50 College Towns with the Best Christmas Displays

 

In nearly every home in the world, Christmas is synonymous with festivity. All over the United States, Christians commemorate December 25th as the day of the Lord, a worldwide religious and secular celebration. Dubbed as the holiday season, it emphasizes the values of love, forgiveness, joy, thanksgiving, and the gift of family and friendships.

As to when it officially begins or ends, no one’s keeping count. What’s certain is that everyone calls it the most wonderful time of the year! And they celebrate it by adding a unique touch to their homes. Every Christian home puts up a Christmas tree to symbolize the Christmas spirit. Homemade ornaments and colorful lights make houses glow all night!

During this season, places all over the country join in on the celebrations. Towns and cities everywhere invest in Christmas displays – the more festive, the better! Christmas displays have become tourist attractions and drive foot traffic to each town. It is a cheerfully creative idea that brings people together.

And as the country revels in the Christmas cheer, college towns—also called university towns because of their dominant college population—certainly can’t be beat! We list 50 college towns with the most remarkable Christmas displays.

Andalusia, Alabama

Andalusia, Alabama - Christimas

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Andalusia is a quintessential small town in Alabama. It is home to one of the ultimate Christmas destinations in the State. Christmas is in the air at Christmas in Candyland in this small South Alabama town. Children will surely enjoy the train rides and game activities just for them, and the sought after faux-snow tubing hill through the downtown area. Best of all, Christmas in Candyland is a free event!

The Christmas spirit is spread all throughout the town. You will find picturesque holiday lights and decorations that the whole family will be delighted to see. Plan your next holiday trip here and make magical memories. Did you know that the community helped build Candyland? As a way of giving back to the town, Lurleen B. Wallace Community College athletes volunteer to make the event possible.


Annapolis, Maryland

The 35th Annual Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade features dozens of colorfully lit boats parading through Annapolis Harbor and Spa Creek. (PRNewsfoto/Visit Annapolis and Anne Arunde)

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Arguably, Annapolis, Maryland has the most stunning and historical district that comes together around the City Dock. The area has been renovated to perfection. At Christmas time, the entire City Dock transforms into a magical place, draped with beautiful lights, evergreens, and colorful ribbons. As you set foot on this very inviting Christmas spot, you’ll see how it’s just impossible to say no to a candlelit stroll and exploration of the cobbled streets by foot. The historic houses that surround the dock add more glam and reveal the legends hiding behind every evergreen, the yule logs, and the Christmas trees that adorn the streets.

Prepare yourself to be astonished at the Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade, the highlight of the season. It takes two routes which go through two loops; “below the bridge” and “above the bridge.” The first loop circles in front of the Eastport, around the United States Naval Academy seawall and through the city dock. While above the bridge, the parade circles the entire length of Spa Creek. The parade is typically held during the second weekend of December. It’s not yet too late to book a flight!

We can sleep soundly at night as America’s Navy is “Forged by the Sea.”


Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas

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“We’ll paint the trail orange!”

A true Texan tradition, the Austin Trail of Lights started bringing the Christmas spirit in 1965. It is Austin’s most prized holiday traditions. The Austin Trail of Lights is a two-week event held annually at the Zilker Park, highlighting 1.25 miles of lights, fun, family, food, and entertainment shared with the community. It’s an inexpensive place to be for families during the holidays. If you ever decide to go, choose to visit on December 10 for the University of Texas (UT) night.


Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland - Christmas

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Every year, millions of people coming from all corners of the world gather in a small, but mighty street – Baltimore’s 34th Street, which is only a three-minute drive to John Hopkins University. It is a lineup of Christmas displays to beat! Every house on the block eagerly participates in what many would call a celebration of lights. You will get very different, and equally unique, display of lights and ornaments that bring the miracle of the season to life.

Every evening from Thanksgiving weekend until the New Year’s, you can expect to see the entire 34th Street decked out in holiday light displays. Cruise down the street, get cozy in your car, or take a walk, porch-by-porch. Be lost in the dazzling holiday glory and bask in the real miracle on 34th Street.


