellum homes decked out in holiday splendor. For a unique twist, don't miss the Jeweled Christmas Tour at The Towers through Jan. 6, 2018.

  9. Through Dec. 31, walk or board the trolley to take in the lights at The Gulfport (Mississippi) Harbor Light Winter Festival. There's also live entertainment, carnival rides and more.

  10. Magic Christmas in Lights (ends Dec. 31) at Bellingrath Gardens in Mobile, Alabama, dazzles with over than 1,100 set pieces, 3 million lights and 15 scenes throughout the 65-acres. Be sure to visit the home for more decorations.

  11. Galaxy of Lights at Huntsville (Alabama) Botanical Gardens is "out of this world." Through Dec. 31, it features close to 200 displays, with some new additions.

  12. See Cheekwood Estate and Gardens in Nashville, Tennessee, in a whole new "light" during Holiday LIGHTS, through Dec. 31. Take in the 1 million lights as you make your way through the gardens.

  13. Theme parks continue their holiday fun as well: An Old Time Christmas (Dec. 30) at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri; Holiday in the Park - Six Flags: Six Flags St. Louis (Missouri) (Jan. 1, 2018); Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington and Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio, through Jan. 7, 2018; Six Flags Over Georgia (Jan. 3, 2018) in Atlanta; Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas (Jan. 3, 2018) in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee;  CaroWinds WinterFest (Dec. 30) in Charlotte, North Carolina.

  14. Located in Buford, Georgia, is Lake Lanier's  Magical Nights of Lights that runs through Dec. 31. Celebrating 25 years, it has grown from 40 displays and trees strung with lights to hundreds of displays spread throughout a seven-mile drive. Don't miss the '12 Days of Christmas' display returning after a two-hiatus. New this year is the 65-foot Universal Christmas Tree at the clock tower roundabout. Round out the visit with a stop at the Holiday Village.

  15. Lights of the South in Grovetown, Georgia, has over 5 million lights displayed on over 100 acres. Be sure to see the world's largest vertical American Flag made out of Christmas lights. There's also a Christmas Tree maze and more.

  16. In addition to the light show at Light Up UCF at CFE Arena in Orlando, Florida, you can also watch classic holiday movies (last one shown on Dec. 30), go ice skating and more.

  17. With 100 rides, shows, games and attractions, Santa’s Enchanted Forest in Miami, Florida, is the world’s largest holiday theme park. Through Jan. 7, 2018, take in the many lights and lighted displays while enjoying food and live entertainment. There are carnival rides running, too.

  18. Holiday Lights On The River in Columbia, South Carolina, runs through Dec. 31. As the Midlands largest drive-through lights show, it features over 1 million sparkling lights with over 400 animated light displays.

  19. Holiday Festival of Lights (ends Jan. 1, 2018) at James Island County Park in Charleston, South Carolina, showcases an estimated 2 million shimmering lights on a three-mile drive. But that isn't all the attraction has to offer. There is an old-fashioned carousel, a portable climbing wall and more.

  20. Through Dec. 31, experience an old-fashioned Christmas at Meadow Lights in Benson, North Carolina. Deemed the oldest and largest light show in eastern North Carolina, it features displays throughout 30 acres. Afterward, take a spin on the carousel or ride the train.

  21. Southern Lights Holiday Festival (ends Dec. 31) at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, offers three miles of lights to enjoy from your car. Once you're finished, park and come inside to enjoy the other attractions.

  22. Through Dec. 31 is Lights Under Louisville (Kentucky) at MEGA Caverns. This one-of-a-kind 17-mile drivable underground light show features 850 lit characters and 2 million lights.

  23. Step back in time with the holiday celebrations in America's Historic Triangle in Virginia that includes Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, connected by the 23-mile long scenic Colonial Parkway. A Colonial Christmas can be enjoyed at both Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown through Dec. 31. Colonial Williamsburg features a wide variety of holiday programs and activities.

  24. The Winter Festival of Lights (ends Jan. 1, 2018) at Oglebay Resort in Wheeling, West Virginia, is a six-mile drive through Oglebay Park. It features 89 lighted attractions with over 1 million lights. Don't miss the Gardens of Light and more at Hilltop area of the park.

  25. Don't miss out on the holiday fun at resorts throughout the South: Lone Star Christmas at Gaylord Hotel in Grapevine, Texas and A Country Christmas at Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee continues through Jan. 1, 2018. Christmas at Gaylord Palms ends on Jan. 7, 2018.



photo: personal collection, Lights of the South in Grovetown, Georgia

 

 

 

 

 

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