Best Neighborhood Christmas Light Displays and Holiday Lights Near DC in Maryland and Northern Virginia

Take a stroll through the Marshall Pond Christmas Village in Burke, VA. Photo courtesy of Kristy Case, from the Marshall Pond Christmas Village Facebook page
Take a stroll through the Marshall Pond Christmas Village in Burke, VA. Photo courtesy of Kristy Case, from the Marshall Pond Christmas Village Facebook page

The DC area is brimming with professional holiday lights drive-thrus and Christmas light displays that dazzle visitors of all ages. But sometimes, there's nothing better than loading the family into the car with hot chocolate, turning on holiday music, and driving around the neighborhood to see Christmas lights on houses. And the best part is, it's free!

Though DC itself offers a treasure trove of gorgeous holiday lights in public places, like Light Yards and Georgetown GLOW, we've found that the best neighborhoods to see Christmas light displays on houses are in the suburbs. Luckily, there are many neighborhoods in Maryland and Northern Virginia that get way into the holiday spirit. Many of them host animated light shows that are synchronized to music played through car radios, so families can stay warm and cozy inside their vehicles.

Here are some of the best neighborhoods in Maryland and Northern Virginia to see over-the-top neighborhood Christmas lights. For more holiday fun, check out our Christmas Activities and Holiday Guide for DC Kids.


Crofton Christmas in Maryland
Six houses join together to create Crofton Christmas. Photo courtesy of Crofton Christmas, Facebook

Best Neighborhood Christmas Lights in Maryland

1. Crofton Christmas — Crofton

Six houses on Urby Drive go all-out with Christmas decorations. Even the sidewalk is lined with Christmas lights! Young kids will especially love the giant inflatable Rudolph and Clarice and the inflatable snowmen, Santas, penguins, and more. There's a scavenger hunt, a bake sale, and hot cocoa on select dates. 

2. Bel Air

It's worth a drive to this Baltimore suburb to see the Cedar Lane Holiday Light Show at 1111 Cedar Lane. The dazzling show includes two 22-foot mega trees, fountains, fog, and lights that are synchronized to holiday music that visitors can listen to from their cars on 107.9 FM. The show runs Thursdays through Saturdays from 5:30-10pm.

RELATED: Free Holiday and Christmas Events in DC for Kids

Miracle on 34th Street in Baltimore
Families have been flocking to Miracle on 34th Street for 75 years. Photo courtesy of Miracle on 34th Street, Facebook

3. Miracle on 34th Street — Baltimore

OK, this one's not technically in the suburbs, but we couldn't not include it in this list. Since 1947, the 700 block of 34th Street in Baltimore's Hampden neighborhood has put up over-the-top Christmas lights and decorations, with every house on the block participating. Visiting the street has become a holiday tradition for many families, who flock to see the musical trains, inflatable snow globes, Disney-themed displays, and more. Food and drinks are available for purchase, and kids can take pictures with Santa. The lights stay on through New Year's Day.

4. Ellicott City

Every night from December 8-31, 2023 (6-10pm), 4802 Red Hill Way puts on Ellicott City Lights, an extravagant holiday light display synced to music. Arrows on the street corner saying "This Way Santa" point families in the right direction. Look for fun touches such as light-up Baltimore Ravens and Orioles signs.

About 10 minutes away, catch the Riverside Lights display at 9716 Riverside Circle. It features roughly 50,000 lights set to music played through 96.1 FM. The display is on from December 7, 2023 - January 7, 2024 from 5-10pm.

And if your kid loves inflatables, it's worth driving another 10 minutes to Inflat-a-Palooza at 3502 North Chatham Road. Through January 7, 2024, you'll find inflatables as far as the eye can see, viewable from 5-10pm.

RELATED: Pictures with Santa Claus in DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia

Mamulaville in Severn, Maryland
Kids will delight in the huge number of inflatables at Mamulaville. Photo courtesy of Mamulaville, Facebook

5. Severn

Mamulaville, a Christmas lights display at 1545 Ringe Drive in this Baltimore suburb, includes more than 70 inflatables, lots of light-up arches, and 1,900 feet of lights. Catch it from 5-11pm through January 1, 2024.

