Saturday, December 15, 2012

Lights on the Neuse

What it is:  I've been wanting to go to a holiday lights display with my boys for years.  This year, based on a suggestion from one of our wonderful readers, we headed down to Clayton to check out Lights on the Neuse.  It was about an hour drive, but when we got there is was worth the trip. 

We arrived and stood in line for quite a while to get our tickets.  You could also purchase Santa photos at that time, so our next stop was to get in a short line to talk to Santa.  After a lengthy discussion between Santa and my four year old, we got in line to see the lights.  Everyone was excited so the line moved fairly quickly for us.  We were debating the whole time whether the lights would actually be worth all of these lines.  I think that they actually were, especially for the munchkins.

Once we got through the line we got on the largest hayride I have ever seen and started moving.  They played festive Christmas music for our half hour ride through the woods.  Everywhere we looked there were more lights to see and the kids couldn't wait to see what was next.  The first display was actually inside a greenhouse building where they had lights, displays, and even snow and bubbles!  We saw all manner of lights including lights, candy canes, wreaths, and little animals twinkling and hiding in the forest.  We saw buildings several stories tall, a ferris wheel and merry go round, the twelve days of Christmas, Santa, a nativity, and countless more lights.  I think they said there were over a million lights and I believe it. 

After we got off the wagon we walked through their 3-D Christmas barn which I wasn't too impressed with, but older kids might like.  Then, we sat outside by their fire pits and cooked some delicious smores from a smores kit you could purchase (which was so big you could definitely share it between several families).  At the end of the evening, my oldest son looked at my and said "this was a good night!"  It definitely got us in the Christmas spirit.

What we liked:  We liked how many lights there were for the kids to see.  Plus, the smores, candy shop, Santa, and the Christmas barn gave some added attractions for all of us to see while we were there.

What we would change:  When we go back again, we will do a few things differently which I think will fix our biggest negative about the place, the lines.  We did wait in our lines for a LONG time.  So, if you buy your tickets online, you will save the initial line, so I think that's worth the online processing fee.  Then, if you get there right when they open or a little before, the other lines will not be as long.  However, as we said earlier, our kiddos thought any line was worth it to see those lights!

Website and other important information: 


Address: 1620 Loop Road, Clayton, NC

Schedule: Open December 15 and 16 and 19-24  (2012)

Hours: Ticket booth open from 6pm-9pm, but I think the hayrides must run later if people still have tickets to use.  On Christmas Eve the hours are from 5-7 and Santa will, of course, be otherwise occupied.

Admission: Adults over 12-$10, Children 3-12-$7, Under 3-Free  (Plus the $2 processing fee per ticket if you buy them online)


 (in the lights and bubbles building)

 (the light building)

 (Santa's workshop)


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