Drive-through holiday magic at Fantasy of Lights

There’s a holiday activity that everyone can agree on, regardless of where you fall on the Coronavirus caution spectrum.

Have you noticed that there are basically three types of families right now?

There are the super conservative and cautious folks who opted for committed distance learning and aren’t doing much outside the home. There are the carefree sort who took a vacation over the summer, want the kids back in school five days a week and don’t worry much about the virus. And then there are the families right in the middle whose kids are probably doing hybrid school and who are fairly cautious, yet still having fun. That’s us.

Well, like I said, regardless of where you fall on the Coronavirus parenting spectrum, there’s something absolutely everyone will love: a drive through the festive holiday lights at Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights.

An annual holiday tradition in central Ohio for more than 20 years, Fantasy of Lights was tailor-made for these scary, Corona-plagued times. We all know it’s safe to be in our own cars. Heck, I’ve seen moms admit to going out and sitting in their cars for a while, just for a bit of peace and relaxation.

Now, you can pack the whole pajama-clad clan in your car and roll up to Alum Creek State Park for a festive sing-along and holiday lights extravaganza. If you get lucky, there might even be a little sprinkling of snow to add that special touch of wintry magic.

Z and I went this week for a sneak preview and, since it was just the two of us, we decided to bring our dogs along. Autumn and Dani didn’t know what to think – they were blown away at the chance to go for a car ride at night, windows down and holiday lights a-twinkling. I think we made their whole year!

Heck, you could even meet friends at a nearby parking lot and then caravan through Fantasy of Lights together in a line, as long as you stay in your cars. That could actually be kind of fun!

You can drive through Fantasy of Lights nightly from now through January 3. I’m sure we’ll go through at least one more time before they close. It’s $20 per car Monday – Thursday and $30 per car Friday – Sunday (plus tax). And you buy your tickets ahead of time online so it’s contactless!

This year, Mrs. Claus has an outpost at Fantasy of Lights so little ones can drop off their letters to Santa (no postage necessary). We saw her and said hello – she’s looking good!

And now, since you made it this far, I have a special treat for a few lucky readers!

I have several free Fantasy of Lights tickets to give away, courtesy of our friends, the Bando family. All you have to do is follow @LewisCenterMom and @bbfantasyoflights on Instagram, and leave a comment below letting us know your favorite light display at Fantasy of Lights or your favorite thing about Christmas. We’ll pick a lucky winner on November 30!

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About the author

Proud and loving midlife mama. Lucky and devoted wife. Dog, cat and snake mom. Travel nut. Natural born writer. PR and social media pro by day - tattoo doula by night.


  1. My favorite thing about Christmas is family time. We have had a lot of that this year!! Doing traditions my dad (now deceased) started when I was little and doing them now with my son – singing happy birthday to Jesus, drinking orange juice and reading Luke 2.

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