Don't get your tinsel in a tangle on where to go to find the best Christmas lights in town. We've done the work for you, with the help of Sacramento Bee readers who suggested where to find creative, fun and bright outdoor Christmas holiday displays.
Here’s our annual guide to locations with the best holiday lights in the Sacramento region.
It’s not too late to suggest more locations for this listing. Add your recommendations here. Have a photo or video of the lights? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org (be sure to include the address). The more the merrier!
7913 Eagle Peak Way, Antelope (95843):
Stunning stage of multiple-sized blow ups, including a 9-foot tall teddy bear, and a street light pole decorated as a candy cane.
8213 Rockbury Way, Antelope (95843):
What’s Santa to do when the reindeer decide to take a year off? He calls in a polar bear, rocking horse, elephant, cow and red-nosed flamingo to power his sleigh, according to this resident. A peacock, butterfly and ladybug also guide the way. More than 10,000 lights, 40 snowmen, Nativity, gingerbread family and North Pole scenes add to this feast of color.
6617 Golden Rain Court, Citrus Heights (95610):
Because decorations shouldn’t stop at the front door, this layout is embellished with clear icicle lights around entire house; illuminated Christmas star on a 12-foot pole; Santa and reindeer on the roof; multicolored lights decorating windows, doors and garage, and attached to candy-cane stakes; a Christmas scene projected on the garage door; garage and front doors wrapped in large red ribbons and bows; net-lighting draped over shrubs. Also: an illuminated Nativity scene, inflatable characters, a 7-foot LED snowman, illuminated spiral trees, reindeer, small snowmen, candy canes and snowflakes.
Orelle Creek and Allene Creek courts (off Old Auburn Road, east of Fair Oaks Boulevard):
Visitors are instructed to enter by the 50-foot redwood tree decorated with pale blue lights wrapped around its trunk and a bright star crowning the top. More than 20 homes are decked out.
9720 Great Egret Court, Elk Grove (95757):
Trolls, Dory and more “Star Wars” items have been added to the ninth annual display. Drone views in video.
7001 Whyte Ave., Citrus Heights (95621):
Going above and beyond with its light show, snow and inflatables.
3316 Lake Terrace Drive, Elk Grove (95758):
A high-powered light show extravaganza. Consisting of 100,000 LED lights on the house, and more than 24,000 lights on the 50-foot redwood tree. A snow machine will be running Dec. 17 and 24, and there will be free hot chocolate and cider.
9326 Marlemont Circle, Elk Grove (95758):
This Christmas rave draw is a land of the inflatables and Disney theme. Meet the welcome committee: two giant inflatable snowmen, and one Santa. Plus: Mickey, Donald, Daisy, Minnie and Goofy skating; Rudolph trying to help Santa make it onto the roof; and an inflatable fire truck.
5010 Buena Vista Ave., Fair Oaks (95628):
Some displays merit a stop such as this synchronized light show, which operates 5-10 p.m. daily.
7780 Kanihan Court, Fair Oaks (95628):
Numerous blow-ups add to a dragon, castle and princess carriage theme. Setting also includes a Santa house, animated characters, lighted forest, Santa and elves, picture windows hold a village scene, and Santa scene in the gazebo.
5640 Kenneth Ave. Fair Oaks (95628):
Noteworthy for the Christmas characters, Nativity, and Santa in a tree.
5412 Shire Court, Fair Oaks (95628):
Take a respite from the traditional displays. Here, you’ll see Santa’s lollipop tree, SpongeBob and Mr. Bubbles, Snoopy and his dog friends, Yoda, sailing penguins and the Minions.
1380 Copping Court, Folsom (95630):
Attractive setting with LED lights on the house, trees and Snoopy on his dog house. There are 14 miniature Christmas trees lining the driveway; inflatable Santa pulling his sleigh; inflatable Frosty the Snowman; inflatable Christmas tree being decorated by animals; snowmen; a gingerbread house; giant candy canes; candles; deer; net lighting; and more than 5,000 lights synchronized to music from 5 to 10 p.m. daily through New Year’s Day.
1731 Darvel Court, Folsom (95630):
Two houses in the cul-de-sac decorate. We’ve been told a small cherry picker was needed.
1027 Hildebrand Circle, Folsom (95630):
A Disney theme with serious curb appeal, complete with red and green Mickey Mouse lights outlining the yard. There’s Santa Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, Santa Donald and Daisy ducks and the nephews, and Chip and Dale and a Dalmatian puppy in a sleigh. Winnie the Pooh, Tinkerbell and Frozen characters. Lights from top to bottom on enormous tree. Green and red laser lights on the house, as well as icicle lights from the eaves.
224 Orange Blossom Circle, Folsom (95630):
Assorted handmade decorations.
104 Thorndike Way, Folsom (95630):
More than 8,000 LED lights synchronized to music from 5 to 10 nightly. Accepting canned food items for Twin Lakes Food Bank.
Wild Nights and Holiday Light:s
The Folsom Zoo Sanctuary grounds are spruced up in colorful lights and festive scenery this time of year for its seventh annual event. There will be photos with Santa, carolers and musicians, a miniature-scale steam Starlight Express train rides ($4), and toys and special treats for some of the animals. Held 5-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9-Saturday, Dec. 10; and Dec. 16-23. The Folsom Zoo Sanctuary, 403 Stafford St., Folsom. Admission is $5 general, free for ages 2 and younger. 916-351-3527;
5217 Butterwood Circle, Orangevale (95662):
Grandparents and their granddaughters built a gingerbread house, and made gingerbread people, Fred and Ginger Bread.
