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Best place to view a holiday light show

Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Gardens is your pick for the best place to view a holiday lights show. The Pine Mountain locale has been shining brightly during the Christmas season since 1992. Photo courtesy Callaway Gardens

Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Gardens is your pick for the best place to view a holiday lights show. The Pine Mountain locale has been shining brightly during the Christmas season since 1992. Photo courtesy Callaway Gardens

YOUR PICKS
1. Callaway Gardens’ Fantasy in Lights
You say, “Callaway Gardens without a doubt is the best Christmas Light Show anywhere! There are ‘packages’ that make this family outing VERY affordable! I’ve been in the fog (which was a truly magical experience), I’ve been when it was soooo cold I couldn’t feel my fingers and toes, but we all sang along with the Carols and felt really special. I’ve been when the conditions were perfect and drove in a convertible which increases the experience beyond belief!”

2. Magical Nights of Lights at Lake Lanier
3. Stone Mountain Christmas
4. Lights of Life
5. Rock City

Life University's Lights of Life is our pick for best place to view a holiday light show. This annual Christmas tradtition is one of the best seasonal entertainment bargains around. Photo: Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com

Life University's Lights of Life is our pick for best place to view a holiday light show. This annual Christmas tradition is one of the best seasonal entertainment bargains around. Photo: Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com

OUR PICKS
1. Life University’s Lights of Life
“You still can’t beat Lights of Life for Christmas bang for the buck. It used to be free, but they started charging a small fee a few years back to offset those big electric bills. It remains one of the best holiday entertainment bargains (at $5 per car, more for larger vehicles) and a spectacular, colorful display.”

2. Callaway Gardens’ Fantasy in Lights
3. Magical Nights of Lights at Lake Lanier
4. Stone Mountain Christmas
5. Residential neighborhoods (including Avondale Estates, Morningside, Smoke Rise and many more. Check out this list of Christmas lights around Georgia. )

38 comments Add your comment

ChefDawg

November 14th, 2011
3:48 pm

First! Lake Lanier Islands

Nathan

November 14th, 2011
4:35 pm

Lights of Life has been a persistent favorite of this Marietta man. They’ve had to charge in recent years to keep it going, but it’s still worth the price of admission.

My all time favorite, though? That’d be now-defunct Christmas in Dixie in Crawfordville. Gloriously gaudy–but man, oh man, what great fun! The people who put that one together truly loved the holiday and what it stood for. They took Christmas lighting to extremes that will probably not be repeated in Georgia anytime soon. It is still missed after all these years.

Ryneberg

November 14th, 2011
4:57 pm

Our Lady of The Snows (but you have to make a trip to Belleville, Illinois).

Canton Resident

November 14th, 2011
5:02 pm

Calloway Gardens is awesome, Stone Mountain is incredible, Rock City is still my favorite. And this year, my husband is playing Griswold, so maybe our house by the time Christmas arrives! LOL!

Involved Parent

November 14th, 2011
11:35 pm

Meckley Family Xmas in Kennesaw puts on a great show!

Britt

November 15th, 2011
12:51 am

Lake Lanier Islands!

Scott

November 15th, 2011
1:02 am

Callaway Gardens by far has the best light show!!

SAWB

November 15th, 2011
1:39 am

Yes, Lake Lanier, Callaway Gardens and even Stone Mountain are all good places to visit.

However, I still think nothing beast just loading up in the car and “driving around town”. While you’re out stop by an old Atlanta hang out like the Varsity, Zestos or the Majestic.

jojo

November 15th, 2011
1:52 am

Lake Lanier Islands

sheree

November 15th, 2011
4:41 am

disappointed in callaway-not there

Ima Glutton

November 15th, 2011
7:58 am

Atlanta Motor Speedway’s, “Gift of Lights.” Over 1,000,000 LED

Santer Clausenheim

November 15th, 2011
8:20 am

Callaway>Lanier

Both are absurdly overpriced.

jb

November 15th, 2011
12:43 pm

Am excited to see what the Botanical Gardens will do this year.

elaine

November 15th, 2011
1:18 pm

When I was growing up in Riverdale (back in the 70’s)there was a couple that loved Christmas and had a display in their front yard that was the better than anything that Calloway or anybody else could put together. They had to have a security guard stand guard over the display because the display had actual furs and feathers on the wings. I wonder what ever happened to that. I miss it.

