Take Your Best Shot: Holiday Lights

We asked the Travel Channel community to share their best shots of holiday lights. Here are our favorites.

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Mayor's Annual Christmas Parade (Baltimore)
Mayor's Annual Christmas Parade (Baltimore)

Mayor's Annual Christmas Parade (Baltimore)

The Grinch that stole Christmas makes his appearance at the Mayor's Annual Christmas Parade in a city rich in Christmas traditions, Baltimore. The 2.5-mile-long parade route also features the Baltimore Marching Ravens band, Harley Davidson motorcycles and Santa’s dancing elf girls.  960 1280

ktylerconk, flckr  

Christmas Boat Parade (Newport Beach)

Christmas Boat Parade (Newport Beach)

Billed as “Newport Beach’s Christmas card to the world,” the 105th annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade in Newport Beach, CA, features decorated yachts, boats, kayaks and canoes. The boats travel along the harbor for 5 nights in December to welcome in the holiday season.  960 1280

fortherock, flickr  

A Christmas Fantasy Parade (Disneyland)

A Christmas Fantasy Parade (Disneyland)

Goofy decorates a gingerbread house on a float in Disneyland's "A Christmas Fantasy Parade." The parade in Anaheim, CA, is an annual Disney tradition, traveling down Main Street, U.S.A., with 7 parade units on display.  960 1280

Harshlight, flickr  

Children's Christmas Parade (Atlanta)

Children's Christmas Parade (Atlanta)

The Grinch balloon makes his way down Atlanta's streets as part of the Children's Christmas Parade. The parade, now more than 30 years strong, benefits Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Held the first Saturday in December, the parade typically draws crowds in excess of 500,000, making it the largest holiday parade in the Southeast. 960 1280

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta   

Reston Holiday Parade (Virginia)

Reston Holiday Parade (Virginia)

Everyone’s always talking about Santa, but what about the missus? The 23rd annual Reston Holiday Parade sees Mrs. Claus make the rounds in a horse-drawn carriage. This year's parade in northern Virginia has a "Destination: Reston" theme, featuring balloons, costumes and floats all inspired by various modes of transportation -- start walking!  960 1280

Jim Kirby  

Target Holidazzle (Minneapolis)

Target Holidazzle (Minneapolis)

Held in Andrew Zimmern’s hometown of Minneapolis, the Target Holidazzle parade features a hi-tech show with colorful special-effects. A fixture of downtown Minneapolis’ shopping district, Nicollet Mall, the parade has been an annual tradition since 1992, drawing crowds upwards of 300,000 people. 960 1280

Richard Westley Wong  

Sparks Hometowne Christmas (Nevada)

Sparks Hometowne Christmas (Nevada)

Any parade that’s 150 years old had to make our list. Sparks Hometowne Christmas in Sparks, NV, kicks off with a ceremonial tree lighting, carollers and some pretty rocking entertainment -- ever seen dancing horses? And since you’re in the Silver State, it’s just a 6-hour drive to Las Vegas for a Christmas Miracle, Vegas-style. 960 1280

Kevin Sawyer  

Holiday Boat Parade (Honolulu)

Holiday Boat Parade (Honolulu)

Christmas season just got a little more magical with the “Festival of Lights” Christmas Boat Parade in happening Honolulu. For nearly 20 years, this annual parade has showcased boats decked out with lights as they glide down the Hawaii Kai Marina waterway. Arrive early to see Hawaii’s own liberty belles. 960 1280

Brad Goda Photography  

Winter in Venice, Vegas Style

Winter in Venice, Vegas Style

Enjoy a Venice winter -- in Vegas. The third-annual Winter in Venice celebration will showcase an outdoor skating rink, a 3-D light projection show, 2 Italian-inspired food festivals and a fantasy scene in The Palazzo Waterfall Atrium and Gardens -- think lots of crystal ice ponds, a 20-foot frosted birch … and plenty of wow.    960 1280

The Venetian  

Hollywood Christmas Parade

Hollywood Christmas Parade

An annual tradition for more than 80 years, the Hollywood Christmas Parade takes place on the Sunday after Thanksgiving in iconic Hollywood. The parade stretches 3.5 miles, along famed Hollywood Boulevard; this year’s Grand Marshal is astronaut Buzz Aldrin.    960 1280

Reuters  

Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade (Orlando)

Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade (Orlando)

