When the Christmas music starts, the lights go up. These holiday light displays in Baltimore and beyond are running throughout the month—with some that came to life as soon as bellies were full of Thanksgiving turkey. Grab the family (Fido, too!) for festive illuminations. Discover extensive displays you can drive through, garden strolls at the North Pole and personal homes with larger-than-life décor.
Lights on Coco
8418 Coco Road, Rosedale
A tradition for the past 24 years, Lights on Coco is a Baltimore home that puts on an impressive light show synchronized to FM radio. The show runs on a loop from Thanksgiving to Jan. 1, Sundays through Thursdays from 5 to 10 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 5 to 11 p.m. Families need only drive up and tune their car radios to 89.1 FM to sit back and watch the lights dance to favorites including “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” and Frozen’s “Let It Go.” Santa will visit on Dec. 11 and 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. to hear children’s wish lists, take photos and leave them with a treat. Mrs. Claus will be snapping photos available to download on Facebook. The homeowners will be collecting local food bank donations as well. Free. facebook.com/Lightsoncoco
Merriweather Symphony of Lights
10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia
The Columbia, Maryland, tradition at Merriweather Post Pavilion returns with new lights and a 150-foot screen. More than 300,000 bulbs light the animated and stationary light creations in this drive-through light extravaganza from Nov. 25 through Jan. 2. Enter the wonderland of lights on weekdays from 6 to 10 p.m. and weekends from 5 to 10 p.m. Try to spot the pink lightbulb or unscramble the secret phrase to win prizes. Three different walk-through nights during the season include a dog-friendly night and a New Year’s Eve celebration with fireworks. Tickets are $20 per car for drive-through. Tickets start at $10 for a walk-through; ages 3 and younger are free. merriweatherlights.com
Miracle at 3400 Royston
3400 Royston Ave., Baltimore
This Baltimore City home boasts a can’t-miss array of more than 200 blow-mold decorations, with several new additions this year. Past years have included such characters as the “Despicable Me” minions. Beginning Nov. 28, visitors can drive by to spot their favorites (including Santa’s reindeer on the roof) from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. every night through Jan. 8. The homeowners hope to offer Venmo charity donations this year. Free. facebook.com/miracleat3400
North Pole Lights Walk
8109 Telegraph Road, Severn
This self-guided tour through Severn’s North Pole will take you past garden lights, arctic animals and other seasonal lighted scenes at Willow Oak Flower & Herb Farm from Nov. 26 through Dec. 23. Catch Santa at his Garden Cabin on Fridays and Saturdays. The North Pole Fairy will help you make your way. New scenes are added each year.
Tickets are $5 for children and $8 for adults. willowoakherbs.com
One Safari Place, Baltimore
Animal homes will transform with dazzling lights at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore from Nov. 19 to Jan. 2. Buy a weekend walk-through ticket for Zoo Lights Fridays through Sundays from 5-8 p.m. to stroll on foot through the more than 100,000 LED displays. New this year, the walking path extends to Schaefer Plaza, the Farm Yard and the train station. Grab a hot chocolate and some snacks to get into a cozy holiday mood or hop on a free carousel ride, weather permitting. Don’t forget to catch Santa on Saturdays. Visitors wishing to stay out of the frosty air can get a drive-through ticket for the same hours on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Advanced reservations are required for both experiences, with a discount of $5 for zoo members. Tickets start at $28. marylandzoo.org