Disclaimer: Due to COVID-19 concerns, many events might be canceled, postponed, or changed into limited versions, sometimes at very short notice. Please check with event organizers directly for the latest updates (view the "External Resources" section below).
Thousands of visitors from all over the Southwest travel to East Texas every November and December to witness the grandeur of the local Christmas lights drive-through displays. It has become an anticipated family tradition and a great way of getting into the holiday spirit. The best Christmas light parks in Texas feature millions of light bulbs, lighting up the countryside from Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve.
Gift of Lights at Texas Speed Motorway (November 26, 2020–January 3, 2021)
One of the largest holiday light displays, the Gift of Lights, takes over Texas Motor Speedway near Fort Worth in late November. This massive Christmas light display features over three million LED lights. The drive-through lighting spectacular begins around Thanksgiving and lasts through early January. Visitors can purchase 3D glasses at the entrance to enhance their Gift of Lights experience. In case someone wants to grab a bite, there will be food trucks with online preordering only. The Texas Motor Speedway hosts Santa's Village where visitors can go after driving through the "Gift of Lights." The village, covering 22,000 sq ft gives kids a chance to take a picture with Santa, interact with Olaf from the “Frozen,” ride a train, and make their own Christmas decorations.
Prairie Lights at Lynn Creek Park (November 26–December 31, 2020)
One of the world's largest light tunnels is located at Lynn Creek Park in Grand Prairie, Texas. The Prairie Lights display features a two-mile drive-through consisting of over 4 million lights. Amazing arch displays line over the road creating a dazzling experience. Prairie Lights hosts a Christmas Village in the middle of the park with food, warm drinks, gifts, and a lighted walk-through forest. However, Prairie Lights 2020 will be a drive-only event to ensure a safe visit for everyone. Halfway through your holiday lights journey, you will have the opportunity to buy snacks and drinks. Santa won't greet kids in person this year; instead, you can order a customized video that will be sent to your email.
Santa Land in Tyler (November 13, 2020–January 4, 2021)
Santa Land in Tyler was the first drive-thru Christmas theme park in Texas. This 24-acre (10-ha) park is decorated with almost 2.5 million lights! You can see it from your own car or ride on Santa's trailer. The highlights of the park are handcrafted, animated displays: Christmas Tree Lane, Swinging Elf, 12-foot tall soldiers saluting when you pass them, Hummingbirds & Butterflies, and other installations.
Up in Lights in Tyler (November 27–December 13, December 18–26, 2020)
The Up in Lights display in Tyler, Texas, also boasts over one million bulbs, animated displays, Santa and Christmas Carols. One-mile route of the Christmas Light Park promises a wonderful show where the lights dance to your favorite Christmas Carols.
Land of Lights Christmas Park in Athens, Texas (November 10, 2020–January 3, 2021)
The Christmas Park Land of Lights in Athens, Texas features light displays of cartoon characters, Elvis Presley, and several amazing light tunnels. The park offers one mile with over 4 million lights formed into musical scenes and motion-controlled lighted scenes, tunnels, and arches. Tour buses are welcome here, but with prior notification.