About a 10-minute drive from Mamulaville is the Lights at Elmhurst light show at 7881 Walnut Grove Road, which synchronizes thousands of lights to music played through 88.3 FM. Three playlists lasting 30 minutes alternate nightly. Hours are 5-9pm on weeknights and 5-10pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

Also nearby is the Quarterfield Lights display at 8126 Quarterfield Farms Drive, a portion of which is synchronized to music from 5-9:30pm through January 2, 2024. Families can view the display from inside or outside their vehicles, and kids can send letters to Santa through the special mailbox.

6. Kentlands Christmas — Gaithersburg

Each year the homeowners at 202 Little Quarry Road also put together a dazzling Christmas light show set to music, complete with a "talking" animatronic tree. Many of the songs in the show are from popular Christmas movies. The show has been featured on local news stations several times, so it's worth a visit. It runs nightly from 6-9:30pm through December 31, 2023.

RELATED: Must-Do Christmas Events and Holiday Activities in DC for Kids

Farmer's Christmas House in Alexandria
Just try to find an inch of the Farmer's Christmas House that's not decorated—we dare you! Photo courtesy of the author

Best Neighborhood Christmas Lights in Northern Virginia

7. Farmer's Christmas House — Alexandria

Nearly every inch of this house at 2507 Fairview Drive—including the roof and the driveway—is covered with Christmas lights, inflatables, light-up sculptures, and more. Visitors can get out of their cars and walk through the displays in the front yard and on the porch, where kids will be thrilled to find a bevy of Disney, Star Wars, and other characters. Opening night is planned for December 16, 2023 and the lights are on only certain nights (until 10pm on weekdays and 11pm on weekends), so check the Facebook page before you go.

8. Herndon

Two houses on Brass Harness Court team up to present the Flintwood Holiday Lights, a light show that's coordinated with Christmas music that families can listen to through their car speakers at 96.1 FM. Or, you can park half a block away at Flintwood Middle School and walk to the display. Several nearby houses are done up, too. The show runs through January 7, 2024 until 9pm on weeknights and 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

You can also head to the Fox Mill neighborhood, where the houses are trying to outdo each other to win the neighborhood decorating contest. Be sure to hit up Viking Drive! And at 12708 Kettering Drive, you'll find a working model train, a dancing snowman and Santa, and more that will dazzle kids.

9. Arlington

The house at 1620 S. Quincy Street offers interactive holiday fun. Families can take photos on the sled in the driveway and mail a letter to Santa (include your return address for a postcard reply). Decorations include a four-story-tall star, a peeing reindeer, and tons of Christmas lights. It's on from 5:30-11pm through New Year's Day.

Then, drive two minutes to local neighborhood favorite 1813 S. Oakland Street, which features a two-story tree wrapped in lights, plenty of lighted holiday figures, and free candy canes for kids. Music plays on weekends. Catch the display from dusk through 11pm until January 6, 2024.

Elsewhere in Arlington, blinking lights cover nearly every square inch of the house and yard at 523 S. Harrison Street, with animated wire frames on the roof and ground. When you get to S. Harrison Street, turn left at the circle and view the display from the bottom of the circle. Be sure to tune your radio to 98.1 FM. The lights are on from 5-10pm through January 1, 2024.

RELATED: The Nutcracker Ballet and Other Holiday Shows for Kids in DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia

Old Town Alexandria Christmas lights
Head to Old Town Alexandria for postcard-worthy Christmas scenes. Photo by Chris Bridner, courtesy of Visit Alexandria

10. Old Town Alexandria

Want to feel like you're in a Hallmark Christmas movie? Head to Old Town Alexandria, where the trees lining historic King Street are covered with lights and the storefronts are decked out to the nines. Then, stroll along the red-brick sidewalks of the residential side streets, including S. Fairfax Street and Lee Street, to see the charming decorations on homes. Be sure to stop by the historic Carlyle House to see its dancing white lights and glowing garden oasis. You can also see the giant holiday trees at Triangle Park at the corner of King and Fayette streets and at Market Square at 301 King Street.

