I am a sucker for holiday lights - from the simple white lights on the bushes to the manic show that involves thousands of lights, animated objects and inflatables all set to Christmas music.
I love it all! And now my kids do. We'll spend more than a few hours driving around the neighborhoods on the search for some great shows.
Of course, we have some major light shows in the region, which attract thousands. Here's when they open for the season:
, 4546 Godwin Lake Rd., in Benson, opens for the season on Friday. Hours are 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Lights cover about 30 acres. It's free to see the lights, but there are some fees to ride the train and carousel and get pictures with Santa. There's also a large country store where all kinds of candy is sold. The last night is Dec. 31.
Lake Myra Christmas
has moved its display to 210 E. 4th St. in downtown Wendell this year. It opens for the season at 6 p.m., Saturday. It is free to see this major light show. Hours are 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday. The display includes a flying angel and, according to the website, the tallest computer controlled Christmas tree in the state. Organizers recommend you bring a lawn chair so you can sit and watch the 30-minute show in comfort.
Lights on the Neuse
, 1620 Loop Rd. in Clayton, opens Nov. 23. Lights on the Neuse offers a one-mile long, 30-minute hayride through its "lights extravaganza" that's filled with Christmas music. There's a 3D Christmas house and Santa's sweet shop, along with visits with the big guy. Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for kids ages 3 to 11 and free for kids 2 and under. It runs through Dec. 24.
Hill Ridge Farms
in Youngsville will open its first holiday event on Nov. 23. The popular pumpkin patch will transform to include a holiday light show and candy shop, along with visits with Santa, bonfires, food and other attractions. It will run through Dec. 29. Hours will be 5 p.m. nightly. Hayrides begin at 6 p.m.