Bardstown, Kentucky

Bardstown, Kentucky - Christimas

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The holidays are best spent in a small town. Bardstown, a small town in Kentucky, celebrates Christmas with the Christmas Round Bardstown and is highlighted by the Light Up Bardstown event. The festivities are filled with blinking, colorful lights which signal the beginning of the holiday season in the town. It is a six-week event filled period which begins from the Downtown Holiday Preview and ends as the New Year enters. On December 31st, an Old Kentucky dinner will be shared by the community while they welcome new beginnings… a new year.

Bardstown is just 30 minutes away is Elizabeth Community Technical College, a member of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS). Experience Christmas in Kentucky in this one of the most beautiful towns!


Beaufort, North Carolina

Beaufort, North Carolina

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The south end of the Outer Banks of Beauport, North Carolina will give you a glimpse of the classic North Carolina Christmas. Be sure not to miss the Beaufort’s Crystal Coast Christmas Flotilla. It is a yearly event where boats, adorned with beautiful lights and ornaments, parade through the Coast. This event is considered the area’s highlight of the month. Families can enjoy the model train shows and holiday art walk. On the night of Christmas, locals and tourists look forward to the candlelit homes tour. Beauport is home to the North Carolina State University Center for Marine Sciences and Technology.


Berkeley, California

Berkeley, California

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Union Square in San Francisco’s is a prime commercial spot. Every year, commercial buildings and businesses put their creativity to the test by displaying the grandest and most extravagant Christmas ornaments. Macy’s, the largest retail brand under Macy’s Inc., never fails to bring amusement to the entire union square. It partners with the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and showcases the beauty of our furry little friends. All of the cats and dogs in the window displays are up for adoption.

Union Square is also a magical place to visit. Plus, you get to do some Holiday shopping!

University of California in Berkeley also joins in the Christmastime spirit. The entire campus turns into a fascinating display of lights.

Berkeley, California - UC

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Branson, Missouri

Branson, Missouri - Christmas

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Branson, Missouri is a humble town known for the Ozark Mountain Christmas Festival. The festival runs for an entire month, showcasing extravagant displays, music, festive lights, and fun-filled activities and parades. Embark on a magical ride on the Branson Scenic Railway’s Polar Express Train Ride and fascinate the child in you. The festivities are centered on family and the celebration of Christmas. Christmas season begins November 1 in Branson, so there’s plenty of time for you to visit the festival. Take the kids on a drive-thru light display, and feel the spirit of the holidays while adoring the illuminated nativity scene on top of Mount Branson. Before you leave, be sure to check out the perennial favorite, King’s Castle which is a classic Christmas Wonderland.

College of the Ozarks is another excellent reason to visit Branson. The college community stays true to the real reason why we celebrate Christmas – the birth of the Lord.

Branson, Missouri - Ozarks College

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Breckenridge, Colorado

Breckenridge, Colorado

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The Christmas weather is almost always perfect in Breckenridge. The entire town turns into a picturesque winter wonderland. If you have been dreaming of stepping into a real snow globe, this is where you should be during the holidays. Enjoy a view of snow covered mountains and streets and go skiing!

Only in Breckenridge will you witness hundreds of Santas racing each other to kick off the holiday season!  The Running Santas event, which takes place during the first weekend of December, marks the beginning of the town’s sparkling holiday season celebrations.

Students from Colorado Mountain College serve as gift-giving elves to help all the running Santas.


Cambridge, Ohio

Cambridge, Ohio

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As a part of their annual tradition, hundreds of mannequins are displayed all over the town. Every year, during Christmas, the city transforms into a Dickens Victorian Village. A total of 186 mannequins and 80 different scenes portray ordinary life from 19th century England. Visit the historic district of Cambridge and witness these dolls depict life as seen by Charles Dickens. Visit Cambridge and be in awe of their exhibits!

Ohio University Cambridge excitedly participates in preparing the mannequins, making sure that they are in tip-top shape ready to welcome visitors.