CJ

November 15th, 2011
1:30 pm

Callaway Gardens – the best!

mary b

November 15th, 2011
1:49 pm

stone mountain

VW

November 15th, 2011
2:03 pm

Calloway is way over our budget! We will surely find something just as nice this year and not so over-priced.

stingembuzz

November 15th, 2011
2:04 pm

Night in Lights at Lake Lanier Islands

Stephen Brown

November 15th, 2011
2:10 pm

The Lighting of Atlantic Station is this Saturday, complete with snow!

marie

November 15th, 2011
2:36 pm

If you go to Callaway during the week, You can get admission to the gardens, admissions to the lights and an overnight at the Inn. The cost is only $99 for 4 people.

Hmmm

November 15th, 2011
2:36 pm

Light of Life……Enjoy cup of Hot Chocolate and a roasted Marshmellow…..Listen to Xmas music as lights twinkle all around

Lar

November 15th, 2011
4:39 pm

@Nathan- I have to agree with you. My all time favorite will always be Christmas in Dixie in Crawfordville. The Bennett family really knew how to celebrate Christmas and spread the joy to everybody that visited. I truely miss this display and wish my kids could see it since they are so young the years that we went.

lh

November 15th, 2011
4:40 pm

elaine – I remember a house in Jonesboro that had a huge display. Front yard, store like displays in the front windows, Santa & sleigh in the backyard, and even a waving Santa at the sliding glass door in the back. This would have been in the 70’s as well. Is that the one you were mean. I don’t remember on in Riverdale. I remember the long line of cars to finally see the house/display.

southern hope

November 15th, 2011
4:44 pm

its about 90 minutes away but my family has always done the Callaway Gardens light show…usually, we’d stay overnight too….but you could easily do it in a day, i suppose. I like it because it’s not too commercialized.

Sue

November 15th, 2011
7:24 pm

Callaway Gardens without a doubt is the best Christmas Light Show anywhere! There are “packages” that make this family outing VERY affordable! I’ve been in the fog (which was a truly magical experience), I’ve been when it was soooo cold I couldn’t feel my fingers and toes, but we all sang along with the Carols and felt really special. I’ve been when the conditions were perfect and drove in a convertible which increases the experience beyond belief! Come on down this year – especially if you’ve never been!

Kelly

November 15th, 2011
8:07 pm

Lighting of the Lodge at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation on Lake Oconee the night before Thanksgiving is awesome!

Jolene

November 16th, 2011
12:58 am

Nancy Grace’s behind.

Martha McDonald

November 16th, 2011
11:36 am

Stone Mountain Park Lights!!!!

Jon

November 16th, 2011
11:52 am

Stone Mountain Park – no doubt! Beautiful lights, holiday laser show, and they aren’t afraid to champion the true meaning of Christmas!

T

November 16th, 2011
12:28 pm

I love Stone Mountains Lights!!!!

Mary Olivia

November 16th, 2011
3:02 pm

We love Stone Mountain! We drive up from Baton Rouge every year…Christmas is our favorite… Just something about it makes you feel the Christmas spirit deep in your soul…

Sid Vicious

November 18th, 2011
11:43 am

The Lights at Life College in Scarietta are really the best for the “east cobb” or “cobb” people in general. Who want’s to waste gas driving to a lake (lanier) with no water and a garden (callaway) that has lights every 50 feet or so on a good year.

Making baby Jesus cry for over 2000 years.

November 18th, 2011
12:20 pm

Doesn’t anyone think it absurd and a total waste of resources to celebrate a holiday hijacked from the Pagans by stringing lights over every tree and structure available?

Carson H

November 18th, 2011
12:38 pm

Fantasy in Lights @ Callaway Gardens. You should make a family adventure out of it and select a resort package that includes meals, tickets to the light show. While there if you are inclined play some golf, too. The Lakeview Course is my personal favorite, challenging greens and not too long. If you haven’t been you are missing a great time.

T

November 18th, 2011
12:47 pm

Stone Mountain Christmas is the best! Great value for what you get!

SAWB

November 18th, 2011
1:52 pm

“Doesn’t anyone think it absurd and a total waste of resources to celebrate a holiday hijacked from the Pagans by stringing lights over every tree and structure available?”

Nope, but if you don’t like it that is one less present I have to buy.

Making baby Jesus cry for over 2000 years.

November 18th, 2011
4:06 pm

Really? You removed my comments?

Greg P

November 18th, 2011
9:17 pm

I agree with Nathan. Christmas In Dixie was wonderful. I think that the spirit of Christmas truly resided there. It had such a ” homey” feeling. The lights at Rock City is the closest I’ve come to that since. It is a great place to walk around and enjoy the feeling of the season.