As a kid, my family would pop popcorn and pile into the car all bundled up against the cold and drive around looking at Christmas lights during the holiday season. It’s such a great way to make wonderful family memories and have a decent amount of fun for little cost. Here are several homes and lights shows around the Upstate to experience a bit of holiday magic and how much those lights cost the homeowners or light shows.
Now in its 36th year of operation, Anderson’s Lights of Hope show offers a 2.5 mile loop for guests to drive through to see the more than 250 traditional Christmas-themed light displays.
Lights: 3.5 million
Electric bill: $12,600
Address: 520 Woodcrest Drive, Anderson (across from the Civic Center)
Cost: $10/ car, $20/15-passenger van, $50/school bus
Guests can ride around the Greenville-Pickens Speedway as many times as they like during this light show. It runs nightly starting at 6 p.m. and includes two radio stations, one that plays traditional music and the other more kid-friendly tunes. The drive-through light show also has a free petting zoo plus pony rides, kids carnival rides, and Santa Land for small fees. They estimate more than 120,000 visitors will attend this year.
Lights: 2 million
Electric bill: “thousands of dollars”
Address: Greenville Pickens Speedway, 3800 Calhoun Memorial Highway, Easley
Cost: $25/car, minivan or SUV; $50/passenger van, $80/bus
Each year, the Poole family adds more lights and displays to their home light show. This year they are adding curtain lights and flame throwers to their already massive display, as well as another setup in their neighbor’s yard dedicated to the family’s grandmother. They estimate about 4,000 people come through this season.
Electric bill: Increases an additional $50 during the light shows
Address: 6264 Highway 92, Enoree
Although not a huge display, the draw here is the entertaining music to which the house’s lights are synced. The six songs make the show around nine minutes long. Lights come on starting Dec. 7 and run through the end of the month. Tune to 95.7 FM for the full experience.
Total lights: 14,000
Electric bill: Negligible since the lights are LED
Address: 500 Rockcrest Drive, Greer
A fun home light show that utilizes LED lights, music, and several lighted displays. New this year is a mailbox to deposit letters to Santa, candy canes, and a selfie elf (everyone needs one of those).
Total lights: 10,000 LED lights on the house, 17 projectors, spotlights or lasers, and 25 lighted displays
Electric bill: Increases about $20-$30 during the time the lights are on
Address: 324 Whixley Lane, Greenville
The tradition of The Christmas House was started in the 1970s and continues to amaze visitors to this day. The show is drive-through only and can accommodate big passenger vans. The show begins nightly starting at sundown. This year, one of the displays pays homage to the new film, “Frozen 2.”
Total lights: About 100,000
Address: 360 Foster Road, Inman
Cost: Free but they accept donations
Lights here are all synced to music and start up on Thanksgiving night and run through New Year’s Eve.
Electric bill: No big increase since they use mostly LED lights
Address: 6 Kwikaway Court, Simpsonville