College Station, Texas

College Station, Texas

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Santa’s Wonderland is the Texas Christmas experience. It is a landmark that sits on College Station, Texas, bringing joy and the holiday spirit to everyone. The wonderland features a hayride lights tour, an entire Christmas themed village, and a wine tasting event. Enjoy the magic of the night with food, music, shopping, and a sight of live reindeers. There are holiday concerts where you can sing-along to Christmas carols.

Texas A&M University is part of Santa’s Wonderland. Every year, the University Student Affairs make sure that they participate in the holiday spectacular. They hold shows that bring a nostalgic feeling throughout the community.

Tickets can be quite pricey, but you can save up to $20 on select nights. Just keep in mind that the true spirit of Christmas is not based on the price tag, but the thought that comes with the gift.


Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Coeur d'Alene Resort

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Coeur d’Alene, Idaho is a real standout! Setting itself apart from other Christmas displays that adorn the state, the city features lights floating on the lake. And the University of Idaho Coeur d’Alene shares a big part in all the festivities. However, the most stunning Christmas display in the city is by Idaho’s Coeur d’Alene Resort. It has been named America’s top family holiday destination by Good Morning America. The annual resort light showcase highlights 40 minutes of Journey to the North Pole. The cruise showcases 255 displays and various animated floating Christmas trees to commemorate the beginning of Christmas.

Most importantly, admission is free for kids under five. Ticket prices vary depending on the age of visitors. Don’t miss the chance to see the cruise!


Dallas, Texas

Dallas, Texas

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The Southern Methodist University (SMU) campus holds its very own light display. It provides easy access for students and the local community to witness colorful light displays and be in awe of their exhibits! The university campus is open for everyone who wishes to see how SMU brightens the holiday season.

A lighting festival is held during the opening night. The event features story readings during the Christmas season to educate the young and the old about the true meaning of the holidays. This university in Dallas, Texas celebrates with music and food to the delight of families.


Dahlonega, Georgia

Dahlonega, Georgia

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Prepare for an old-fashioned holiday season celebration topped with a Christmas parade that will fascinate the kids and the kids-at-heart! The entire town of Dahlonega, Georgia transforms into a magical place of Christmas wonder. Feast your eyes on picturesque scenes in every corner. The crowd’s Southern hospitality makes the celebration even more meaningful.

The entire University of North Georgia brings an extra touch to the town’s hallmark displays. University students knock on family homes to sing Christmas carols and spread love during the season. Enjoy the month-long Christmas celebration of an entire town that’s lighting up with holiday colors!


Denton, Texas

Denton, Texas

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The University of North Texas in Denton celebrates the holidays yearly with a tree lighting festival to mark the beginning of Christmas. This event is simultaneously held on December 1 while the entire town hosts a Christmas tree lighting ceremony. The whole downtown square is filled with lighted trees and colorful ornaments.

The Denton way of welcoming the holiday is a true mark of the Texas spirit! Enjoy musical performances in the busy downtown street. Experience a live nativity while gorging over good food, friendly conversations. Come down starting 5:30 PM until 9:30 PM and prepare to be in awe of the beautiful lighted trees and the sweet scent of Christmas!


Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Eureka Springs, Arkansas

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Christmas season opens big in Eureka Springs. Your holiday season visit will surely become an unforgettable one. The Eureka Spring Christmas Festival is something that you don’t want to miss. Only in Arkansas will you enjoy Silver Tea at the Crescent Hotel. There is a Christmas parade featuring Santa riding on his very own sleigh. Of course, the annual tree lighting ceremony makes everything festive. The kids will enjoy an afternoon with Santa. Games will be held for them, including reindeer games!

Eureka Spring may be a small town, but it promises to bring merriment to everyone who chooses to visit and spend the holiday there. It is located a few miles from Bryan University, a school that offers ESL courses, diploma programs, and academic associate’s degree courses.


Fredericksburg, Texas

Fredericksburg, Texas

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This small Texas town gets an infusion of Christmas season charm. Annual festivities are celebrated in Fredericksburg where the entire community gather and share an old-fashioned celebration. Carolers sing merry Christmas melodies and cheers.

