Here's where to see the best Christmas light displays in and near RI this year

In the spirit of Clark Griswold, many local Christmas-light attractions try to outdo themselves every year. Words like "more," "bigger," "better" and "brighter" decorate much of their marketing material. And who would want to dim that kind of spirit?

One display boasts an 18-foot talking snowman. Several claim more than a million lights. Some even let adults wander through their winter wonderlands with "adult beverages."

Here's a list of some Christmas light bright spots in Rhode Island and a short sleigh ride away in Massachusetts:

Roger Williams Park Zoo Holiday Lights Spectacular

This year's light show is "even bigger and brighter boasting more than 3½ million illuminated lights that transform the Zoo into a winter wonderland!," the zoo says on its website.

Walk through the zoo's 40 acres of illuminated pathways to see "larger-than-life dazzling displays," including "radiant reindeers" and "sparkly snowmen." Santa will be at the zoo on some Thursday nights during December, free to families who have a same-night ticket for the 5 or 6 p.m. time slots only.

It does not include animal exhibits.

Where: Roger Williams Park Zoo, 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence.

When: 5 to 9:30 p.m. nightly, except Christmas Eve.

Cost: $12 for adults, $10 for children (2 to 12), free for toddlers 1 and under.

How to buy tickets: Tickets must be bought in advance online at the zoo's website.

Night Lights at Blithewold

Calling it "an illuminating experience," Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum, a 33-acre estate in Bristol, invites visitors to view its "beautifully lit paths" revealing "stunning custom light displays, handmade bamboo ornaments and all the beauty that Blithewold’s gardens and arboretum have to offer."

The mansion will not be open.

Where: Blithewold Estate, 101 Ferry Road (Rt. 114), Bristol.

When: Wednesday through Sunday nights through Jan. 1.

Cost: $60 for nonmembers with a 4-person carload; $30 in a 2-person carload; $45 for members with a 4-person carload; $25 with a 2-person carload. Additional tickets: $15 for adult nonmembers; $12 for adult members, $5 for children ages 6 to 17, free for 5 and younger.

How to buy tickets: Tickets must be bought in advance online at Blithewold's website.

The Rhode Island Holiday Light Show at Confreda Farms

The drive-through show features "hundreds of dazzling, larger-than-life holiday themed displays to delight the entire family," Confreda Farms says on Facebook. Guests can tune their car radios to enjoy the synchronized light performance as they drive the one-mile route.

Where: Confreda Farms, 2150 Scituate Ave., Scituate village of Hope.

When: Nightly through Dec. 31.

Cost: $28.62 per car; $98.56 season pass.

How to buy tickets: Buy tickets online at boldmedia.

Sparkling Lights at The Breakers

Returning for its third year, Sparkling Lights at The Breakers will be "bigger and brighter than ever," organizers say.

Visitors can, for the first time, "stroll a complete loop around the property, enjoying a half-mile-long path glittering with hundreds of thousands of holiday lights while music fills the air," according to the Preservation Society of Newport County, caretake of the mansion. "Highlights include a dazzling 50-foot-long tunnel of light and illuminated snowmen and reindeer."

Fire pits have been added to light the way and keep visitors warm.

Where: The Breakers, 44 Ochre Point Ave., Newport

When: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Thursdays through Sundays through December 23, and every evening from December 26 to January 1. Tickets are for a specific date and time and include admission to the interior tour of The Breakers. (There will be no Sparkling Lights at The Breakers on Dec. 17, 24 or 25.)

Cost: $35 to $40 for adults; $10 for children (6 to 12)

How to buy tickets: Available online at

Pawtucket Winter Wonderland

The 30-acre Christmas display in Slater Park calls itself Rhode Island's "largest Christmas display and festival." It includes 650 decorated Christmas trees, more than 100 light displays and 20 victorian style houses. On festival nights, ride the miniature train, visit Santa in the boathouse and talk with an 18-foot snowman.

Where: Slater Park, 401 Newport Ave., Pawtucket.

When: Festival nights 4 to 8 p.m., Dec. 3, 4, 10 and 11.

Cost: Free

How to buy tickets: Not required.

Wawaloam's Festival of Lights

This drive-through holiday light display boasts "millions of twinkling and dancing lights spread throughout the campground synced to popular holiday music," according to Wawaloam Campground.

Where: Wawaloam Campground, 510 Gardiner Road, South Kingstown village of West Kingston

When: 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 1-4, 8-11, 15-23, 26-30. (Closed Dec. 24, 25)

Cost: $27.38 per vehicle.

How to buy tickets: Purchase on Wawaloam's website.

Outside of Rhode Island

These displays are across the state line but may be worth the drive:

Christmas Festival of Lights at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette

The shrine in Attleboro is holding its 70th annual Christmas Festival of Lights this year, displaying more than 400,000 lights.

"Despite the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, natural disasters, climate change and political turmoil, this year’s festival will proclaim 'JESUS CHRIST – THE LIVING LIGHT.' Generations of men and women have all declared that, even in times of darkness, His 'LIVING LIGHT' is still shining ahead of us all," writes Fr. Flavio Gillio, shrine director.

Visit with Saint Nicholas and take a hayride to Bethlehem from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday.Where: National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette, 947 Park St., Attleboro.

When: Evenings through Jan. 1.

Cost: Free, although donations are accepted.

How to buy tickets: Not needed.

Christmas Festival of Lights at Edaville Family Theme Park

Celebrating its 75th anniversary, the theme park features "millions of lights," amusement rides and a European-style Christmas market.

"You’ll be able to ride behind a steam-powered locomotive, have fun on amusement rides, and enjoy food and drink throughout the park," the park says.

The park is now offering general admission (without the train or amusement rides) to make it "more accessible to all and more affordable for families."

Where: Edaville Family Theme Park, 5 Pine Street, Carver, Mass.

When: 4 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 2 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through Jan. 1.

Cost: $12 for general admission, $29 for admission and unlimited train rides, $39 for admission, unlimited train and park rides. (The price is higher on Saturdays in December.)

How to buy tickets: Tickets must be purchased online at Edaville's website.

Magic of Lights at Gillette Stadium

With nearly one million sparkling lights, the display features themed light displays and digital animations. It includes a 32-foot-tall animated Barbie, dancing displays synchronized to holiday music and a 200-foot-long tunnel of lights.

Where: Gillette Stadium, 67 Washington St., Foxboro, Mass.

When: 5 to 10 p.m. nightly through Dec. 31, but closed some dates for Patriots home games.

Cost: $23 to $40 for standard vehicles, $100 for buses and limousines.

How to buy tickets: Buy online at MagicOfLights/Foxboroug

This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: Here's where to see the best Christmas light displays in RI this year