11. Burke

An entire pipe stem off Marshall Pond Road teams up to create the Marshall Pond Christmas Village. Nearly every house is covered with lights, inflatables, Christmas sculptures, and more. Families can park outside the pipe stem and walk through for an up-close look at the lights and decorations from dusk until 10pm through January 1, 2024. They are truly a sight to behold.

About a seven-minute drive from Marshall Pond is the fantastic animated light show at 6410 Glenbard Road, set to music played through 88.3 FM. The display includes lots of dinosaurs (including a baby dino paddock), a pirate Santa, Baby Yoda, and more. Catch the show from 5-9pm (10pm on Fridays and Saturdays) through January 5, 2024.

Drive another seven minutes or so to 9013 Parliament Drive, Burke's version of the Griswold house from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. The roof is completely covered with Christmas lights, there are homemade wooden decorations (including the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who), and kids will love walking through the multicolored archway that spans the sidewalk. It's on through January 2, 2024 from dusk until 11:30pm.

And if your family loves the movie Elf, you can't miss the small Elf display at 9615 Ashbourn Drive. Start on the streets of NYC to view the Gimbels windows full of small toys. Then journey through the Lincoln tunnel, the sea of swirly twirly gumdrops, and the seven levels of the candy cane forest to the North Pole to visit Buddy and Santa. The display is on from 5-11pm.

12. Annandale

Tune your car radio to 88.1 FM to enjoy the spectacular light show at 3912 Lincolnshire Street. The house is covered with dazzling Christmas lights that blink and change colors along to the music. As a bonus, most of the neighbors' houses on the street are lit up as well. Catch the display from 4:45pm until around 10pm through New Year's Day.

To watch a second light show, drive less than 10 minutes to 8505 Forest Street and change the radio to 101.5 FM. The lights that cover the house, the archways along the driveway, and the trees change colors as they "dance" along to a kid-friendly holiday playlist. The show lasts about 35 minutes and runs all the way through January 15, 2024 from dusk until 10:30pm.

RELATED: Breakfast with Santa in DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia

You never know when Santa will drop by the Ni Family Lights show. Photo courtesy of Ni Family Lights, Facebook

13. Vienna

Head to 2528 Drexel Street to enjoy Ni Family Lights, a roughly 15-minute animated light show featuring a giant tree with pixelated cartoons that dance along to the music. Tune your radio to 90.3 FM to hear the music from your car, or get out and listen through the speakers in front of the house. The changing playlist includes some Christmas music, but kids will especially delight in the songs from popular movies like The Little Mermaid. The show runs nightly from 5-9:30pm (10pm on Fridays and Saturdays) through December 31, 2023.

About seven minutes away at 602 Birch Street SW, you'll find Paradise Family Lights, one of the most unique home Christmas light shows. Rather than traditional Christmas lights, the show includes full projections of holiday scenes and Christmas movies on the front of the house, all set to music that plays through 89.7 FM. It's super cool, but the street is very narrow, so you may have to be patient and wait your turn to get close to the show. It runs 5:30-9pm (9:30pm on weekends) through New Year's Day.

Also nearby is 10203 Lawyers Road, where kids will love the mini zoo of lighted animal figures, the animated dinosaurs, the waterfall scene with light-up sea creatures, and more. Families can slowly drive or walk through the semi-circle driveway to get a closer look at the decorations. If you prefer to walk, park on Galloping Way and cross Lawyers Road. The lights are on through January 6, 2024 from 5-11:30pm.

14. Centreville

Tune your car radio to 105.7 FM to enjoy the fantastic animated light show of the Ritter Family Christmas at 5700 Claret Place. It features many vintage blow-molds and lighted figures, a realistic Santa film in the side window, a homemade two-story lighted tree, and tons of animation. View it from 4:30-11:30pm through January 6, 2024.

Less than 10 minutes away is a small but very elegant, all-white light show at 15167 Wetherburn Drive. Two different 10-minute light shows run every half hour, set to music you can play through 88.7 FM. See it through January 6, 2024 from 5:30-9:30pm.

Places featured in this article: