Christmas lights in North Carolina are quite the treat. From Fayetteville and Greensboro to Wilmington and Asheville, you can find stunning light displays in every corner of the Tar Heel State. Christmas in North Carolina is a major bucket list item, so be sure to add it to your list of things to do in North Carolina!
You can walk through, drive through, or watch Christmas lights and displays from afar in NC. No matter how you choose to enjoy the stunning light displays this year, there are opportunities around every corner. These displays in North Carolina will have you feeling like you are in a Hallmark Christmas movie! Which will you visit first?
15 Best Places To See Christmas lights in North Carolina
The Christmas Family Lights
If you’re looking for Christmas lights near Winston-Salem, The Christmas Family Lights is a great choice as they are some of the best Christmas lights in North Carolina. Winston-Salem is among the best romantic getaways in North Carolina, and visiting during Christmas time is magnificent.
Every year in Winston-Salem, you will find light displays put on by corporations, churches, and individuals. One of the family-run light displays is the Christmas Family Lights. This display is a street of homes that come together to put on a great show for visitors. Located in Forsyth County on Shiloh Church Road, driving through this display is one for the books!
With large trees, traditional displays, wooden cutouts of your favorites Christmas characters, lined paths, and festive music provided by local radio stations, the Christmas Family Lights shouldn’t be missed! This display is particularly perfect for anyone with young kids or someone who isn’t walking around in the cold to enjoy the lights.
Greenville Christmas Parade
A quality way to see Christmas lights in Greenville is at the Greenville Christmas Parade. When thinking about Christmas lights in North Carolina, you may be thinking about large tree lightings and expansive drive-through light shows; but there’s more than that. You can find treasured light displays in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
In Greenville, you can visit the annual Christmas parade to see beautiful and colorful lights. Lights are strung on roofs’ edges, the tops of fences, and around lamp posts. You can sit along the sidewalk and watch festively decorated floats and vehicles go by, many of which are also adorned with lights. The parade is a jolly way to experience the lights in NC!
If you are looking for Christmas lights in Morganton, the JIRDC Lights display is where you want to be. JIRDC Lights is put on by the J. Iverson Riddle Development Center for the people of Burke County and anyone who wants to visit! The light display is on daily during the Christmas season for you to drive by and enjoy. There is also a Christmas parade that you should check out as well!
Christmas in North Carolina is such a merry occasion. When you’re hunting for Christmas lights in North Carolina, be sure not to overlook smaller towns and events, as those can be some of the most incredible experiences for visitors! While large displays and events draw the largest crowds, events like the JIRDC Lights are creating a cozy and welcoming experience all the same.
Christmas at The Biltmore
The Biltmore Estate is one of the best things to do in Asheville, North Carolina. Of all the Christmas lights in Asheville, you won’t want to skip Christmas at the Biltmore. When visiting the Biltmore, be sure to check out everything the site has to offer. From touring America’s largest home and exploring the Antler Hill Village to the Christmas displays and Candlelight Christmas evenings, Christmas at the Biltmore is magical.
What makes Christmas at The Biltmore the best place to see Christmas lights in North Carolina is the extravagance of the displays. Ribbons, garlands, and thousands of twinkly lights adorn every nook and cranny at the Biltmore. The halls, rooms, doors, edges, fences, and trees are all decorated for the season. This is something you won’t want to miss!
Staying at one of the stunning cabins in Asheville during your visit will make your trip all the more memorable. If you are looking for a way to get the most out of your trip to Asheville, staying in a dreamy mountain cabin overlooking the town’s light displays is a dreamy way to make your visit all the more memorable.
Holiday Light Spectacular
Christmas lights in Mooresville are out of this world! The Holiday Light Spectacular is among the best Christmas lights in North Carolina! Located on the lawn of Town Hall on N. Main Street, Mooresville, the Holiday Light Spectacular is a carefully orchestrated light show with nearly 175,000 lights that dance along to holiday music.
The show is free to watch and comes on every evening for four hours. This is an ideal location to let young children run around, take pictures, and play amongst the lights. If you’re looking for a good place for an Insta-photo opportunity, the Holiday Light Spectacular is wonderful for that as well!
Lights at The American Tobacco Campus
Durham Christmas lights can be seen at the American Tobacco Campus. When it comes to Christmas light displays in North Carolina, this may be one of the most unique. The iconic water tower on the campus is lit up for the Christmas season with great celebration. You can dine at one of the restaurants nearby, listen to live music, watch a dance performance, and more while you wait for the lights.
When the tower is lit up, the celebration is just getting started. You can grab drinks, visit with Frosty, Rudolph, or Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and more while you enjoy the American Tobacco Water Tower Light Display. Amazing Christmas lights in North Carolina are not bound to only large drive-through spectaculars, you can find surprising displays everywhere in NC.
Fieldstream Farm Christmas Light Festival
The Fieldstream Farm Christmas Light Festival is the place to be to see Christmas lights in Raleigh. When it comes to NC Christmas light displays, the Fieldstream Farm Christmas Light Festival is one of the very best! What makes it one of the best displays of Christmas lights in North Carolina is that it is a large drive-through lights festival with a diverse array of displays.
If you are interested in visiting a Christmas tree farm while you are in the area, the Grace Tree Farm is just a half hour away from Charlotte in Denver and is one of the best Christmas tree farms in North Carolina. There are also other areas in Raleigh with amazing light displays that you can visit while you are in town for the Fieldstream Farm Christmas Lights Festival.
