Many of you who grew up back during the ‘60s and ‘70s may remember a time when our folks would take us on one of their surprise road trips and drive us miles and miles to look  at a “Christmas House” –  a house that was pretty much a regular house the rest of the year, but a little after Thanksgiving, the owners would string a few lights around the frame of the house, string a few more up and around trees, throw a few blow mold Santas, snowmen and reindeer in the yard, and finally, they would end it all with the obligatory manger scene and, voila! It was a Christmas house. People would drive from all over to catch a glimpse of it, dropping some of their change in donations kettles to help the owners pay for all of the electricity this was costing them.

Well, as they old saying goes, “You’ve come a long way, Santa, baby!” Today there are not only Christmas houses, but there’s also whole Christmas villages with so many lights flashing, blinking, twinkling, and winkling, there’s rumors that you can see them from the moon, or the North Pole, or the Great Wall of China –  or something like that.

Anyway, here are some wintry American roadside attractions that you don’t want to miss this year:

ZooLights Express  (Smithsonian’s National Zoo / PEPCO)

Where: All Over Washington, D.C.

When: November 27 – December. 19, 2020, Fridays and Saturdays, 6PM – 8PM

What’s Happening: Instead of D.C. coming to see the annual ZooLights Christmas lights event at the National Zoo, the National Zoo — powered by Pepco — is bringing the colorful glow of Washington, D.C.’s beloved Smithsonian’s National Zoo holiday tradition into the communities of D.C. via the 24-foot ZooLights Express truck, festively decorated with light displays and featuring “Panda Claws”.

WildLights

Where: The Living Desert, 47900 Portola Ave, Palm Desert, California

When: November 25, 27, 28
               December 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27

               6PM – 9PM

What’s Happening: Celebrating 28 years of dazzling guests by transforming the Living Desert Zoo into a sparkling winter wonderland, WildLights guests will encounter a herd of life-size, luminescent animal lanterns, explore newly added pathways and stroll through the popular tunnel of lights flashing to holiday music. Be sure not to miss the festive G-scale model trains with more than 3,300 feet of track that are all decked out for the holidays. Tasty food and beverages are also available for a fee.

Austin Trail of Lights

Where: Zilker Metropolitan Park 2100 Barton Springs Rd., Austin, Texas

When: November 28 2020 – January 3, 2021

What’s Happening: Hosted by the Trail of Lights Foundation, the 56th annual Austin Trail of Lights is returning to the city’s iconic Zilker Park as a drive-thru only event. The Trail now features more than 2 million lights illuminating the park, 90 lighted holiday trees and more than 70 other holiday displays and lighted tunnels. As you drive through the Trail, tune in via your car radio for holiday music, highlights & history, and more.

Hershey Park’s Sweet Lights

Where: Hersheypark, 100 West Hersheypark Drive, Hershey, Pennsylvania

When: Now – January 3, 2021

What’s Happening: Presented by the T-Mobile, Hershey Park’s Sweet Lights is A winter wonderland where you can enjoy nearly 600 illuminated, animated displays from the comfort of your car as you drive through 2 miles of wooded trails.

Oglebay Winter Festival of Lights

Where: Wheeling Park, 1801 National Road, Wheeling, WV 26003

When: November 5, 2020 – January 10, 2021

What’s Happening: The Oglebay Winter Festival of Lights is an energy efficient Christmas light display featuring a six-mile drive, 90 lighted attractions and more than one million lights. Presented by the WesBanco, it’s one of the largest holiday light shows in the nation.

Illumination at Morton Arboretum

Where: The Morton Arboretum 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle, Illinois

When: November 20, 2020–January 3, 2021

What’s Happening: See trees in a different light at a reimagined Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum. Designed with your safety in mind, this year’s new driving experience (30–40 minutes long) features an unparalleled spectacle of color, light, and music you won’t experience anywhere else. See returning favorites through different eyes, including Symphony Woods, Woodland Wonder, and Crystal Promenade, and five newly designed sights displayed along a two-mile road among the Arboretum’s magnificent trees. Immerse yourself in a captivating tunnel of lights, an awe-inspiring magical woodland filled with dazzling color and celestial light, and a landscape filled with thousands of lights dancing to a musical soundtrack, all from the warmth of your car. 

Garden Lights, Holiday Nights

Where: Atlanta Botanical Garden1345 Piedmont Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, Georgia

When: November 14, 2020 – January 16, 2021.

What’s Happening: Garden Lights, Holiday Nights, presented by Invesco QQQ, returns in 2020 with new safety protocols and spectacular lighted sculptures from the blockbuster exhibition, Alice’s Wonderland Reimagined. New in 2020, Alice and the Red Queen join the White Rabbit and Phoenix in a glowing cast of larger-than-life sculptures twinkling with holiday cheer. Nature’s Wonders, the world’s largest choreographed curtain of light and sound, returns with new music and motion. Our beloved Ice Goddess is back with new colors in her flowing locks. The exhibition runs nightly through Jan. 16, including Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, from 5 – 11 p.m.

Christmas just a few days away now, so if you haven’t gotten your shopping done yet, then stop in your nearest Stuckey’s location and pick up a few of our Stuckey’s Pecan Log Rolls (now available in the “Yule Log-Sized” 10 inch version – our biggest yet!) In fact, if you’re looking for great stocking stuffer ideas, just about all of our Stuckey’s merchandise like our fine pecan candies, flavored nuts, and our branded t-shirts, hats and mugs fit great into just about anyone’s stocking!

If you happen to be living in an area that doesn’t have a Stuckey’s yet, then head over to our website to find out how you can have all of Stuckey’s pecan-y goodness delivered right to your front door. Visit stuckey’s.com for more info.

And while you’re decking out your halls, don’t forget to add our one-of-a-kind Stuckey’s Christmas ornament to your tree this year. Get yours free when you order online until December 14, 2020.

Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again

(Please note that Stuckey’s has made every effort to ensure that the Christmas light shows are still scheduled to operate during the holiday season, but as you know, 2020 has seen its share of changes and cancellations, so check ahead before you go to any of these events to make sure you didn’t drive all the way there for nothing.  Just click on the links provided to find out the contact information for each event.)