By car, boat, sled or sleigh, here are the places to go for some serious holiday cheer.
We’re headed straight into the biggest holiday weekend of the year for many of us, and that means holiday vacation time and people on the road to see relatives. Whether you’re en route to your destination or plan to stick closer to home, you can’t help but notice the hundreds of lighting displays in towns big and small. Why not take a drive to some of the state’s biggest holiday lights displays? It’s a great way to spend an evening with family and loved ones, and you might even get in a carol or two.
Festival of Light in Chickasha: South of Oklahoma City, the city of Chickasha dazzles visitors with a giant Christmas tree that can be seen for miles as well as animated light shows synchronized to music. Take a carriage ride, buy some sweet roasted nuts and other goodies, and you’ll want to wander the Shannon Springs Park grounds for hours. www.chickashafestivaloflight.com
Crystal Christmas in Woodward: If you’re destination is the Oklahoma Panhandle, head to the town of Woodward for a light display x 2 – Crystal Christmas is located on Crystal Beach Lake where the waters reflect two million lights against the big sky over high plains country. Look for special activities on family nights and Santa visits. www.woodwardok.com
Garden of Lights in Muskogee: Honor Heights Park in Muskogee did the impossible with its light display – it took an already beautiful garden-flecked park and made it even prettier with thousands of lights temporarily replacing the azalea blooms lost to winter. More than 120 acres of parkland is decorated, and you can drive or walk through the experience. www.cityofmuskogee.com
Kingfisher in Lights: You’ll want to take a horse-drawn carriage for this one. Kingfisher in Lights not only cheers the heart with its welcoming, playful displays, it melts it, too. This small town stop on the Chisholm Trail plugs in Oklahoma Park illuminating history and culture as well as a 100-year-old swinging bridge drenched in glow. www.kingfisherinlights.com
Ardmore Festival of Lights: If you’re southbound on Interstate 35, steer that car onto Exit 33 and make your way to Ardmore Regional Park for the popular drive-thru display that serves up the sights as well as hot cocoa. chamber.ardmore.org
Holiday Lights Spectacular in Midwest City: As one of the largest lights displays in Oklahoma, Midwest City’s Holiday Lights Spectacular is aptly named. The 118-foot Christmas tree, carriage rides, a “dancing forest” display – all set in a quiet woods at Joe B. Barnes Regional Park – makes this feature one to see whether it’s just the two of you or with the little ones in tow. midwestcityok.org/holiday-lights
Christmas in the Park in Yukon: You can never have too many lights. And if you saw the display at the fabulous winter wonderland in lights in Yukon’s city parks, you’d agree. Look for this elaborate arrangement of scenes at Yukon City Park Freedom Trail and at Chisholm Trail Parks. www.cityofyukonok.gov
Rhema Christmas Lights in Broken Arrow: Visitors new to Rhema Bible Church’s campus will soon learn what residents have known for three decades – two million lights in a variety of colors and arrangements have a tendency to attract attention. The ever-growing display features amazing attractions all set to music along with concessions and Santa on stand-by for photos. The attraction is free, but Rhema accepts donations to make next year’s event even better. www.rhemabiblechurch.com
Christmas in the Park in Elk City: Along Historic Route 66, the westward drive takes you to Elk City, about 40 miles away from the Texas border, and Ackley Park where the trees are outlined in thousands of twinkling lights against the winter sky. And, there’s more: Catch a ride on the candy cane express train, a carriage, the double-decker bus or the centennial carousel and enjoy everything this attraction has to offer. visitelkcity.com