Every year, we go to a drive through Christmas lights event at one of the local parks. When I lived in Austin, TX long ago… we used to go to similar events, but they were walk through. I loved getting bundled up, having hot chocolate or coffee, and walking the lights. I’ve been searching for something similar here in Maryland. Yes, there’s something to be said for being nice and toasty in your car, but I just love being outside for these events for some reason.
So, we’ve been checking out some new Christmas lights events in the area (Central Maryland)…
Last year, we went to The Garden of Lights at Brookside Gardens. This place was great. In fact, now that I’m remembering about it, we will probably do it again this year. There are tons of lights, and there is a great train display set up inside. You can purchase hot chocolate, and the lights were so fun to see.
This year, we FINALLY got to go to the S’mores and Lights at Seneca Creek State Park. For the last couple of years I’ve missed the deadline for signing up. It is held on only one night, and registration is in the beginning of October.
By the time I got around to even thinking about Christmas lights, the 500 tickets were long gone and the event was sold out.
This year however, I was prepared. I marked the registration date on my calendar last winter. That’s right! So, when the date rolled around this time, I woke up nice and early (5:30 am) and was ready for the 6 am registration opening!
My preparedness paid off, and we were able to purchase the first tickets. And yes, I was the only crazy person up at that hour ensuring our spot at this event. Not a single ticket was sold after the ones I’d purchased, until closer to the 8/9 am hour. I think I really should get a prize or something for being the first to purchase tickets! LOL!
Anyways, the event was amazing and we’ll be going back next year!
This event happens to be at the same location as the drive through lights that we attend every year. The park isn’t yet open to the public outside of a few special events, however. They do these events the week before and leading up to Thanksgiving.
S’mores and Lights was awesome!
1. Trolley Ride: They have wagons set up and we all get to go for a trolley ride through the lights. They provide blankets and music as we drive through all bundled up! My only complaint here was that we were facing backwards so it was hard to see. Next year, we plan to grab one of the wagons that has everyone sitting sideways instead.
2. Santa: Caroline didn’t care to do this, but you can take your kids inside to meet Santa.
3. Hot Chocolate: Free hot chocolate was provided, and they even planned well and had cooler hot chocolates for the little kids.
4. Live Music: Inside with Santa and the hot chocolate, you could stay warm and listen to Christmas Carols sung by a live band.
5. S’MORES: This was the highlight of the event. You get to grab a bag with your personal s’more kit. They have fire pits burning and everything all set up. We got to roast our own s’mores out at the campfires. So much fun!
6. Donations: They also had a donation collection area for new books, toys etc. We took the opportunity to donate some new books.
This event was so much fun! We got there right as the event opened. This paid off big time because there were no lines for the trolleys, or the fires. It worked out perfectly. Caroline loved the lights and, eventually, she was brave enough to roast a marshmallow on her own. She hated how sticky the marshmallow was, so she settled on just eating chunks of chocolate, while Daddy and I devoured the s’mores!
This is an event that we’ll be doing again. We all loved it, and it definitely got us in the holiday spirit!