The Tanglewood Festival of Lights in North Carolina is a dazzling way to celebrate the holiday season. With a light display spanning five miles, it is one of the largest and most spectacular Christmas lights shows in the state. It’s also one of our favorite family traditions!
Although the light display is mostly a drive-thru experience, Tanglewood also offers a variety of additional activities to enjoy. These include refreshments, a gift shop, and special events that make a trip to the Tanglewood Festival of Lights an exciting must-do for the whole family.
Where Is Tanglewood Festival of Lights located?
The Tanglewood Festival of Lights is located just off I-40 with exits 180 or 182, it’s super easy to get to. Plus, it’s a popular spot to celebrate the holiday season in central North Carolina.
Tanglewood Lights Display Dates
This year, the Tanglewood Festival of Lights is open from November 11 to January 1, 2023, from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm. The only exception is New Year’s Eve, when the park closes at 10:00 pm.
Ticket Prices and Info
Ticket prices vary depending on your ride. For a family vehicle, it’s $20 cash or $23 credit card. Commercial vehicles are $45 cash or $48 credit card, and motorcoaches and buses are $115 cash or $118 credit card.
But here’s the best part: there are also Discount Nights throughout the holiday season, usually in November. On these nights, the family vehicle rate is $10 less. In 2022, the Discount Nights are November 14, 15, 21, and 22.
Visiting Tanglewood Holiday Light Display
Planning a trip to the Tanglewood Festival of Lights? We’ve got a pro tip for you: visit on a weekday to avoid the crowds. Thursdays through Sundays are the busiest days, and on these days you might have to wait up to four hours to get in during peak season. Yikes! Save yourself the headache and come on a weekday instead. Trust us, your family (and your patience) will thank you.
Unfortunately, Santa won’t be roaming around Tanglewood this year, but your trip will still be super fun and festive. So come on out and make some holiday memories at the Tanglewood Festival of Lights!
Things to See and Do
Okay families, it’s time to check out the main event: the amazing light display! Get ready to be wowed by the colors, the whimsical environment, and the stories the lights tell. And if you want to add even more magic to your experience, just tune your radio to listen to holiday music that syncs up with the light show.
But that’s not all! The Tanglewood Festival of Lights has tons of other fun stuff to check out. First up, the gift shop. Located halfway through the light display in the Red Barn (a Tanglewood landmark), the gift shop has all sorts of holiday goodies to take home. From cookies and candles to jewelry and paintings made by local artisans, there’s something for everyone. The gift shop is open from Sunday to Thursday until 11:00 pm and on Friday and Saturday until 12:00 am. On New Year’s Eve, it closes at the same time as the rest of the festival (10:00 pm).
As you leave the gift shop, you might catch a whiff of chocolate and roasted marshmallows. Follow your nose to S’moresville, where you can buy a s’mores kit and enjoy the gooey goodness under the twinkling lights. It’s a family tradition sponsored by Lowes Foods, and trust us, it’s delicious.
Ways to See the Christmas Lights
Ready to make your trip to the Tanglewood Festival of Lights extra special? Consider booking a horse-drawn carriage ride or hayride!
The horse-drawn carriage rides can fit up to four people and take you on a tour of the light show in style. Plus, they’re only $80 cash or check. Just call (336) 766-9540 to make a reservation (hurry, they go fast!).
Or, if you’ve got a big group, try a tractor-pulled hayride. It’s $150 cash or check, and you can make a reservation by calling (336) 766-9540.
And if you’re looking for even more festive fun, the Tanglewood Festival of Lights also hosts special events throughout the holiday season: “Toast” , a special event where visitors of all ages and abilities can enjoy the park. And a “Paws in the Park” day where you can bring your furry friends along.
And mark your calendars for December 31, 2022, because it’s time for the “Running of the Lights”! This New Year tradition for Clemmons residents (and anyone else who wants to join in) involves a race through the Festival of Lights at midnight. How’s that for a unique way to ring in the new year? You can sign up to participate here. Can’t wait to see you there!