The holiday season brings with it a special kind of magic. And, if you’re in Virginia or Maryland, you’re in for a treat with some of the most enchanting drive-through holiday light shows in the region. The best thing about them? You don’t even have to get out of your car! So whether you’re cuddling up with your family or seeking a festive evening drive, these light displays offer a perfect blend of convenience and holiday cheer.

1. Bull Run Festival of Lights – A Northern Virginia Gem

The Bull Run Festival of Lights stands out as the only drive-thru lights display in Northern Virginia. It also continues to be a family favorite. Open through January 7, it offers a dazzling journey from 5:30–9:30 p.m. on weekdays and until 10 p.m. on weekends and holiday nights. With color-changing trees, North Pole displays, massive arches, and a plethora of snowflakes and candy canes, it’s a festive experience not to be missed. Don’t forget to visit the Holiday Village and Carnival for bonfires and s’mores. Located at 7700 Bull Run Dr., Centreville, tickets are $30 online or $40 at the gate. Larger vehicles can expect different rates.

2. Illuminate Light Show & Santa Village – Virginia’s Largest Drive-Thru Show

Experience the magic of Virginia’s largest drive-thru synchronized Christmas lights and music show at Illuminate Light Show & Santa Village, open through December 31. With nearly one million LED lights dancing to holiday tunes, it’s a visual and auditory feast. After the lights, the Santa Village awaits with treats and fun activities. Located at Meadow Event Park (13111 Dawn Blvd., Doswell), the pricing is family-friendly.

3. Winter Lights Festival – A Festive Trail in Maryland

Maryland’s Seneca Creek State Park transforms into a winter wonderland for the Winter Lights Festival, open through December 31. This 3.5-mile trail features over 450 displays and lit trees, showcasing penguins, snowmen, and ice skaters. Tickets must be purchased in advance for this enchanting experience at 11950 Clopper Rd., Gaithersburg, with varying prices based on the day of the week.

4. ​​Merriweather Symphony of Lights – A Concert Venue Like No Other

Immerse yourself in a unique holiday experience at Merriweather Symphony of Lights. This outdoor stadium is adorned with over 300,000 lights, animations, and festive displays until January 1. Special walk-through nights add to the charm. Located at 10475 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia, Maryland, it’s a must-visit for an unforgettable holiday evening.

5. Lights on the Bay – Celebrating Annapolis’ Charm

The 29th annual Lights on the Bay at Sandy Point State Park celebrates Annapolis’ history with a beautiful 2-mile display along the Chesapeake Bay. Open through January 1, this event features 70 animated and static light displays and offers 3D glasses for an enhanced experience. Head to 1100 E. College Pkwy., Annapolis, Maryland for this unique light show.

Virginia and Maryland’s drive-through holiday light shows are a testament to the region’s festive spirit and creativity. They offer a cozy, delightful way to enjoy the season’s beauty without braving the chilly winter air. Whether it’s a family outing or a solo adventure, these light shows promise to make your holiday season brighter and more memorable. Happy holidays and enjoy the lights!

Want more family friendly NOVA adventures? Check out this blog post: The Nutcracker Suite