SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Bright Nights at Forest Park, recognized as the Northeast’s premier holiday lighting experience, is set to captivate visitors with its dazzling displays.

The 29th season kicked off on Wednesday, November 22, offering a magical three-mile drive featuring over 700,000 lights.

The enchanting journey takes visitors through themed displays such as Seuss Land, Toy Land, Victorian Village, Jurassic World, and more! Awe-inspiring arches, tunnels, and larger-than-life exhibits create a festive atmosphere that immerses all visitors.

Courtesy of Spirit of Springfield

New additions to the 2023 season promise more activities beyond the car ride. Santa’s Magical Forest, positioned just after Seuss Land, welcomes guests to meet and take photos with Santa until Christmas Eve. The festivities include a grand carousel, delectable snacks, souvenir opportunities, and the chance to capture holiday selfies.

22News spoke to Bright Nights Co Founder Judy Matt about why this yearly event is so important not only for the spirit of Springfield but for uplifting everybody’s spirits, “Everytime you turn on the TV or radio, you see and hear all the troubles we have in the world and tonight, when you drive through bright nights you can’t think that because it’s just so uplifting.”

Throughout the season, various activities are scheduled, including musical performances by high school choruses, appearances by beloved characters like the Snow Queen, Ice Princess, Grinches Granddaughter, and Elf on the Shelf. Special events such as free face painting on December 4th and 11th and Zoo Nights with activities at the Zoo at Forest Park on December 5th and 12th add to the holiday cheer.

Pets are not left out of the festivities. On December 1st and 15th, furry family members can join in the holiday spirit and have their picture taken with Santa.

For those planning ahead, reservations are open for horse-drawn wagon and carriage rides, as well as Supper with Santa at the Barney Carriage House.

General admission tickets offer visitors a magical experience. Limited discounted tickets for specific dates are available, including Roll Back night on November 22nd, where tickets are priced at the 1995 rate of $6 per car. Additionally, $10 admission tickets for December 5th and 12th are offered. Limousine admission tickets are available, and Big Y World Class Markets offers general admission tickets at a discounted rate with Big Y Membership. Buses are welcome, with reservations accepted throughout the year.

Bright Nights at Forest Park will be open from November 22, through January 1, 2024, closed on November 27 and 28, 2023. Nightly illumination begins at 5 p.m., with lights glowing until 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 10 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and holidays, including Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.

The Spirit of Springfield has been collaborating with the Springfield Department of Parks, Buildings, and Recreation Management Park since the event’s inception in 1995, entertaining over seven million visitors to date.

For more information and a detailed schedule of activities, visit their website.

Local News

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