The 10 Best Dog-Friendly Holiday Light Shows of 2021—Plus More Events Near You

By: Kristen ArendtUpdated:

Let it Shine Light Show

The 10 Best Dog-Friendly Holiday Light Shows of 2021—Plus More Events Near You

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas—at least when it comes to twinkling holiday lights! All across the country, parks, neighborhoods and other public places are installing spectacular holiday light shows where you can stroll or drive through an illuminated winter wonderland.

Because they’re usually held outside and often include Christmas light drive-thru options, holiday light shows are a perfect seasonal treat to enjoy with your dog by your side. This memorably bright night with your furry companion might just become your new favorite holiday tradition.

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Before You Go

As you plan your trip to a holiday light show, keep your pet’s safety in mind. The Center for Pet Safety recommends buckling your pet into the car in a crash-tested safety harness, and avoiding long tethers or zipline-style products, which can cause injury if your pet gets tangled in them. It’s also a bad idea to let your pet hang their head out of an open window, the group advises, because of the risk of injury to your pet’s eyes from debris in the air. And be aware that for most of the Christmas light drive-thru events, you and your pet must remain in your car the entire time.

Read more about keeping your dog safe in the car.

If you plan to leave your car and walk through holiday lights at a pet-friendly area, remember to follow all the rules of the venue, including leash requirements. Keep in mind that many of these events are popular, so well-behaved pets who enjoy the company of other pets and people will be the happiest attending walk-through Christmas light shows. And of course, always follow the CDC’s COVID-19 safety guidelines.

The Best Holiday Light Shows of 2021

Alabama: Galaxy of Lights

Alabama: Galaxy of Lights

Galaxy of Lights

Location: Huntsville, Alabama
Dates Open: December 2, 2021 - January 1, 2022 | Dog Walking Nights: November 15, 16, 22, and 23 (Closed Christmas Day)
Admission Cost: Pre-purchased tickets cost $20-35 per vehicle or $13-19/adult plus $4/dog for dog walking nights

The annual Galaxy of Lights drive-thru is a fabulous way to see the Huntsville Botanical Garden decked out for the holiday season. Along the route, you’ll spot classic Christmas scenes and twinkling holiday displays, all complemented by the beautiful natural setting of the botanical gardens. Here’s an added bonus for dog parents: Before the attraction opens for drive-thru spectators, Galaxy of Lights will host four special dog walking nights (November 15, 16, 22, and 23) where you can take an immersive stroll together on the specially decorated walking path. Some pups even come dressed up for the occasion!  

Arizona: Winterhaven Festival of Lights

Arizona: Winterhaven Festival of Lights

Winterhaven Festival of Lights

Location: Tucson, Arizona
Dates Open: December 11, 2021 - December 26, 2021
Admission Cost: Free (donations accepted)

Returning for its 71st year, the Winterhaven Festival of Lights is a crowd-pleaser that is also pet-friendly. This community-supported holiday light show gives you the opportunity to walk with your dog through a cozy neighborhood to see some next-level decorations. Every year, the home displays are awarded honors like best window, most creative and most interactive. There is even an award for dogs’ favorite houses—"the Pup’s Pick”— ensuring that all attendees have a little something to love. Just keep in mind that this popular event can be busy, so well-behaved dogs who are comfortable around other people and pets are going to be the happiest with this walk-through experience.

California: World of Illumination Reindeer Road 

California: World of Illumination

World of Illumination

Location: Arcadia, California
Dates Open: November 17, 2021 - January 2, 2022
Admission Cost: $79-$109 per vehicle

If you’re looking for a magical storybook adventure, take a drive down Reindeer Road. This dog-friendly holiday show features a one-mile journey filled with hundreds of dazzling light displays that will immerse you in a Christmas fantasyland. Tune in on your radio for synchronized music, and watch the millions of animated lights dance in time with the music. You and your pup can even sing along to the Christmas tunes to really get in the howl-iday spirit. 