Make sure to check out our list of the best restaurants in Raleigh for more inspiration!
Festival of Lights at Sweet Valley Ranch
The Festival of Lights at Sweet Valley Ranch is among the best Christmas lights in Fayetteville. Sweet Valley Ranch is proudly the location where nature meets adventure. Fun can be found at Sweet Valley all year round.
If you find yourself in east-central NC, you can check out some of the best Christmas lights in North Carolina in Fayetteville. The Festival of Lights is not only a lights display, they also have fun exhibits, tours, and more. You can take a farm wagon around the animal enclosures and see more than one million lights from different angles.
With more than 350 animals at Sweet Valley, seeing these beautiful creatures really adds to the fun you will have at the Festival of Lights. While you are there, you can enjoy special exhibits like Dinosaur World, Stars Wares, Gingerbread House, The Grinch’s Mansions, and more!
While you are in town, make sure to check out some of the best restaurants in Fayetteville!
North Carolina road trips are an amazing experience, and if you plan on road tripping in the winter, the coastline is a great place for it. Wilmington is one of the best beach towns in North Carolina, and visiting during Christmas time is a real treat. Some of the best Christmas lights in Wilmington can be found at Woodberry Lights.
This display is another example of how Christmas lights in North Carolina can pack a big punch. Woodberry Lights is a long-running family lights display in Wilmington that has been operating since 2010. Located on Kirby Smith Drive, this display has archways, more than 30,000 lights, more than 25 inflatables, and a radio station that the lights are synched with. Don’t skip driving by the Woodberry Lights if you find yourself on the NC coast this year!
Don’t forget to check out the best restaurants in Wilmington while you are nearby!
Light the Knights and Christmas Village
The Light the Knights and Christmas Village are the best place for Christmas lights in Charlotte. Light the Knights is the lighting of Truist Field and takes place along with Charlotte Christmas Village. You can find a regulation-size ice skating rink and a snow tubing slope on the field! There is also live entertainment, concessions, vendors, Santa visits, and of course, Christmas lights!
Christmas lights in North Carolina know how to bring the holiday fun, and Charlotte is no exception. In the Charlotte Christmas Village, you will find all sorts of holiday fun for visitors of all ages. The village is designed to look like a European market, and as such, you can find many European gifts and foods. You can indulge in some kinderwein and pretzels while you walk around the shops, performers, and lights.
Winter Wonderlights is held at the Greensboro Science Center in Greensboro, NC. Greensboro is an interesting town to visit in the Tar Heel State as it is home to marvelous museums, parks, and a beautiful arboretum. Some of the best Christmas lights in Greensboro can be found at Winter Wonderlights, so be sure you don’t miss this spectacular lights display this year!
What puts Winter Wonderlights among the best Christmas lights in North Carolina is that many of the display aspects are interactive. Family travelers will love Wonderlights! You can jump across stones that are lit up with Christmas lights, run through tunnels, walk along light-lined paths, watch dancing lights, and marvel at unique light features that you aren’t likely to have seen anywhere before.
Make sure to check out our favorite Christmas Towns In North Carolina for more holiday cheer!
NC Arboretum Winter Lights
There are incredible arboretums and botanical gardens in North Carolina that make for great NC itinerary destinations. The NC Arboretum in Asheville is one of the best places to see Christmas lights in North Carolina. The display is designed in a well-thought-out and artistic way. The aesthetic is immaculate, and it is a true work of art.
This is truly one of the best Mountain Towns In North Carolina!
This walk-through holiday display is intriguing and beautiful. As you walk through the sections of the display, you will be able to find traditional setups as well as new and unique designs. Walking the winding paths of the arboretum surrounded by stunning light displays is something you won’t want to miss.
The vibe is electric, and the NC arboretum does a fantastic job of creating an atmosphere that feels like a winter wonderland.
Speedway Lights in Charlotte
The Speedway Lights in Charlotte is one of the best drive-through Christmas lights in North Carolina. Located at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, this drive-through light show is massive. There are more than four million lights decorating the 3.75 miles course. For nearly two months in the winter, the speedway welcomes visitors to experience an incredible display of Christmas spirit.
All of the efforts put in to make the Speedway Lights one of the best Christmas lights in North Carolina did not go to waste. Diligent hands work for more than 5,000 hours putting up the millions of lights that make the display. The lights are synched with fourteen different Christmas songs and create an even more spectacular show for guests.
At the speedway, you will also find craft vendors, an indoor movie theatre, and sweet treats to chow down on. This show is arguably the most popular in the state as it has seen visitors from all fifty states and Canada. With the popularity of this display, you may want to book pre-sale tickets if you get the chance.
Christmas Town USA
If you are looking for festive vacation destinations for Christmas in the south, consider the Belmont area, as it is home to some of the best Christmas lights in NC. The Christmas lights in Belmont are renowned and draw in hundreds of tour buses and hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
Wow, why so many? Well, they don’t call it Christmas Town USA for nothing! The displays here are at the top of the list of Christmas lights in North Carolina. Also called the Mcadenville Lights, the entire town decorates and lights the streets for the holiday season.
The main street is covered, rows of houses away from the main drag are covered, there are lights in the woods, there are lights around the lake; you can truly find a stunning display of Christmas lights in every part of this beautiful little North Carolina town.
Whether you are driving through them, walking through them, or viewing them from afar, the Christmas lights in North Carolina are remarkable and are a big part of what makes the holiday season in The Tar Heel State so magical. Which of these Christmas lights in North Carolina will you see first?