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By Katie Forsha
With the holidays quickly approaching and the time left in the year dwindling quickly, there is no better way to celebrate the season than viewing some holiday lights. Spare your wallet the pain and simply hop in your car to enjoy these free local attractions that will certainly light up your world.
One of the most popular spots to celebrate the season is Irvine Park’s Christmas Village. Everyone from college students to families enjoy these displays every year. Bundle up, grab a thermos of hot cocoa and get ready to snap endless Instagram-worthy pictures at this sparkling park.
Lasting from Thanksgiving through New Years Day, Irvine offers a dazzling display of over 60,000 lights. It is the perfect backdrop for festive family photos or for couples to experience all the romance the holidays have to offer. Visitors can either drive through the park or walk along the twinkling sidewalks. Don't forget to grab your snow boots so build a snowman underneath the gleaming trees, or just enjoy a slow stroll through this real-life snow globe.
If you're looking to mix it up, you can also check out the Christmas Lights Trolley Tour from Nov. 23 - Dec. 23. Enjoy viewing the village from a nice, heated seat on the trolley instead of out in the cold. Some Christmas music will be playing in your ears and you'll be munching on some food and sipping on hot cocoa, what could be better?
Can’t make your way to Irvine Park this holiday? No worries! There are some houses right here in Eau Claire with light displays that are sure to have you feeling festive. Keep your seats heated and bass blasting as you watch the EC Lights show. Located at 3748 Maywood Dr, this show is 25 minutes of holiday music that is synchronized with the exterior lights. Watch as the lights flicker to the tunes and gracefully bounce from the house to the trees throughout this show. Be sure to check out EC Lights on Facebook to get a sneak peek of their holiday playlist.
Following the show at EC Lights, continue your holiday hunt over to Christmas in the Valley at E3860 Redwood Drive. After tuning in to 93.5 on your radio, you are sure to feel the joy of Christmas while lights dance across the yard throughout this spectacular show. Along with the display, the house also has a donation box for non-perishable items, clothing and personal hygiene products. If you can, spread the love this holiday season by donating a few things. Kick up your feet and munch on some holiday snacks as you watch this show come to life from the comfort of your car.
Whether you’re looking for an outdoor adventure or a comfortable ride through a winter wonderland, these music and light displays will leave your senses in holiday-overload this season.
If you’re looking for an extra unique experience this winter, join us downtown as we Light Up Eau Claire this New Year’s Eve with lanterns and fireworks alike. More info can be found here.