Colorado: Christmas in Color

Colorado: Christmas in Color

Christmas in Color

Location: Federal Heights, Colorado
Dates Open: November 19, 2021 - January 2, 2022 (Closed on Christmas)
Admission Cost: $35-$60 per vehicle

Get ready to be immersed in lights, music and holiday cheer. The Christmas in Color drive-thru display will take you and your pet’s Christmas light viewing to a whole new holly, jolly level. Tune into the provided FM radio station for a synchronized musical display. As you jam out to the holiday tunes, you’ll enjoy a 30-minute drive past giant candy canes, snowmen and festive holiday light tunnels. And if you aren’t located in Colorado, Christmas in Color also puts on eight other drive-thru displays across the U.S. for some of the best holiday light viewing around the nation.

Georgia: Enchanted Garden of Lights

Georgia: Enchanted Garden of Lights

Enchanted Garden of Lights

Location: Lookout Mountain, Georgia
Dates Open: November 19, 2021 - January 2, 2022
Admission Cost: $17-$30 per person

Wonder, joy and, of course, Santa Claus—they all await you and your pet at the award-winning Enchanted Garden of Lights. Leashed pets are welcome to take a stroll with you through this festive winter wonderland. You can watch the lights twinkle in the ice-themed Arctic Kingdom display, or take a jaunt down the lighted corridor of Yule Town. And don’t miss the chance to swing by the Magic Forest to walk beneath the 43-foot-tall tree of lights. You can enjoy the garden at your own pace, which means you have time to snap all the holiday pet pics, too. 

Illinois: Let it Shine Light Show

Illinois: Let it Shine Light Show

Let it Shine Light Show

Location: Schaumburg, Illinois
Dates Open: November 12, 2021 - January 9, 2022
Admission Cost: $29-$39 per vehicle

Prepare to be immersed in a symphony of sight and sound at the Let It Shine Light Show at Wintrust Field. Visitors (including furry ones!) are invited to cozy up in the car and experience the magic of lights at this drive-thru holiday light show, all synchronized to fun Christmas classics. You’ll cruise through dazzling tunnels and awe-inspiring displays of over 1 million LED lights.

Kentucky: Lights Under Louisville

Kentucky: Lights Under Louisville

Lights Under Louisville

Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Dates Open: November 12, 2021 - January 2, 2022
Admission Cost: $32-$69 per vehicle

The Christmas light drive-thru show at Lights Under Louisville might take the cake for the most creative holiday light sight-seeing experience. You and your pet can enjoy a 25-minute ride with over 4 million points of light and 900 displays. But that isn’t even the best part. This one-mile drive takes you under Louisville on a wonder-filled exploration of the passageways of the Louisville Mega Cavern, a former limestone mine. Prepare to be completely dazzled as you drive through the only fully underground holiday light show in the world.

South Dakota: Winter Wonderland

South Dakota: Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland

Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Dates Open: November 19, 2021 - January 9, 2022
Admission Cost: Free

For a nature-infused holiday light display, take a walk through the Falls Park Winter Wonderland. Every year the park is lit up by thousands of lights for a beautiful scene. The park’s namesake ice-encrusted waterfalls along the Big Sioux River, lit up by red and green lights, are their own unique display. The 128-acre park is made even more magical with the trees and walkways strung with lights and the colorful frozen waterfalls. You’ll surely be enchanted by this festive winter wonderland—and your pet will love an outing to stretch their legs and enjoy the crisp winter air. 

Texas: Gift of Lights

Texas: Gift of Lights

Gift of Lights

Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Dates Open: November 25, 2021 - January 2, 2021
Admission Cost: $30-$35 per vehicle

Take a driving tour of the Texas Motor Speedway to see the dazzling displays of the Gift of Lights. This pet-friendly holiday drive-thru display loves hosting four-legged friends, and you can cruise through the lighted tunnels with your pet cozied up in your car. On November 29, Gift of Lights even hosts a special “dress up your pet” night when you can outfit your dapper pet in their best holiday duds to save $5 at the gate. Pets are also welcome to walk around Santa's Village at the end of the drive-thru show, where you’ll find lots of Christmas card-worthy photo ops!