Dovewood Court (95662):
Creating a stir this time of year, this court draws a steady stream of vehicles annually. We suggest you park and stroll the cul-de-sac.
10625 Lambrusca Drive, Rancho Cordova (95670):
Multicolored LED icicles and laser snowflakes, a polar bear cub greeting visitors at the door, a deer family, giant blinking snowman, heralding angel and brightly lit trees are all part of the self-proclaimed “Lambrusca Light Show.” A local church will offer free train rides on select dates. And one week before Christmas, a special visitor will make an appearance in an upstairs window.
5620 Onyx Drive, Rocklin (95677):
Requiring 272 extension cords, this annual 40,000-light display is a family effort, including the wood figures designed by Mom. Lights prance to Christmas music from dusk to midnight daily. Tune in to 104.7 FM.
Pebble Creek Drive and Strand Road (95765):
A mecca for spectators, this Rocklin neighborhood has been attracting convoys over the years.
1647 Alnwick Drive, Roseville (95747):
Bring your letter for Santa and drop it off in the miniature red mailbox. This spot has inflatables, a Ferris wheel, spiral trees and several illuminated arches.
1484 Kingswood Drive, Roseville (95678):
Featuring 35,000 LED lights, 120 characters, and lights 50 feet up in the trees. Accepted packages of socks for the South Placer Counties’ homeless supported by The Gathering Inn.
279-300 Ainger Circle, Sacramento (95835):
Take a spin around the neighborhood. You’ll see inflatables, lights, and Nativity scenes. The area will be aglow on Christmas Eve when luminaries will be lit (weather permitting), connecting neighbor-to-neighbor.
9224 Carla Way, Sacramento (95826):
Tune in to 100.7 FM for a synchronized light show. The display runs 5-10 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays, and 5-11 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, through New Year’s.
Fab 40s, Sacramento (95819):
(From 40th to 49th, between J and Folsom). Onlookers admire this classic, established East Sacramento neighborhood for the homes and lights. Many streets have lights wrapped around tree trunks, garland from tree-to-tree and draped across the streets.
Fairytale Town’s Winter Wonderland
A flurry of snow will fall nightly at 7 p.m., well after the holiday lights have flipped on. On weekends, craft activities, vendors, and more. Holiday-themed puppet shows on Fridays. Meet a few of Santa’s reindeer Saturday, Dec. 10-Sunday, Dec. 11. Visit with Santa in his workshop 3-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 10-11, and Dec. 17-18. Hours: 1-7 p.m. Friday-Sunday, Dec. 9-11, and Dec. 15-18. Fairytale Town, 3901 Land Park Drive, Sacramento. Admission: $4.75 weekdays; $5.75 weekends; free ages 1 and under. 916-808-7462; www.fairytaletown.org.
53rd and S streets, Sacramento (95819):
Off T Street, it’s a beacon for revelers who like to stroll under the illuminated arches lining the sidewalks. Features the classy and tacky, including an “Alice in Wonderland” scene, and a dropping-drawers Santa. Folks offer hot chocolate and a cutout photo opt.
Global Winter Wonderland:
If you have a group and want to make an evening of it, head to Cal Expo. No matter the forecast, visitors will see snowflakes in Snow Land. Step inside Fantasy Land where peacocks glow, and fairies perch on top of colossal-size mushrooms. There will be stage performances by Circus of Light; photos with Santa (through Dec. 24); ice skating; rides and games; vendors. Hours: 5-10 p.m. Fridays, except 4:30-10 p.m. Dec. 23 and 30; 4:30-11 p.m. Saturdays and Jan. 1; 4:30-10 p.m. Sundays, and Dec. 26-29, Jan. 2; 4:30-9 p.m. Jan. 8. Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento. Admission: $18 general; $16 seniors and children. $25 unlimited ride wristband. Tip: Look for Groupon discount. 510-962-8586; www.globalwonderland.com.
4878 Hackberry Lane, Sacramento (95841):
Showcases a spiral tree that is 18 feet tall, with 1,000 lights running on 66 channels, synced to music.
3601 Kranhold Way, Sacramento (95827):
This hidden gem features a blanket of cool white LED lights covering the corner house lot. It’s trimmed in multi-colored LEDs.
3157 Kroy Way, Sacramento (95820):
An 8-foot Sully and 11-foot minion tower over blow ups.
Macy’s Theatre of Lights
Old Sacramento’s holiday staple, “ ’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” is staged on the balconies above K and Front streets. The free shows continue at 6:15 and 7:45 p.m. Friday-Sunday, Dec. 9-11, and Thursday, Dec. 15-Dec. 23; 6:15 p.m. Dec. 24. 916-442-8575; oldsacramento.com
2973 Mendel Way, Sacramento (95833):
A synchronized light show production on the hour from 5 to 10 p.m. Music transmitted on 98.9 FM. For videos of Christmas past: www.rickslights.com
4821 F Parkway, Sacramento (95823):
Inspired by Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” this haunted seasonal display features handmade decorations, including a 4-by-8-foot Jack Skellington, ghost dog Zero, skeleton reindeer and coffin sleigh.
4008 Vosburg St., Sacramento (95826):
The poem submitted described a candy house, gum drops placed by “a cute little mouse,” gingerbread boys and girls holding hands, Santa and Rudolf, and a manger scene.