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Many cities across the country have their own unique holiday celebrations, but even after traveling far and wide, you’d be hard-pressed to find one like Bright Nights at Forest Park in Springfield.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the annual Western Massachusetts lights extravaganza, which is the biggest of its kind in New England and showcases stunning illuminated displays along two-mile trail.
For families, couples and anyone who just enjoys a good show, Bright Nights at Forest Park is a great time.
Here’s what visitors will find on a trip to the enchanted grounds.
Photo: Illuminated trees at Bright Nights
This year, the opening night for Bright Lights will be Wednesday, November 26. There’s a special price for the inaugural evening, with tickets running just $6. From there on out, attendance will cost $18 Monday through Thursday, when the park is open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
On Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays, tickets will cost $21, with the park staying open from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Bright Nights is set to last through January 4 of the New Year, although it will take two off-days on December 1 and 2.
Inside the park, there will be a world to explore. Actually, several! In total, there are more than a dozen different light displays, ranging from the flowery Poinsettia Fantasy to the charming Victorian Village. Seussland, a fitting tribute to one of Springfield’s most famous native sons, is simply not be missed.
Photo: Seussland at Bright Nights
In addition to the displays, there are quite a few activities at Bright Nights. Friday and weekend nights offer wagon and carriage rides, departing every half hour. Santa will also be on the scene, keeping cozy in his cottage, where guests can make their holiday wishes and grab a souvenir or two. To see the full catalog of activities, click here.
Photo: Santa in good spirits outside of his cottage
In terms of visitation, Bright Nights takes place very close to downtown Springfield, so it’s quite accessible. Thanks to its popularity, Bright Nights is also a popular for bus tours, which present another good way to visit.
While Bright Nights is an excellent place to spend a few evenings, it’s one of many events going on in the Greater Springfield area around the holidays. If you decide to stay in town for a whole weekend or longer, Naomi’s Inn is well-suited for overnights, and was recently one of the best B&Bs in Western Mass. You can also peruse more lodging choices here.
What’s one unique holiday festival that you’ve attended? Tell us below in the comments!