Washington: Fantasy Lights

Washington: Fantasy Lights

Pierce County Parks

Location: Spanaway, Washington
Dates Open: November 26, 2021 - January 2, 2022
Admission Cost: $10-$20 per vehicle

Get ready to have your fuzzy Christmas socks knocked off at the largest holiday drive-thru display in the Northwest. Fantasy Lights at Spanaway Park features nearly 300 elaborate displays and thousands of sparkling lights. The two-mile, pet-friendly drive winds along the shore of Spanaway Lake, which makes a beautiful backdrop to the festive atmosphere. Tune in your radio station to listen to a special selection of holiday music—feel free to carol along with your favorite tunes!

The Best Holiday Lights Near You

Wondering where to find dog-friendly holiday lights near you? We’ve compiled a list of the best options in each state. Check the event website for tickets and more information. Or plan your own route to find drive-thru Christmas lights near you with the Tacky Light Tour, a listing of the most elaborate (and, yes, some might say tacky) home decorations in cities around the country.

State
City
Event
Dates
State

Alabama

City

Huntsville

Dates

December 2, 2021 - January 1, 2022 | Dog Walking Nights: November 15, 16, 22, and 23 (Closed Christmas Day)

State

Alabama

City

Rocket City

Dates

November 12, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Alaska

City

Palmer

Dates

November 25, 2021 - January 1, 2022

State

Arizona

City

Tucson

Dates

December 11, 2021 - December 26, 2021

State

Arizona

City

Glendale

Dates

November 12, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Arizona

City

Tempe

Dates

November 17, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Arkansas

City

Pine Bluff

Dates

November 16, 2021 - December 31, 2021

State

Arkansas

City

Blytheville

Dates

November 22, 2021 - December 27, 2021

State

California

City

Los Angeles

Dates

November 19, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

California

City

San Jose

Dates

November 26, 2021 - January 9, 2022

State

California

City

Dana Point

Dates

December 6, 7, 13, & 14, 2021 | Santa Paws event December 8, 2021

State

California

City

Anaheim

Dates

November 19, 2021 - December 26, 2021

State

California

City

Watsonville

Dates

November 19, 2021 - December 26, 2021

State

California

City

Arcadia

Dates

November 17, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Colorado

City

Morrison

Dates

November 19, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Colorado

City

Federal Heights

Dates

November 19, 2021 - January 2, 2022 (Closed on Christmas)

State

Colorado

City

Denver

Dates

November 18, 2021 - December 31, 2021

State

Connecticut

City

Meriden

Dates

November 24, 2021 - January 1, 2022 

State

Connecticut

City

East Hartford

Dates

November 19, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Connecticut

City

Hartford

Dates

November 28, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Delaware

City

Lewes

Dates

December 3, 2021 - December 31, 2021

State

Delaware

City

Odessa

Dates

December 1, 2021 - December 31, 2021

State

Florida

City

St. Augustine

Dates

November 20, 2021 - January 31, 2022

State

Florida

City

Kissimmee

Dates

November 19, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Florida

City

Daytona Beach

Dates

November 19, 2021 - January 1, 2022

State

Florida

City

Homestead

Dates

November 19, 2021 - January 1, 2022

State

Florida

City

Melbourne

Dates

November 19, 2021 - January 2, 2022 | Stroll Among the Lights, December 3, 4, and 5, 2021