Nutcracker performances are showcased for everyone to enjoy. Texas Tech University holds Carol of Lights, an annual event where more than 20,000 students and alumni gather to witness the Texas Tech University Combined Choirs bring the music of the season to life. The Carillon Concert concludes with the iconic lighting of the Memorial Circle to the Science Quadrangle.


Galena, Illinois

Galena, Illinois

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Galena is every bit a pure Americana town, especially when it comes to Christmas celebrations. The season officially kicks off with the Festival of Trees held every November 25th. It showcases a display of unique holiday trees, wreaths, and other Christmas ornaments designed and created by homegrown artists and organizations.

Santa takes a drive down the Main Street, waving to everyone in sight and making sure that the spirit of the season remains true. Take a quiet walk and breathe the Christmas-sy air while adoring the Mistletoe Stroll and Holiday Tour.

Galena is just 25 minutes away from Loras College, an affordable and acclaimed liberal arts school.


Hartford, Connecticut

Hartford, Connecticut

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Follow the light as it will most definitely bring you to Hartford, Connecticut. The Holiday Light Fantasia will open your eyes to the many faces of the holiday season. It will not only bring you Christmas but also Hanukkah, Kwanza and the full celebration of New Year’s Eve. Belongingness is at the Hartford community, and so it brings everyone together in remembering the spirit of the Holidays.

Feast your eyes as you drive through two miles of colorful, fascinating lighted animations that depict the holiday season, Hartford-style! Home to the University of Hartford, this town promises to bring you more than one million lights to guide you in the journey.


Helen, Georgia

Helen, GA

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The quaint town of Helen, just a 20-minute ride from the University of North Georgia, will bring you a Bavarian-style winter wonderland. Christmas begins with The Lighting of the Village and invites you to listen to merry voices as Santa and Mrs. Claus bring joy to the entire town center. Parades fill the town, too. There isn’t a shortage of Christmas festivities. Enjoy Santa as he strolls through the street. Undoubtedly, some town as small as Helen can exude the quintessential Christmas charm like no other!


Jackson, Wyoming

Jackson, Wyoming

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If you like having a white Christmas, Jackson is guaranteed to deliver. Jackson, Wyoming is a top destination for snowboarders and skiers as the slopes bury in white snow. The world-famous Elk Antlers is a sure winner among tourists and locals. It is a perfect spot for taking your holiday photos. The Elk Antlers covers and lights up the entire town square with its thousands of LED lights.

Fulfill a childhood dream and take a ride on a real-life sleigh drawn by horses at the National Elk Refuge. Explore Jackson Hole Playhouse as you wait for Santa to drop by.

Located in Jackson, Wyoming is the University of Wyoming Outreach School, with programs and services organized operating under Outreach Regional Centers throughout the state.


Leavenworth, Washington

Leavenworth, Washington

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Leavenworth, Washington transforms into a Bavarian-style village enveloped in over half a million twinkling lights. The snowy hills create a scenic route for anyone who drives past the Cascades. During the Christmas Lightning Festival, the entire town and the snow-covered Cascade Mountains can compete with Santa’s Village, and might just top it!

Students of Central Washington University (CWU) are greeted with the week-long festivities including Christkindlmarkt, non-stop concerts featuring hand-bells, carolers from all corners of the town, and heavily adorned trees. Of course, spending time around the town is best paired with hot chocolate of Gluhwein. And what’s a better way to keep warm during Christmas than sipping hot chocolate while sitting on white snow? Plus, you get a chance to revisit Scrooge’s Christmas with CWU’s A Christmas Carol.

Experience the most enchanting time of the year in Leavenworth, Washington!


Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

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Lancaster, Pennsylvania holds the record for mentioning Christmas tree for the first time in the country in 1821, as recorded in the journal of Matthew Zahn. The city that sits in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch County offers many sights and holiday-themed displays during the season. At Penn Square in Downtown Lancaster is where the annual Mayor’s Tree Lighting & Tuba Christmas is held. It is a unique and spectacular way to mark the start of Christmas. After that, you can hop aboard a train in the nearby Strasburg Rail Road. You can enjoy cookies dipped in milk while engrossed in the reading of Clarke Moore’s classic poem, The Night Before Christmas. Lancaster County Christmas is one for the books!

