Best Winter Light Displays in Montgomery County

Winter City Lights

Montgomery County, Maryland is aglow with the spirit of the holiday season, thanks to the many light displays that transform our county into a magical winter wonderland. We have listed a few of our festive favorites below, but be sure to download our Adventure Planner app to find out where to see all of the holiday light displays, catch the best holiday performances, shop for the best local holiday gifts, and more.

See how easy it is to plan a perfect winter day in the app in this video:


Pro tip: Go see these lights before Christmas to avoid the crowds and get in before they sell out.

Winter City Lights
4501 Olney-Laytonsville Road, Olney


Winter City Lights is Montgomery County’s newest lights festival. With one million eco-friendly lights spread out over 18 acres, it is the largest light show in the Washington, DC and Baltimore metro areas and one of the most technologically advanced light festivals in the country. Along the 1.5-mile trail are a 52-foot programmable Christmas tree, a massive canopy of lights measuring 200 feet in diameter, and “snowstorms” every 30 minutes, regardless of the weather. Visitors can make s’mores at one of 14 bonfires, slide down the ice-slick lanes of the Penguin Plunge Snow Tube Ride, participate in the Lumberjack Axe Toss, and more.

Winter City Lights was just named the #2 Most Magical Christmas Light Display in the US by Country Living Magazine. It was designed by the same production company that puts on Field of Screams in Olney, which was voted the top haunted attraction in the country in 2022 by USA Today’s 10Best readers.

Garden of Lights
1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton


Brookside Gardens’ Garden of Lights is a magical illuminated display with more than a million dazzling LED lights shaped into original art forms of secular plants, insects, animals, characters, and other natural elements. New this year to the half-mile paved trail are oversized colorful flowers and a winter wonderland scene with tall ice-like formations and falling snow. Montgomery Parks staff handcrafted all the new light displays. Don’t forget to visit the Conservatory to see the Garden Railway exhibit during the day before Garden of Lights.

Garden of Lights tickets are being sold per person with staggered, timed entries this year to better manage crowd flow and offer visitors the best experience.

Winter Lights Festival
11950 Clopper Road, Gaithersburg


The City of Gaithersburg’s Winter of Lights Festival is Montgomery County’s only drive-thru holiday light display. Turn the dial to 97.1 WASH-FM, the DC area’s official Christmas music station, and marvel at beautifully strung trees and enchanting holiday scenes. There are more than 450 light displays in total along the 3.5-mile drive through the woods of Seneca Creek State Park, including a mermaid lagoon, Victorian village, and more.

Washington DC Temple Festival of Lights
9900 Stoneybrook Drive, Kensington

Washington DC Temple Festival of Lights

The Washington DC Temple Festival of Lights boasts more than 400,000 lights, 87 nativity scenes representing 64 countries, and nightly performances—all free of charge, though, the performances require advance ticket reservations. Performances include music and dance numbers in both local and international styles.

Looking for more holiday fun inspiration? Discover the top places to ice skate in Montgomery County and visit the MoCo Holiday Hub to elevate your joy this season.