State

Florida

City

Coconut Creek

Dates

November 19, 2021 - January 1, 2022

State

Georgia

City

Lookout Mountain

Dates

November 19, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Georgia

City

Pine Mountain

Dates

November 19, 2021 - January 3, 2022

State

Georgia

City

Hampton

Dates

November 17, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Georgia

City

Marietta

Dates

November 12, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Hawaii

City

Honolulu

Dates

November 19, 2021 - January 1, 2022

State

Idaho

City

Garden City

Dates

November 19, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Idaho

City

Coeur d’Alene

Dates

November 26, 2021- January 2, 2022

State

Illinois

City

East Peoria

Dates

November 25, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Illinois

City

Northbrook

Dates

November 20, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Illinois

City

Aurora

Dates

November 12, 2021 - January 9, 2022

State

Illinois

City

Northbrook

Dates

November 5, 2021 - January 9, 2022

State

Illinois

City

Schaumburg

Dates

November 12, 2021 - January 9, 2022

State

Indiana

City

Indianapolis

Dates

November 12, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Indiana

City

Santa Claus

Dates

December 11, 2021 - December 18, 2021

State

Indiana

City

LaPorte

Dates

November 19, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Indiana

City

Noblesville

Dates

November 19, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Iowa

City

Mt. Pleasant

Dates

November 24-28, 2021 & December 1-31, 2021

State

Iowa

City

Altoona

Dates

Drive-Thru November 26, 2021 - January 2, 2022 | Launch the Lights, November 20, 2021

State

Kansas

City

Topeka

Dates

November 24, 2021 - December 31, 2021

State

Kansas

City

Wichita

Dates

November 25, 2021 - December 28, 2021

State

Kentucky

City

Owensboro

Dates

November 26, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Kentucky

City

Louisville

Dates

November 12, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Kentucky

City

Lexington

Dates

November 26, 2021 - December 31, 2021

State

Louisiana

City

New Orleans

Dates

November 25, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Louisiana

City

Calhoun

Dates

November 12, 2021 - January 1, 2022

State

Maine

City

Boothbay

Dates

November 20, 2021 - January 1, 2022

State

Maine

City

Freeport

Dates

December 3, 2021 - December 23, 2021

State

Maryland

City

Annapolis

Dates

Drive-Thru November 21, 2021 - January 2, 2022, Lights & Leashes Special Dog Walking Nigh, November 18 &19, 2021

State

Maryland

City

Gaithersburg

Dates

Drive-Thru November 26, 2021 - December 31, 2021, Walk Under the Lights November 19& 21, 2021

State

Maryland

City

Upper Marlboro

Dates

November 26, 2021 -  January 2, 2022

State

Massachusetts

City

Springfield

Dates

November 24, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Massachusetts

City

Foxborough

Dates

November 19, 2021 - December 24, 2021

State

Michigan

City

Clarkston

Dates

November 19, 2021 - January 1, 2022

State

Michigan

City

Rochester

Dates

November 22, 2021 - January 3, 2022

State

Michigan

City

Brooklyn

Dates

November 25, 2021 - December 31, 2021

State

Minnesota

City

Minneapolis

Dates

November 19, 2021 - January 2, 2021

State

Minnesota

City

Shakopee

Dates

November 16, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Mississippi

City

Cleveland

Dates

November 13, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Mississippi

City

Tylertown

Dates

November 26, 2021 - December 31, 2021

State

Missouri

City

Fairmont City

Dates

November 12, 2021 - January 9, 2022

State

Missouri

City

Kansas City

Dates

November 2, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Montana

City

Missoula

Dates

November 28, 2021 - January 1, 2022

State

Montana

City

Bozeman

Dates

December 4, 2021 - January 1, 2022

State

Nebraska

City

Omaha

Dates

November 22, 2021 - January 3, 2022

State

Nebraska

City

Minden

Dates

November 27, 2021 - January 1, 2022 

State

Nevada

City

Las Vegas

Dates

November 11, 2021 - January 9, 2022

State

New Hampshire

City

Loudon

Dates

November 25, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

New Jersey

City

Holmdel

Dates

November 19, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

New Jersey

City

East Brunswick

Dates

November 26, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

New Mexico

City

Albuquerque

Dates

November 19, 2021 - January 1, 2022

State

New Mexico

City

Albuquerque

Dates

November 23, 2021 - January 10, 2022

State

New York

City

Corfu

Dates

November 18, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

New York

City

Jones Beach

Dates

November 19, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

New York

City

Bethel

Dates

November 19, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

New York

City

Lockport

Dates

November 19, 2021 - December 30, 2021

State

New York

City

Calverton

Dates

November 19, 2021 - December 30, 2021

State

New York

City

Rush

Dates

November 19, 2021 - December 30, 2021 

State

North Carolina

City

Raleigh

Dates

November 19, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

North Carolina

City

McAdenville

Dates

December 1, 2021 - December 26, 2021

State

North Carolina

City

Clemmons

Dates

Drive-Thru November 12, 2021 - January 1, 2022 | Paws in the Park walk-thru November 8 & 9 2021