Starting December 9, you start visiting and spending winter with The Arboretum at Pennsylvania State University. You can walk through an array of holiday displays and listen to the music of the season.

Lancaster, Pennsylvania - Penn State

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Lewisburg, West Virginia

Lewisburg, West Virginia

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The entire downtown Lewisburg area is known for all the great shops and restaurants that line up down the block. However, the holiday season brings in an extra touch to Lewisburg. The festive décors in each of the shop’s window displays are stunningly arranged. Families have grown attached to the Christmas spirit at the Greenbrier, and have spent many Christmases at the resort. Vacationers are greeted with a singing West Virginia Symphony.

Lewisburg, West Virginia - West Virginia University

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West Virginia University puts up a spectacle as well, transforming the Woodburn Hall into a towering building of lights.


Lincoln Park, Chicago

Lincoln Park, Chicago

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The Lincoln Park Zoo Lights in Chicago will bring you back to when you were just a child, patiently waiting for Christmas to come. Go wild this holiday season and visit the Zoo Lights. It is an annual city tradition that brings family, friends, and loved ones together. The zoo features various animal-themed Christmas lights displays, crafts, light shows, and an ice-skating adventure. Bring the kids because they will enjoy unlimited carousel rides for free!

DePaul University ensures that the Nativity Scene featured on the campus is perfect. They welcome visitors to witness the scene that depicts the birth of Jesus Christ. After your trip to the zoo, make sure that you drop by at DePaul University’s Nativity Scene.

Nativity Scene, Lincoln

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McAdenville, North Carolina

McAdenville, North Carolina

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Travel with kids and visit America’s Christmas Town. Over half a century ago, the Men’s Club in the small town of McAdenville in North Carolina decided to decorate eight trees around the city. And there, history was created. Today, over 375 trees with heights over 90 feet tall are adorned with massive lights and ornaments. The whole town, participates by decorating their houses with beautiful Christmas decors. And all within 25 minutes, colleges and universities can be found McAdenville including Queens University joining in on the celebrations.

Admission to the country’s Christmas Town is free! The displays run from December 1st through the 26th. Plan to visit this year and see the lighted town for yourself.


Moultrie, Georgia

Moultrie, Georgia

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A small town in Georgia is known for the million glittering downtown lights that are on display during the Christmas season. It is a legend among locals and tourists who have had the chance to visit. In the town’s traditional Canopy of Lights, over 9,000 lights illuminate the entire Moultrie square. LED flickering lights fill the canopy which begins on “Thanksgiving Night with Lights! Lights!” This event is an event that gathers the community on the town square to enjoy the canopied lights.

Christmas in Georgia is a feast in its own. The Auburn University campus transforms into their very own Christmas wonderland. The festivities kick off with the annual tree lighting ceremony and Christmas time parade. Be on the lookout for more than 60 floats parading through downtown Auburn with the equestrian team as grand marshals. Plus, you’ll get to see Santa ride a firetruck!

Moultrie, Georgia - Auburn U

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Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

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Myrtle Beach brings unique coastal charm to the town’s Christmas celebrations. The best time to visit this quaint, but busy town is between late fall and early winter. You enjoy lower accommodation rates and get big discounts on Christmas activities. Don’t miss the chance to go to the Brookgreen Gardens that are filled with Christmas trees, twinkling lights, and calming flickering candles. It’s the perfect scene for the winter season! See the Festival of Trees at Ripley’s Aquarium and witness the different themed trees for all the 50 States.

The Coastal Carolina University takes an active part in the festivities. They put up their very own Christmas display in Blanton Park. The university decorates the live oak trees around it with beautiful lights.


Naples, Florida

Naples FL

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Naples has so many holiday season festivities to offer. You might not get to build a snowman, but many tourists are still attracted to the Gulf. Luxury stores, eclectic boutiques and the festive ambiance bring a new experience to visitors. Marissa Collections is a crowd favorite among the array of stores in the Old Naples Historic District. Enjoy their window displays while you shop!

