The Triangle’s Best Residential Holiday Light Displays

Discover the magic of the season at these stunning neighborhood light extravaganzas
Pexels Tim Mossholder 383646
Enjoy thousands of holiday lights throughout the Triangle. (©Tim Mossholder/Pexels)

Whether you’re looking to stay in the neighborhood or want to scout out the surrounding areas, the Triangle has no shortage of holiday cheer, with residents getting into the spirit for decades. Gather the family together, get in the car and discover the dazzle.


Piper Lights started its holiday tradition 30 years ago with a tiny manger scene; today, it has 7 acres of lights in a free drive-through display. In 2016, the spectacular won ABC’s “Great Christmas Light Fight.” Crowds can be heavy, so be prepared. Open through Jan 1, Sun.-Thu., 5:30-9 pm; Fri.-Sat., until 10 pm. 5725 Fixit Shop Road, Wake Forest.

Also in Wake Forest, Houston Family Lights celebrates the holidays with lights synchronized to music. Open nightly from 6-10 pm. 9021 New Century Road, Wake Forest.

And Lights on Cedar is Wake Forest’s neighborhood lights show, with lights and inflatables going down West Cedar Avenue for two blocks. Open Dec. 3-31; Sun.-Thu., 5-10 pm; Fri.-Sat., until 11 pm. Santa visits on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 19 from 6-8 pm. Point your GPS to 206 E. Cedar Avenue, Wake Forest.

Happyland Christmas Lights is another “Great Christmas Light Fight” winner, and has been lighting up holiday nights for more than 25 years. They’re a tribute to Ron Moore, whose family says on its Facebook page he always wanted to put up “more lights.” 5504 Huntingwood Drive, Raleigh.

Rogers Family Christmas Lights is a show set up by the Rogers’ in memory of their son Caden, who passed away from Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). The synchronized light show (on 93.5 FM) is free, but the family accepts donations for CureSMA. Open through Dec 31; each week has a new playlist. Sun.-Thu., 5:30-9:30 pm; Fri.-Sat., until 10:30 pm. 700 Bay Bouquet Lane, Apex.

Also in Apex, the Guerra family’s Christmas Lights on Holt Rd. draws larger crowds every year—as the display, in tandem, gets more colorful and more spectacular. It’s so popular, in fact, that the Apex Police Department helps to direct traffic. It’s not open every night, so get schedule information and all the details on its Facebook page. It also helps raise money for Paw Prints Animal Rescue and Saving Grace NC.

The entire town of Wendell gets into the holiday spirit with the Wendell Wonderland and Lake Myra Christmas Light display. The drive-in style display was created by Wendell’s Williams family and features more than 400,00 synchronized lights and runs between 30-45 minutes. You can also walk up to some of the displays, and dogs on leash are welcome. Donations are accepted. Through December 31, 10 S. Cypress St., Wendell.

Wendell’s Wonderland festival takes place on December 3; enjoy trolley rides through town, a visit from Santa Claus, Wendell’s tree lighting, food trucks and a craft market.

Head to Cary for Gebhardt Family Lights, a light show done entirely in RGB pixels—you won’t want to miss the singing light bulbs! Open Fri.-Sat. from 5:30-11 pm and Mon. from 5:30-10 pm; stay tuned to its Facebook page for updates. 1033 Horton’s Creek Road, Cary.

Goldman Family Lights returns with 450,000 synchronized LED lights (tune your radio to 90.9 WGFL); the display includes classic ‘70s blow molds, a herd of deer, 12 wired mini trees and inflatables such as the popular Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. The highlight of the display is the “Support Our Troops” sign. Open Sun.-Thu., 5-10 pm; Fri.-Sat. until 11 pm. 6331 Deerview Drive, Raleigh.

Lights on the Meadow has more than 40 inflatables and a synchronized music show on 88.3 FM. Open Sun.-Thu., 6-9 pm; Fri.-Sat. until 10 pm. 9301 Hay Meadow Court, Raleigh.