State

North Dakota

City

Williston

Dates

November 27, 2021 - December 31, 2021

State

North Dakota

City

Fargo

Dates

November 25, 2021 - December 31, 2021

State

Ohio

City

Cincinnati

Dates

November 12, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Ohio

City

Middleburg Heights

Dates

November 24, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Ohio

City

Columbus

Dates

November 12, 2021 - January 9, 2022

State

Oregon

City

Portland

Dates

November 26, 2021 - January 1, 2022

State

Oregon

City

Columbia & Willamette

Dates

December 3, 2021 - December 21, 2021

State

Pennslyvania

City

Allentown

Dates

November 19, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Pennslyvania

City

Pittsburgh

Dates

November 12, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Rhode Island

City

Hope

Dates

November 19, 2021 - December 30, 2021

State

Rhode Island

City

Newport

Dates

December 1, 2021 - December 31, 2021

State

South Carolina

City

Charleston

Dates

November 12, 2021 - December 31, 2021

State

South Carolina

City

North Myrtle Beach

Dates

November 22, 2021 - December 30, 2021

State

South Dakota

City

Sioux Falls

Dates

November 2021 - December 2021 (start/end dates vary by location)

State

South Dakota

City

Rapid City

Dates

November 26, 2021 - January 1, 2022

State

South Dakota

City

Sioux Falls

Dates

November 19, 2021 - January 9, 2022

State

Tennessee

City

Lebanon

Dates

November 12, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Tennessee

City

Jackson

Dates

November 12, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Tennessee

City

Sevierville

Dates

November 5, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Tennessee

City

Johnson City

Dates

November 24, 2021 - January 2, 2022.

State

Texas

City

Austin

Dates

November 27, 2021 - December 31, 2022

State

Texas

City

Fort Worth

Dates

November 25, 2021 - January 2, 2021

State

Texas

City

Little Elm

Dates

November 20, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Texas

City

San Antonio

Dates

November 12, 2021 - January 10, 2022

State

Texas

City

San Antonio

Dates

November 19, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Texas

City

Athens

Dates

November 10, 2021 - January 3, 2022

State

Wisconsin

City

Milwaukee

Dates

November 24, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Wisconsin

City

Milwaukee

Dates

November 18, 2021 - January 1, 2021

State

Utah

City

South Jordan

Dates

November 19, 2021 - January 1, 2022

State

Utah

City

Spanish Fork

Dates

November 25, 2021 - January 1, 2022

State

Vermont

City

Burlington

Dates

November 26, 2021 - January 1, 2022

State

Vermont

City

Rutland

Dates

November 27, 2021 - December 31, 2021

State

Virginia

City

Newport News

Dates

November 25, 2021 - January 1, 2022

State

Virginia

City

Richmond

Dates

November 19, 2021 - December 30, 2021

State

Washington

City

Stanwood

Dates

November 26, 2021 - January 8, 2022

State

Washington

City

Federal Way

Dates

November 19, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

Washington

City

Spanaway

Dates

November 26, 2021 - January 2, 2022

State

West Virginia

City

Fairmont

Dates

November 26, 2021 - December 28, 2021

State

Wyoming

City

Laramie

Dates

November 27, 2021 - December 31, 2021

The holidays are one of the most wonderful times of the year, and you can make the season even more festive with a pet-friendly holiday light show. Even if you don’t have a Christmas light display close to home, just remember you can always grab a leash and take your pet on a stroll out your front door to enjoy your neighbors’ decorations. Or consider putting up your own holiday décor! Either way, you can make the holidays a bit more merry and bright, both for you and your pet.

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By: Kristen ArendtUpdated:

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