For those who came for the season, there is a Naples Bay Christmas Boat Parade. Naples, home to Hodges University, has its very own version of the worldwide TUBA Christmas, which is a concert featuring mainly wind instruments, including brass, tuba, and baritones. The show is held on Fifth Avenue South’s Sugden Plaza.


New Castle, Delaware

New Castle, Delaware

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New Castle prides itself with a well-preserved colonial history, culture, and traditions. It is said that this town is the most charming Christmas town across the entire state of Delaware. The town’s annual “Spirit of Christmas” is the ideal time to visit to witness how this colonial town celebrates the holidays. You can join private tours of private homes and churches that are decorated for the season. There are beautiful lights, carolers from around the block, and musical events to commemorate the season of gift-giving.

Just 19 minutes away from New Castle is the University of Delaware that offers undergraduate and graduate education.


Oakland, California

Oakland, California

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When in Oakland, be ready for neighborhoods filled with holiday ornaments—and you can bet there isn’t one house undecorated! Some even feature storybook-style décors to light up the block. Take a drive at the Picardy Drive in the Mills College neighborhood.

But if you are craving to see endless sights of colorful flickering lights, visit the Oakland Zoo. Through the years, the ZooLights have become a phenomenon for both locals and tourists. After all, who does not enjoy a zoo filled with warm lights among the growling of lions and squawking of birds? The Oakland Zoo and San Francisco Zoo are both great places to come and visit to take in all the glow.

In Oakland, you will find Lincoln University, a nearly 100-year-old institution offering practical and affordable college programs.


Oxford, Mississippi

Oxford, Mississippi

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Oxford, Mississippi is a college town that has become a popular destination for college applicants and traveling professors and lecturers. But of course, come Christmastime, the city transforms into a picturesque Christmas Town lighted with glimmering decorations all amid the lush greenery! Take a tour at the Oxford’s Holiday Village. We assure you, it’s not every day that you get a chance to spend time in a village made of gingerbread!

Oxford is home to the University of Mississippi, that has become a popular destination for college applicants and traveling professors and lecturers. Frat and sorority houses are also joining the Christmas season extravaganza. A drive down the college station will take you to a show of lights.


Prescott, Arizona

Prescott, Arizona

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In 1989, Prescott became designated as the official Christmas City of the state of Arizona. Prescott is known for its yearly lighting event featuring the Courthouse Plaza. The courthouse transforms into a picturesque spot. On top of that is a Christmas parade featuring floats, horses, various bands, and Santa Claus himself in attendance!

The lighting of the plaza and the parade takes place on December 2. On the evening of the same day, you ought to attend the annual Frontier Christmas at Sharlot Hall Museum. There is an admission fee, but the luminaries, the hand-made decors and freshly baked cookies will be worth every penny.

Also participating in the celebrations are several colleges in the Prescott area, including the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.


Provo, Utah

Provo, Utah

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Provo Towne Center Mall brings the Christmas in Color to life. Lights spread throughout the mall parking lot. It’s incredible how such a confined place can bring so much joy to visitors. It takes 25 minutes to drive through the entire lighted parking lot. Enjoy every corner where lights can be seen. You will never grow tired watching the flickering or lights, perfectly timed to the music.

Brigham Young University brings more Christmas spirit as they hold their annual “Freeze Fest: Winter Party.” The event brings all the winter sports in one place. Go ice skating, broom hockey, dodgeball on the ice and take plenty of photos! For a more festive mood, students can hop aboard the Polar Express-themed extravaganza. After all the festivities, students get to go home and celebrate Christmas with their families.


Rogers, Arkansas

Rogers, Arkansas

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The holiday season compels the entire downtown Rogers to take Christmas decors out of their basement and put them on display once again. An annual Christmas parade is also held to welcome the season. Santa Claus leads the ceremony on December 1. The 1895 Hawkins House should be at the top of your must-visit list. It showcases traditional decorations from an early 20th Century Christmas.

Never miss the opportunity to see the showing of A Christmas Story held at the Arkansas Public Theater in Rogers.

The top-rated Northwest Arkansas Community College is located in the town of Rogers. The school takes part in the celebrations too!


