Home for the Holidays: Neighborhood Decorations
The area's best neighborhood holiday lights displays
There are tons of what we call Holiday Hot Spots, public venues that deck the halls big-time to celebrate the season. Private homes and whole neighborhoods get into the act, too. Below, some of the area's best neighborhood and home-based holiday lights and sights.
The Smedley Street Christmas Light Spectacular (above) spans the 2700 block of Smedley St. (between 16th & 17th Sts. & Moyamensing & Oregon Aves.). The neighborhood decks out row houses, trees and lawns with lights and wreaths, animated blowups, Nativities and more.
Forget 34th St. Philly’s got its own holiday-spectacle “miracle” — “Miracle on South 13th Street”(right) — on the 1600 block of S. 13th St. (between Tasker & Morris Aves.), a community collaboration since 1996.
The 22nd Annual Light It Up with Santa (left) transforms 1 White Spruce Ln. into a veritable winter wonderland, with 125,000+ lights, 225 blow mold characters, two dozen blowups and a ride-on kids’ train.
The extravaganza found at 1320 E. Butler Pike boasts 170,000 lights, clocks 200,000+ visitors annually and raises money each year for a local organization — for 2014, it's St. Mary's Villa/Big Brothers Big Sisters.
308 Perkiomen Ave. hosts a computer-animated holiday light display that runs from the end of November through New Year's Day.
New Castle, DE
It costs upwards of $82,000 per season to illuminate the million some lights at the Faucher Family Christmas House, 1054 Red Lion Rd., a 30-plus-year-old tradition that incorporates fundraising for kids’ charities like Toys for Tots and the Ronald McDonald House.
North Wilmington, DE
The Smith Family Christmas House at the top of the hill at Silverside & Prior Rds. is an annual tradition, with just about every possible inflatable, animated figurine and lawn decoration you can imagine.
70,000 lights strung on the structure of 5 Taunton Rd. turn this private home into a real-life gingerbread house. Also in Medford, the Timble St. home of Marie and Ed Mason, aka “the Griswolds of South Jersey,” showcases a mix of gigantic lights with miniature Christmas homes.
The Glendora Christmas House at Maple & 13th avenues is a tradition spanning back more than 50 years. This year, it's accepting donations for Fox Chase Cancer Center.
Thanks to MK Facebook fan Niki J. for telling us about the North Avenue lights display in Pitman's Grove section, minutes from Broadway, where she says you can "You get out and walk through people's yards and see so many themed displays. Every holiday and miscellaneous cartoon character you can think of! Santa and Mrs Claus are there on the weekend. All free, but they do accept monetary donations and also host a canned food drive."
The annual Ricciardi Christmas House in Norristown, PA, is still in progress; we'll update the page with info once it's all lit up. If you know of a great neighborhood light show that's not here, post a comment below letting us know where to go!