We’re officially in the thick of the holiday season, and if you're like us, you can't get enough of those Christmas lights! We recently visited Skylands Stadium Christmas Light Show in Augusta and have what you need to know about this drive-through light display.
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Photo by the author.
There are two main attractions at the Skylands Stadium Christmas Light Show: the drive-through light show and the indoor Christmas Village. The light show costs $20 per car Fridays through Sundays and $17 Mondays through Thursdays. Entrance to the Village is free, and you can visit it without driving through the light show should you wish.
When it comes to the light show, we can attest that the organizers certainly didn’t skimp on the number of displays. Although there’s nothing especially unique about the structures—expect to see lots of snowmen, penguins and Santas—it’s an easy and fun (and warm) way to get in a heavy-duty fix of holiday lights. The sheer number lights (said to be more than 2 million) is really impressive, and my 5- and 10-year-old sons loved pointing out each one. Some of the displays even “move,” so it looks like those reindeer are parachuting off the edge of the mountain.
The finale includes a drive through a “tunnel” of lights; it’s definitely the coolest part of the show and not something you’ll see at any house display.
Drivers are instructed to tune their radios to 102.3. Unlike some other displays in New Jersey, the lights aren’t synchronized to music.
Give yourself plenty of time to see the show. We arrived soon after it opened for the evening and crept through the mile-long show in about 15 minutes. When we left Christmas Village an hour later, the line was massive and cars were bumper-to-bumper in the display’s curvy lanes. (Crowds aren’t necessarily a bad thing in this case; it just gives you more time to see all of the displays without feeling rushed.) One note: You are not allowed to get out of your car during the show.
The Christmas Village, located directly next to the light display, features about a dozen vendors selling everything from jewelry to drones. With the exception of the food, very little here is homemade or handcrafted. (Check out these holiday markets if that’s what you’re looking for.)
Photos with Santa are available for $10. If you’ve already done a visit with the Big Guy, there are ample other holiday photo opportunities, including inside a sleigh, in front of several holiday-themed backdrops, and with Rudolf and Frosty. Employees dressed as elves will gladly take family photos using your camera. There are also a series of dance and caroling performances scheduled.
With the exception of taking your own photos and watching the entertainment, just about everything else inside the village carries a fee. Kids can make holiday decorations, gingerbread houses, or mine for gems if you’re willing to shell out a few more dollars.
Food was very reasonably priced and included both sweet treats and kid-friendly dinner fare like chicken fingers and mac and cheese. There are also two carnival-type games for $2 a try in the food area.
Although the Christmas Village will close on December 23, the light display won't light its last show until January 1. Tickets can be purchased at the gate (cash only) or in advance from Walgreens or at the box office. (You can save $3 purchasing them in advance.) Tickets cannot be purchased online.
Top image: Light tunnel. Unless otherwise noted, photo courtesy of Skylands Stadium.