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Ready for Merry & Bright? We are! Experience the Jolliest Christmas Lights this Season

Posted on September 9, 2022
Beautiful Christmas lights near you
By Sarah Dinwiddie

Nothing makes you feel merry and bright like good, old-fashioned Christmas lights. Some places make it more than a holiday accessory—they make it an artform! Those are the Christmas lights worth a proper tour.

You have walk-through assortments, drive-through varieties, some hosted by churches and some constructed out of passionate family tradition. But what sets the best above the rest? Variety, creativity, and ingenuity sure help! But we think it’s the blend of taking things at your own pace and weaving in each family's personal touch.

If you’re wondering "where's the best Christmas light show near me?", then look no further. We’ll help you with your jolly list of best Christmas things to do this winter.

Check out this full list of self-guided Christmas light tours near you. You'll enjoy turn-by-turn directions to each sparkling home, and a jolly joke or two.  Read on for more info...

Self-guided holiday lights tours
Self-guided driving tours make experiencing the magic of the holidays simple. The app provides turn-by-turn directions to the merriest lights around!

There's a new way to find Christmas Lights

Notices in the paper, or a good-ol' meandering drive through neighborhood streets, in search of lights, used to be the only ways to find sparkling holiday lights, or Christmas light drive-through displays. Times have changed.

Built Story tours are created by locals who know the ins and outs of an area. Who better to tell you where the most dazzling light shows are than someone who lives there?

Self-guided Christmas light tours make experiencing the magic of the season easy:

  1. All light tours are self-guided driving tours. Enjoy at your pace, and on your own time!
  2. Turn-by-turn navigation makes discovering the merriest & brightest lights around town a breeze.
  3. Holiday knock-knock jokes or silly one-liners are featured at each tour stop for an extra treat.
  4. Many of the homes collect donations for local charity—making it easy for you to spread some joy this season!
  5. You just need the Built Story app. Find it in the Google Play and Apple App stores.
  6. Once you've purchased the tour via the app, keep enjoying it for 30 days! Start, pause, stop & retake the tour to your heart's desire.  Check to see how the displays evolve throughout the season...or just enjoy a sparkling, cozy evening driving tour again and again.

Below are five very-merry holiday light tours available this season. Not in your neck of the woods? Be sure to check out this full list of self-guided Christmas light tours near you.

Kansas City, MO

Christmas Lights in Kansas City, MO
A Kansas City, MO home, featured in This Kansas City Mama's Holiday Lights Tour. Photo submitted by: Andrea Krasnow

Kansas City Christmas lights are so famous, there’s a hit song from the 80s about them!

I might be biased for my beloved hometown, but This Kansas City Mama Holiday Lights Tour is one you can’t miss. The top three hot spots included are:

Crown Center is Kansas City’s Times Square of Christmas. Come see the largest Christmas tree in the city, and for tiny tots there’s Santa’s Gingerbread Station.

Country Club Plaza is popular for shopping, dining, and atmosphere. The plaza lights have been a city sensation for eight decades, and always begins with a suspenseful lighting ceremony.

Ward Parkway this glimmering neighborhood decorates their beautiful homes, some of them elegantly historic, to look like a true winter wonderland.

Raleigh, North Carolina

Apex, NC
An Apex, NC home featured in Al Parker's Raleigh's Best Christmas Lights (Part 1). Photo submitted by: Al Parker

No other compilation of Christmas lights in Wake County, North Carolina is as comprehensive as this one. “What are the best Christmas lights near me?” This is your answer. Here are just three of the 23 hot spots on this tour:

Hembey Ridge Lane, Morrisville is the neighborhood that raises the stakes on Christmas lights. Come here for lights synchronized to music, lawns sprawling with snowmen, and more.

Gebhardt Family Lights Christmas lights aren’t just an accessory here, they’re the main event. This family spends the year planning their great reveal each winter.

Landon’s Lights on Keythorpe began from a great cause and a love of lights. 11-year-old Landon realized two years ago that a local light show would not be returning—one responsible for raising funds for a local hospital. So, he started one all on his own to raise money for this worthy cause.

Carrollton, Texas

Carrollton, TX holiday lights
A home featured in the Carrollton, TX tour. Photo submitted by: Debra Muccio.

Don’t mess with Texas—or their Christmas lights! Residents have a deep love of this festive tradition, but it’s hard to find great Christmas lights displays without the crowds. This self-guided tour of Incredible Christmas lights in Carrollton is your answer.

Some popular stops on the way include:

  • A Santa scene inside a clear garage door
  • A light show and music set to your car's radio
  • A Food Network hotspot on the way: The London Baker

Bordentown, New Jersey

Bordentown, NJ Christmas
A stunning stop in the Bordentown, NJ Christmas lights tour. Photo submitted by: Bordentown Walking Tours

Enjoy a blissful blend of Victorian and Colonial architecture with holiday lights on this self-guided walking tour of Bordentown, New Jersey. This area was originally settled by European Quakers in 1682, and boasts a few famous former residents, including Thomas Paine of the American Revolution, and Clara Barton who founded the American Red Cross.

Get a blend of local history and food for the eyes as you see many locations, including the Bordentown Banking Company, Old City Hall, and the Temple B’nai Abraham.

San Jose, CA

San Jose, CA
A dazzling Christmas-lit home featured in the San Jose, CA tour.

San Jose is a wonderfully diverse city, and they REALLY do it up for Christmas! This tour is your perfect guide to all the best San Jose Christmas lights --featuring super festive displays and attractions!

Some prime locations on this tour include Lamore Drive, Greendale and Emory Street.

Find Your City and Start Your Christmas Lights Tour

Built Story hosts Christmas light tours in over 75 locations. Check out this list to find a tour near you! (Don't see your community yet? Know the best holiday lights around? You can build a tour, too! Start here.)

Experience the magic of the holidays, stress-free, with Built Story this winter.

Happy Holidays! ⭐

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