Santa Claus, Indiana

Santa Claus, Indiana

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With a town name like Santa Claus, there’s no doubt that this town showcases some of the best Christmas displays. The place is dedicated to bringing the Christmas spirit for kids everywhere. Back in the 1850s, it wanted to be named Santa Fe, but oddly enough, the name was already taken, so the place took the name Santa Claus instead. This small Indiana town is a self-proclaimed official Christmas hometown, calling itself “Santa’s home.” Every year, volunteers from nearby Ivy Tech Community College and other places come together to answer letters sent by children from all over the world.

The town holds three-weekend festivities with activities like letter writing, Christmas parades, and Christmas shopping in jam-packed Christmas stores. Residential areas are decorated with light displays in Christmas Lake Village.


Seaside, Florida

Seaside FL

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If you’re dreaming of a coastal Christmas, a visit to Seaside, Florida will make your dreams come true. Bring all the Christmas spirit to the beach and enjoy all the coastal festivities and all-you-can-eat seafood! The town’s Post Office can’t be without the best decorations during the season, decorating its façade with wreaths and lights. Seaside is a perfect coastal holiday destination for everyone who wishes to be soaked in the seas while enjoying all the Christmastime festivities.

The Northwest Florida State College is located near the town of Seaside.


Sewanee, Tennessee

Sewanee, TN

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Tennessee is a welcoming state, and spending Christmas in one of their cities or towns should be in your holiday plans! Sewanee is home to the state’s most heavily decorated Christmas-themed hotels and inns during the holiday season. The Sewanee Inn is famous for its beautifully decorated lobby, and Christmas-themed food.

Carolers from the University of the South grace the town’s guests with a night of the magical annual show called Christmas Lessons and Carols. The candlelit event and music-filled service are held in All Saint’s Chapel where everyone gathers to have a quiet holiday dinner.

Sewanee, TN. Sewanee Inn.

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Skaneateles, New York

Skaneateles, New York

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Celebrating Christmas the old-fashioned way? The Dickens Christmas at the Skaneateles Area Business in New York continues to give back to the public in thanksgiving to customers for their support. The town also presents an annual Dickens Christmas festival where performers are dressed as Charles Dickens and the characters in his books and interact with the townspeople!

Just under 10 miles to the town is Cayuga County Community College, a two-year community college that offers undergraduate programs. The Village of Skaneateles in Upstate New York may be a long drive, but it is certainly worth your time!


Springfield, Massachusetts

Springfield, Massachusetts

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Bright Nights at Forest Park is a favorite sight in Springfield, Massachusetts where Spring field College and the Western New England University are also located. The light display draws crowds from all over the state and tourists from all over the country. For 20 years, Forest Park has provided locals and visitors beautiful Christmas sights. It features Seuss Land, a Christmas-themed Jurassic World, and Santa’s Magical Forest. Various accommodations offer tourists a place to stay for the entire run of the festival. You can be a part of the fun when you visit Springfield on Christmas.


Somerville, Massachusetts

Somerville, Massachusetts

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Somerville will transport you to a different Christmastime scene. The entire Central Street brings illumination to the whole block and beyond. Celebrate the artistry of locals and residents as they begin decorating their own houses. Take the 45-minute Trolley Tours to enjoy the entirety of the Somerville Illumination Tour. Get yourself a cup of coffee, chocolate, and Christmas cookies!

Somerville is home to high-ranking Tufts University.


St. Augustine, Florida

St. Augustine, Florida

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St. Augustine is not only a top holiday destination, but it also makes a fascinating vacation any time of the year. The city transforms into a magical place during the holiday season with its award-winning holiday lights! The historic St. Augustine is at the center of the Night of Lights festival. Businesses downtown stay open in wee hours to cater to customers who wish to do late Christmas shopping. Some trains and trolleys welcome passengers for a trip down the lighted streets of St. Augustine where you can also find Flagler University and the University of St Augustine for Health Sciences.

Have a merry and illuminating holiday season when you get a chance to visit the town!


