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Top Five Christmas Lights Displays in DFW

Christmas LightsWhat are the top five Christmas lights displays in Dallas/Fort Worth? Nightcap’s Doug Magditch reviews them all. This is our officially, unofficial Top Five list.

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Interlochen11
Interlochen is just, well, it’s a lot to take in. Nearly every home is decorated, and they aren’t decorated in the “oh, that’s pretty” sort of way. The homeowners here go all-in. All-out. They just… all.

“Just the sheer number of houses makes it totally different from the other neighborhoods I’ve driven through,” said homeowner Jim Began.

What I love about Interlochen’s display is each home is unique.

“We wanted to live here because of the lights display and the chance to do what everyone else is doing,” said Began.

They have a lot of heart, and most are decorated by the homeowners, not professional lighting designers. Clearly, a lot of thought goes in to each home. Interlochen1

Creativity: 5 Gold Rings

Plan to spend some time in the neighborhood. You can’t just pop in and out.

It flows pretty good, but it’ll be bumper to bumper,” said Began.

Interlochen has become a north Texas tradition. Police will be out there directing traffic. Streets will be blocked off. It’s really well planned out.

Organization: 5 Gold Rings

The specific route that you have to follow isn’t huge on the map, but more than 200 homes participate.

Size: 4 Gold Rings

Here’s the kicker, unlike other lights displays in north Texas, Interlochen is free.

Price: 5 Gold Rings

In our officially, unofficial top five list, Interlochen comes in at number one.

Frisco LightsIf you live in Frisco and you’ve never seen the lights on the square, you probably don’t get out much. If you live in Fort Worth, it might be worth the trip.

“We’re the largest choreographed Christmas lights show to music. There’s a lot of really neat Christmas light extravaganzas that you can go and see, but none of them are really choreographed to music,” said Jim Leslie, CEO and Managing Partner at Frisco Square.

Creativity: 5 Gold Rings

Oh, and it’s free.

Price: 5 Gold Rings

If you don’t know where the square is, it won’t be hard to find. It’s right off Main St. You can see the lights blinking from a distance. You just pull in, tune your radio to the music, and enjoy the show.

The only problem with the loop I found: you can’t u-turn once you get back up to Main St. You’re not going to be able to just take a continuous loop. It’s better to park and walk around.

Organization: 3 Gold Rings

There are 175-thousand lights, which pales in comparison to some of the lighting displays in north Texas with millions of lights. Of course, then you might be getting into seizure-inducing territory with an animated lights display.

Size: 3 Gold Rings

There are more events scheduled on various days through the season, and there’s snow every 15 minutes on the weekend.

Maybe plan a night out on the square. It’s really something worth seeing.

In our officially, unofficial top five list, Christmas in the Square comes in at number two.

Prairie LightsThe first thing you’ll notice in Grand Prairie is the amount of lights. Prairie Lights boasts four million stretched across two miles.

Size: 5 Gold Rings

The best way to tour is with your windows down. Bring a blanket or a thermos full of hot chocolate if it’s cold out. A lot of the displays have music, like the 12 days of Christmas. There’s even a reading of Twas the Night Before Christmas.

Creativity: 4 Gold Rings

“We do have a very creative lighting designer that we work with. The detail and ingenuity of ours is unique to Prairie Lights,” said Beverly Grogan, of Prairie Lights. “It’s not something you see in other parks.”

It’s well organized, too. There are a bunch of volunteers directing traffic, and the park rangers are there to make sure you stay in your car. I mean… keep you safe.

Organization: 5 Gold Rings

Here’s the bad news: the price. Each car pays $20 bucks during the week, and $30 on the weekends. There are extra displays, but they cost extra, too.

Price: 1 Gold Ring

“Most of the money goes back to support Prairie Lights, so that we can keep this,” said Grogan. “We also have charities that we’re working with this year its Big Brothers, Big Sisters.”

But, you got all the stuff you want in a display: Santa, angels, a nativity, and a big ‘ol Hanukkah section.

That’s all not to mention, the self-proclaimed world’s largest lights tunnel.

In our officially, unoffical top five list Prairie Lights comes in third.

Check back throughout the week to see which displays made the list!

TMS lights pkg2

The novelty is what sells this one for me. No question. Driving through the concourse at TMS is just plain cool. You expect to be greeted by a race car driver dressed as Santa.

That didn’t happen, by the way.

Creativity: 5 Gold Rings

You also get a pair of super-cool glasses, which I had a to take a picture in. They’re basically a star-filter for your eyes. Though, I don’t recommend wearing them if you’re driving. It might feel like you’re wearing drunk goggles.

On that note, if you are the driver, be careful. The route is lined with lights and there’s no bumper or anything to keep you from popping them. Visitors this year have already experienced that first-hand. It won’t hurt you, but don’t be that guy.

Organization: 3 Gold Rings

There’s no music, but a lot of the displays are animated. Watching reindeer jump over your car is pretty neat.

At 2 million lights, the drive-through display gets four gold rings for its size.

Of course, this one does cost. $15 during the week and $20 on the weekends.

Price: 2 Gold Rings

Check back throughout the week to see which displays made the list!

HighlandParkLightsA few words to describe the lights in Highland Park: enormous. grand. jaw-dropping. Really, it’s just beautiful.

It’s Christmas splendor at its best. The opulence is a veritable advertising campaign for the local holiday lighting designers. Let’s be honest, these houses are not decorated by their homeowners.

Creativity: 3 Gold Rings

The good news is, since they’re paying for it, you don’t have to. Looking at the lights in Highland Park is free to you.

Price: 5 Gold Rings

If you do want to go all in, take a carriage ride rather than riding in your car. It’s become a Dallas Christmas tradition. Problem is, all those horses make navigating Highland Park somewhat frustrating. You’d feel bad for the people who live here if it weren’t for the fact that they live in multimillion dollar mini-mansions.

Organization: 2 Gold Rings

If you start around Armstrong and Preston, you can’t miss some amazing displays.

Size: 3 Gold RingsHIGHLAND PARK LIGHTS2

So, in our officially unofficial top five list, with an average score of three rings, Highland Park comes in at number five.

Check back throughout the week to see which displays made the list!

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