Best Christmas light displays in Southwest Michigan
If you want to see Christmas lights that would make Clark Griswold excitedly gaze with wonder – without the confusion of them turning on and off again — then come to Southwest Michigan! Each November, these bulbs are painstakingly placed throughout our region. Some are set to music, others you can walk through and all are popular itinerary items for every visitor and local. Don’t miss out on the Christmas spirit! And don’t settle for less. Visit the best Christmas light displays in Southwest Michigan, and make us your home away from home for the holidays.
Smith Road Winter Wonderlawn
This Berrien Center house runs seven evenings a week typically from Thanksgiving through the first week of January. Their Facebook page will keep you updated on run times and when the final show will be. Their hits include lights synchronized to It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, some Charlie Brown Christmas songs, Blue Christmas and Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer. Can’t make the drive? They post videos of some of their lights at work on the Facebook page!
Carter’s Christmas Wonderland
This big, beautiful light display in Benton Harbor is largely charged by solar panels, and it comes with free hot cocoa from a machine and candy canes. Both have a variety of flavors! We hear the s’mores cocoa is to die for.
On weekends, characters like Santa and The Grinch sometimes make a visit. You can take pictures with them and get their autographs. The Carter family, who put on the show, typically add updates into the Buy Local Berrien! Facebook group. There is a donation box if you would like to pay it forward. The display runs nightly from 6-10 p.m., starting earlier on some weekends. The hot chocolate is only available on weekends, too. You can walk along the path in front of the house to watch, but please park across the street or at the barn.
Lights at Fernwood
Each year, Fernwood Botanical Garden & Nature Preserve brings back this popular ticketed event in which they deck out their entire location with Christmas lights. The decorations illuminate evenings at Fernwood with a professionally designed show featuring two extraordinary light tunnels, three warm fire pits, a fun winter craft station, nature-inspired light sculptures, festive music and sounds and more! The event runs through Jan. 1, so get your tickets online now. They sell out fast!
The Jesse Family lights up life a little more around the holidays with a display at their private residence at Red Bud and Little Glendora on over 2 acres of property!
Lights on Bell Road
Most of us can’t fathom what 60,000 musically synchronized Christmas lights look like together. That’s why the Kuespert family did it for you! Each year, this house comes back bigger and better with their lights synced to songs like Fantasmic, Carol of the Bells, Deck the Halls, Emmanuel and more. Did we mention some of those colorful bulbs make up three animated Christmas bulbs who sing? Not to mention all of the lights at this Niles home are controlled by a computer that could fit into the palm of your hand! Watch a previous show on their website and learn more about the operation that has been going for more than a decade.
Harbor Country Lights
What started 20 years ago with one tree has grown into 90,000 lights synced to music! Visit this New Buffalo yard for a show, just west of I-94.
Lights on East Main Street
These Niles lights have added new arches, another big tree decorated and an LED sign that displays some old Christmas movie scenes this year. All of it is synchronized to five different songs.
Light Up the Night, Watermark Brewing Co.
You will have no trouble finding Watermark, a popular craft brewery on St. Joseph Ave., Stevensville. The glow in the night sky will guide you! Consider wearing sunglasses as you walk through the thousands of lights chasing away winter’s darkness in the beer garden and taproom. While here, toast the season with one of their on-tap craft beers, wines, ciders and seltzers. Local food trucks will fill you up and live music, festive games and an annual ugly sweater party will keep you coming back for more good cheer.
Light Up the Bluff
Getting into the holiday spirit is easy during Light Up the Bluff. Caroling sets a festive mood for the town tree lighting in downtown St. Joseph. Watch kids’ eyes light up when a million twinkling lights turn on at dusk along Lake Bluff Park. Youngsters can walk along the bluff decorated with favorite holiday characters and sing along to favorite songs. Adults will enjoy a festive shopping atmosphere at the storefronts dressed in seasonal finery. These lights and bluff decorations keep the festive spirit alive through mid-February.
Eden Springs lights and train rides
Come out and enjoy a ride on miniature trains, and enjoy the wonderful display of lights this holiday season at the historic Eden Springs Park. Train rides are Saturday and Sunday from 5-9 p.m. on December 1-2, 9-10, and 16-17 and Friday and Saturday, December 22-23. Tickets are $5 per person (children aged 3 and under are free). CASH ONLY!
Plan your trip to see Christmas lights now!
We think your trip to Southwest Michigan is going to be … lit! Come see for yourself this holiday season. We wish you a merry and bright visit —plan your stay now.