Christmas in Orlando kicks off with the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade. Disney’s entourage of stars, from Mickey and Minnie, to Donald Duck and Scrooge McDuck, parade down Main Street, U.S.A. Celebrity appearances in 2013 include Demi Lovato and Mary J. Blige, at the Magic Kingdom Park. 960 1280

Disney  

Photos

PNC Festival of Lights at Cincinnati Zoo

PNC Festival of Lights at Cincinnati Zoo

Strolling entertainment awaits visitors to Cincinnati Zoo's Festival of Lights, who will also be privy to a "Wild Lights" show at Swan Lake and a black-light puppet show. It's possible to see the lights from aboard the North Polar Express Train, and pay a visit with Santa -- and Mrs. Claus. 960 1280

  

Wildlights at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Wildlights at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

More than 3 million lights spread holiday cheer to adults and children at the Wildlights celebration. Kids can decorate cookies with Mrs. Claus and get photos with Santa; it's even possible to take a camel ride or whirl around an ice skating rink. 960 1280

Grahm S. Jones  

Zoo Lights 2015 at Denver Zoo

Zoo Lights 2015 at Denver Zoo

The Denver Zoo's holiday light safari leads visitors through 38 acres of dazzling light displays, including more than 150 animal sculptures that leap across lawns, dangle from trees and appear in the most unexpected places. You'll even hear holiday songs from children's and handbell choirs. 960 1280

  

Zoo Lights at Utah's Hogle Zoo

Zoo Lights at Utah's Hogle Zoo

You'll feel festive amidst the 250 illuminated sculptures and displays at Utah's Hogle Zoo. Walk through the 135-foot twinkling tunnel while wearing hologram glasses before riding the carousel or telling Santa what you'd like for Christmas at Santa Station -- with real, live reindeer. 960 1280

  

Lights Before Christmas at Toledo Zoo

Lights Before Christmas at Toledo Zoo

Millions of lights deck the halls -- and trees and lawns -- at the Toledo Zoo, included a dancing lights display near Cheetah Valley. The celebration is marked by carolers, live reindeer, and a glowing ice slide, as well as a buffet-style Festive Feast in The Lodge. 960 1280

  

Houston Zoo Lights

Houston Zoo Lights

Millions of holiday lights are draped in displays throughout the Houston Zoo, and visitors can experience the world from inside a life-size snow globe or stroll through the illuminated African Forest past enormous glowing ornaments. Carolers sing nightly at the Reflecting Pool stage. 960 1280

  

Los Angeles Zoo Lights

Los Angeles Zoo Lights

Those aren't the flashes of LA's paparazzi cameras -- its simply LA's Zoo Lights, designed by Bionic League, who have created light shows for Daft Punk and Kanye West (only in LA, right?). The park fills with LED-sculptures and lasers that visitors can see on a 90-minute self-guided tour. 960 1280

  

SunTrust Zoo Lights at Memphis Zoo

SunTrust Zoo Lights at Memphis Zoo

There's guaranteed to be "snow" at the Memphis Zoo's holiday display; folks looking to see the white stuff can visit Snow Alley, or take a stroll past twinkling light displays to meet Santa in his shop, and even get a peek at his helpful reindeer friends. There's even a Zoo on Ice performance. 960 1280

DONNY_GRANGER  

ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo

ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo

More than 2 million lights dazzle ZooLights visitors at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo, and the zoo has made the event an extravaganza beyond the twinkling lumens. Visitors can take a spin around the park's ice skating rink, snap photos with Santa, and watch "arctic artists" carve ice sculptures. 960 1280

Todd Rosenberg  

ZooLights at Oregon Zoo

ZooLights at Oregon Zoo

Ride through the Oregon Zoo in twinkling style aboard the ZooLights train, past more than a million sparkling lights. You'll see tunnels of light near the African Rainforest and can warm up with hot chocolate and the zoo's signature elephant ear treats from vendors along the ZooLights path. 960 1280

  

Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

Zoolights at Point Defiance bedazzle the Pacific Northwest with more than 500,000 LED lights and animal-themed displays, including a 3-D light display of an entire polar bear family. Visitors can take spin on the zoo'z antique carousel and see scuba diving Santa at the aquarium. 960 1280

  

ZooLights at National Zoo

ZooLights at National Zoo

Visitors to the National Zoo will feel the electrified as more than 500,000 environmentally friendly LED lights fill the park with a sparkly glow. You can warm up with hot chocolate or watch the nightly live performances, while little ones can take a spin on 150-foot-long "snow tubing" tracks. 960 1280

