Christmas lights are a must during this time of year.  I love to drive through neighborhoods and see houses all lit up and bright, but it's hard to find neighborhoods where enough houses do it to make it worth driving through.  Because of this, we usually get our Christmas light fix in by visiting places that specifically set up their lights for visitors.  I know there are lots of options, but I want to share my own recommendations this year!

Night of a Thousand Candles
at Brookgreen Gardens

Lights Before Christmas at the Riverbanks Zoo & Garden - This was our first outing to see lights this year and it was just meh.  So many people talked about how much they enjoyed the lights at the zoo, so I had been really excited to put it on my Bucket List and go see it for myself.  It cost $11 per adult.  We had dinner at the restaurant and it wasn't that great.  Then we had s'mores and it was pretty expensive.  Most of the animals were asleep, so we didn't get to see any (which we knew was likely so that was ok).  However, I had been expecting some pretty great lights and was really disappointed.  It was cold and we basically just walked through the zoo once, thought that several hours had passed, checked the time and saw it had been only an hour and a half...so we decided we had seen everything there was to see and went back home.  This was not worth the price, so I wouldn't recommend it...but, I have to say, we still had fun because of the great company!

My sister, Yahyee, and me!

Ironman and my brother in law, Jason, making s'mores.

Ironman and me :)

This was the best looking display at the entire zoo!

Holiday Lights on the River at Saluda Shoals Park - I really enjoyed seeing the lights at Saluda Shoals because we got to stay in our warm car the majority of the time!  There were tons of other cars there too, so it was a long wait to drive into the park and we had to drive pretty slowly throughout the lights, but it didn't bother me at all.  It cost $15 per car and there was an area where you could stop, get out of the car to walk around a bit, participate in some kids activities and get some snacks like hot chocolate and make s'mores.  I highly recommend you go before the year is up!  Plus, if you are trying to spend less while having fun, this was more affordable than the Riverbanks Zoo and Brookgreen Gardens.

The train was my favorite lights set up!

Us with Ironman's brother, Kevin, and his girlfriend, Allison!

Lights4Paws on Mears Drive - This was short and sweet and I really enjoyed it!  There is no fee, just a donation box and all donations go to the Florence Area Humane Society.  It is a short walk with more lights than I've ever seen in one place.  There is also a little station with a bon fire and hot chocolate.  The people were so nice and friendly and it seems like a great place to come with kids.  I would highly recommend this place if you live in Florence!

Us with my sister, Magpie!

Night of a Thousand Candles at Brookgreen Gardens - Ironman and I see the lights here every year.  It's been our tradition since our honeymoon!  I love it because there are different areas with lights and they decorate each area slightly different every year, so I'm always curious to see how it's changed.  There is a food tent with food, drinks and snacks and tons of tents with skits and music and various entertainment.  It costs $18 per person (the prices have increased over the years), but it makes a great date night spot.  Take your significant other to a dinner at Bonefish Grill and then come see the lights and I guarantee you, you'll have a great time!  We love this place and it's our favorite every single year!

I love when they have the lights
hanging down from the trees!

We take a photo here, in the same spot, every year!
Where do you like to go to see some amazing Christmas lights?  I'd love an idea of where to go in town on Christmas Eve!

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