Thomasville, Georgia

Thomasville, GA

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The cobbled streets in downtown Thomasville, Georgia, featuring Thomas University, is an inviting site, especially during the holidays. Get a load of classic Victorian Christmas Festival decorations that complement the Christmas theme that the town is known for. Carolers come and go as visitors stand in awe of the colorful display of lights. Dazzling tree displays first started in 1995 and had grown larger and grander sense. Christmas in Lights runs through December and is free for all visitors who wish to witness the display. Take a stroll on the cobbled streets and feel the Christmas spirit in the air.


Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa, Oklahoma

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Utica Square at 21st Street in Tulsa is lit with colorful, sparkling lights throughout the holiday season. What a sight to behold! The whole square turns 750,000 lights into something so magical. Santa’s House is just around the corner, too, and welcomes everybody who fancies a visit! Christmas displays in Tulsa draws over 200,000 visitors every year.

If that is not enough, Oklahoma State University brightens up during the holiday season as it welcomes students and alumni returning home for the holidays.

Tulsa, Oklohoma - OSA

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Waco, Texas

Waco, TX

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Spend your holidays in Waco Wonderland. Waco, located at the heart of Texas, offers a unique Christmas holiday experience. A collaborative project of various organizations, Waco Wonderland is created for the entire community and visitors to enjoy and cherish. Shared festivities are held starting from the lighting ceremony.

Students from Baylor University also set up various activities around campus. The Christmas tree farm is open for visitors to see, where Baylor students design and display the Nativity. You will never run out of picture-perfect Christmas lights and sights in Waco, Texas!


Waikele, Hawaii

Waikele, Hawaii

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The neighborhood lights in Waikele, Hawaii, just 2 miles from the University of Hawaii West Oahu, is a project of the town’s homeowners. Houses that stand side by side are heavily decorated with Christmas lights. The Yoshida family spearheads the annual spectacle. It’s a synchronized holiday experience that many look forward to every holiday season. The Great Christmas Lights is a Christmas affair aimed at bringing families closer together every Christmas.


Williamsburg, Virginia

Williamsburg, Virginia

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If you want to bring a Colonial twist of sorts to your holiday celebration, Williamsburg is the perfect destination for you at Christmastime.

Yearly, this town where the College of William and Mary is located, holds A Colonial Christmas celebration to give visitors a glimpse of the Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution at the Museum at Yorktown. Celebrating Christmas is also a time for you to learn and explore the rich history of the town and the country. Every day in December, you can admire the Jamestown Settlement reenactment as you sip coffee or hot cocoa.


Wilmington, Delaware

Wilmington, Delaware

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Experience the magical holiday season in Greater Wilmington, Delaware with a variety of festivities. During the holidays, magnificently decorated mansions are a spectacle in Wilmington. They feature elaborate outdoor Christmas lights displays and well-trimmed, glorious indoor gardens. This quaint town of Wilmington, home to top-rated Wilmington University, still holds on to their colonial heritage even as it keeps up with the modern times. This town is  Capture the holiday spirit in Wilmington with a fun-filled family vacation there!


Woodstock, Vermont

Woodstock, Vermont

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Woodstock looks magical during the holiday season. Located just a few miles from Community College of Vermont, the entire town looks exactly like a scene straight out of the Currier & Ives. You can expect an old-fashioned, homey feel that the holidays are all about! There is not a wrong time to visit Vermont but if you decide to go, visit Woodstock during the holidays. The particularly fun and charming scenes out of a Christmas card does not disappoint! Spend a delightful winter Christmas in Woodstock, Vermont!


Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

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Bringing family tradition to the Wrightsville Beach is a sign of North Carolinian pride. Just a few hours’ drive from the University of North Carolina, the town considers celebrating Memorial Day and Labor Day as a rite of passage. What the city is most known for, however, is the North Carolina Holiday Flotilla. At Christmas, the entire Wrightsville Beach brings a holiday spectacle to the community. The flotilla lights up throughout the holiday season.

The festive holiday lights will bring all the family together. Delight in a weekend of fun-filled celebration of music, food, and family. The festivities are capped off with a spectacular fireworks show! Don’t forget to head out to the docks and enjoy the colorful lights of the flotilla.