JAMES D JENKINS  

Jungle Bells at San Diego Zoo

Jungle Bells at San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo transforms into a Winter Wonderland, and you can admire the lighted animal sculptures while riding the Twinkle Light Trolley through the zoo. You'll hear Dr. Zoolittle's version of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," hear carolers  sing and gape at Toy Shop Hop acrobats. 960 1280

Photo: Ken Bohn  

ZooLights at Phoenix Zoo

ZooLights at Phoenix Zoo

Feel the glow at the Phoenix Zoo's celebration of nearly 4 million lights, where in addition to the glowing displays, visitors can also experience The Polar Express in 4-D, with special effects like snow and fog. Ice sculptors carve a 300-lb. block of ice and the zoo even has camel and wagon rides. 960 1280

  

Wild Lights at St. Louis Zoo

Wild Lights at St. Louis Zoo

The St. Louis Zoo comes to life after dark with animated Wild Lights displays like the Arctic Wonderland, Swan Lake and fantasy butterfly garden illuminating the property. Storytellers like Tundra Tom spin tales around a fire as visitors stay warming sipping hot cocoa. 960 1280

  

Mayor's Annual Christmas Parade (Baltimore)

Mayor's Annual Christmas Parade (Baltimore)

The Grinch that stole Christmas makes his appearance at the Mayor's Annual Christmas Parade in a city rich in Christmas traditions, Baltimore. The 2.5-mile-long parade route also features the Baltimore Marching Ravens band, Harley Davidson motorcycles and Santa’s dancing elf girls.  960 1280

ktylerconk, flckr  

Christmas Boat Parade (Newport Beach)

Christmas Boat Parade (Newport Beach)

Billed as “Newport Beach’s Christmas card to the world,” the 105th annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade in Newport Beach, CA, features decorated yachts, boats, kayaks and canoes. The boats travel along the harbor for 5 nights in December to welcome in the holiday season.  960 1280

fortherock, flickr  

A Christmas Fantasy Parade (Disneyland)

A Christmas Fantasy Parade (Disneyland)

Goofy decorates a gingerbread house on a float in Disneyland's "A Christmas Fantasy Parade." The parade in Anaheim, CA, is an annual Disney tradition, traveling down Main Street, U.S.A., with 7 parade units on display.  960 1280

Harshlight, flickr  

Children's Christmas Parade (Atlanta)

Children's Christmas Parade (Atlanta)

The Grinch balloon makes his way down Atlanta's streets as part of the Children's Christmas Parade. The parade, now more than 30 years strong, benefits Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Held the first Saturday in December, the parade typically draws crowds in excess of 500,000, making it the largest holiday parade in the Southeast. 960 1280

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta   

Reston Holiday Parade (Virginia)

Reston Holiday Parade (Virginia)

Everyone’s always talking about Santa, but what about the missus? The 23rd annual Reston Holiday Parade sees Mrs. Claus make the rounds in a horse-drawn carriage. This year's parade in northern Virginia has a "Destination: Reston" theme, featuring balloons, costumes and floats all inspired by various modes of transportation -- start walking!  960 1280

Jim Kirby  

Target Holidazzle (Minneapolis)

Target Holidazzle (Minneapolis)

Held in Andrew Zimmern’s hometown of Minneapolis, the Target Holidazzle parade features a hi-tech show with colorful special-effects. A fixture of downtown Minneapolis’ shopping district, Nicollet Mall, the parade has been an annual tradition since 1992, drawing crowds upwards of 300,000 people. 960 1280

Richard Westley Wong  

Sparks Hometowne Christmas (Nevada)

Sparks Hometowne Christmas (Nevada)

Any parade that’s 150 years old had to make our list. Sparks Hometowne Christmas in Sparks, NV, kicks off with a ceremonial tree lighting, carollers and some pretty rocking entertainment -- ever seen dancing horses? And since you’re in the Silver State, it’s just a 6-hour drive to Las Vegas for a Christmas Miracle, Vegas-style. 960 1280

Kevin Sawyer  

Holiday Boat Parade (Honolulu)

Holiday Boat Parade (Honolulu)

Christmas season just got a little more magical with the “Festival of Lights” Christmas Boat Parade in happening Honolulu. For nearly 20 years, this annual parade has showcased boats decked out with lights as they glide down the Hawaii Kai Marina waterway. Arrive early to see Hawaii’s own liberty belles. 960 1280

Brad Goda Photography  

Winter in Venice, Vegas Style

Winter in Venice, Vegas Style

Enjoy a Venice winter -- in Vegas. The third-annual Winter in Venice celebration will showcase an outdoor skating rink, a 3-D light projection show, 2 Italian-inspired food festivals and a fantasy scene in The Palazzo Waterfall Atrium and Gardens -- think lots of crystal ice ponds, a 20-foot frosted birch … and plenty of wow.    960 1280

The Venetian  

Hollywood Christmas Parade

Hollywood Christmas Parade

An annual tradition for more than 80 years, the Hollywood Christmas Parade takes place on the Sunday after Thanksgiving in iconic Hollywood. The parade stretches 3.5 miles, along famed Hollywood Boulevard; this year’s Grand Marshal is astronaut Buzz Aldrin.    960 1280

Reuters  

Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade (Orlando)

Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade (Orlando)

Christmas in Orlando kicks off with the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade. Disney’s entourage of stars, from Mickey and Minnie, to Donald Duck and Scrooge McDuck, parade down Main Street, U.S.A. Celebrity appearances in 2013 include Demi Lovato and Mary J. Blige, at the Magic Kingdom Park. 960 1280

Disney  

10 Photos
Santa Comes to Town

Santa Comes to Town

Every year the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade ends with Santa coming to a stop in front of the department store on 6th Ave, marking the beginning of the Christmas season in the Big Apple. Come explore some of the timeless traditions of Christmas in New York City. 960 1280

Eric Liebowitz / NBC / NBC NewsWire / Getty Images  

Wollman Rink in Central Park

Wollman Rink in Central Park

Make the best of New York City's cold weather and enjoy ice skating at Wollman Rink in Central Park (on the east side between 62nd and 63rd Streets). 960 1280

Miguel Sanz / Moment Open / Getty Images  

Empire State Building

Empire State Building

At the center of the iconic NYC skyline sits the Empire State Building. During the months of November and December, the top of the building is lit up with red and green lights to celebrate christmas. The first lighting each year coincides with the opening night for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. 960 1280

Stuart Monk / iStock / Getty Images Plus  

The Rockettes

The Rockettes

Speaking of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, don’t miss out on seeing the Rockettes’ show-stopping leg kick precision chorus line 5 days a week during the holidays at Radio City Music Hall.

 

960 1280

Mike Pont / WireImage / Getty Images  

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Started in 1933, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree has become a timeless tradition for New Yorkers and tourists alike. The tree is on average between 69 and 100 feet tall, and its lighting ceremony is accompanied with a live broadcast in early December. 960 1280

Rob Young from United Kingdom (Christmas @ Rockefeller Plaza) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

5th Avenue Holiday Window Displays

5th Avenue Holiday Window Displays

Shopping in NYC during the holidays can be a nightmare due to the tourist-packed streets. But there is definitely a redeeming quality to making the trek into the crowds: holiday window displays! Every year in mid-November, the biggest department stores in New York City create one-of-a-kind presentations of holiday-cheer in their exterior windows, usually with an original theme or throw-back to years past. (Shown here: one of Macy's Herald Square 2014 holiday window displays). 960 1280

Ben Hider / Getty Images  

Gigantic Holiday Cheer

Gigantic Holiday Cheer

Giant ornaments are displayed annually during the holidays at different locations in NYC, including Rockefeller Center (across the street from Radio City Music Hall) on 6th Avenue. 960 1280

Roff Bruderer / Blend Images / Getty Images  

Union Square Holiday Market

Union Square Holiday Market

Open yearly from mid-November to Christmas Eve, the Union Square Holiday Market is the perfect place to get unique handmade gifts for everyone on your list. 960 1280
Sledding in the City

Sledding in the City

If weather trends stay on course for New York City, you'll want to prepare yourself for some major snow this holiday season. Take advantage of the wintery weather and join the fun at any of the dozen local parks for some sledding! Prospect Park in Brooklyn (pictured here) or Central Park in Manhattan are classic locations to enjoy some slip-sliding fun. 960 1280

Spencer Platt / Getty Images  

Dyker Heights Holiday Lights

Dyker Heights Holiday Lights

For a look at what happens in the boroughs during the holidays, take a trip to Dyker Heights in Brooklyn and tour their annual holiday decorations. The residents won’t label it a competition, but it’s hard not to see it that way when each new year brings bigger and brighter displays. 960 1280

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