Christmas Lights Show in Columbia, Maryland

Symphony of Lights
Courtesy of Symphony of Lights Festivities

Like the Winter Festival of Lights in Watkins Regional Park, one of the most popular and affordable holiday events in Maryland, the Symphony of Lights is an annual spectacle of lights that draws return visitors year after year. In 2019, the Symphony of Lights will take place every day from November 27, 2019 until January 1, 2020 at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland. On weekdays, you can see them from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends.

The Symphony of Lights

A spectacular and intricate series of Christmas lights shaped into images are displayed along the grounds of the Merriweather Post Pavilion.The 20-minute drive-through attraction brings in more than 100,000 visitors each season.

The visual art show is built with over 300,000 LED lights stretching over a mile with over-sized animated and stationary holiday creations depicting an array of holiday figures. The Pavilion also showcases a laser light show and 3-D holiday video that's projected on a wall over 50 feet high Plus, there's an ice-skating rink and concession stands with holiday-themed food and drink available for purchase.

The Symphony even has a radio station, so you can dial to 105.5FM to listen to holiday tunes as you drive through the display.

Tickets for the event cost $20 per car, but active military and veterans can get in for $10 on Thursday nights.

Specialty Nights

On three designated Specialty Nights, Symphony of Lights' is closing the route to cars, making it pedestrian-only.

Festive Families Night: At this stroller and wagon-friendly event, you and the kids will be treated to a special photo op with Santa, face painting, and hot chocolate and cookies. Festive Families takes place on December 1 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets cost $12 when you buy them online, or $15 at the gate. Children ages three and under can get in for free.

Tail Nights: Your fur babies can get in on the holiday action here. This dog-friendly event comes complete with a doggie costume contest and pup caricatures. Tail Lights is scheduled to take place on December 9 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Advance tickets cost $10, or you can get them for $15 at the gate. Free admission is given to children ages three and under. Don't forget to put your doggo on a leash!

Midnight at 7!: You don't have to stay up past midnight to enjoy a good New Year's Eve celebration. This NYE event offers up food, activities, and music for the entire family. At 7 p.m., be amazed by a stunning fireworks display. Midnight at 7! starts at 5 p.m. and ends at 7:30 p.m. on December 31. You can get tickets for $15 when you purchase them in advance, or for $20 at the gate. If you're a family of four, you can instead buy a pack of tickets for $50. Like the other two Specialty Nights, children ages three and under are free.

History

The light show debuted in 1994 and has run annually ever since, except for 2015 when the show took a break to allow for the redevelopment of the Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods. In its history, the show has received over two million visitors and raised more than $8 million for charity. All proceeds from the Christmas light display benefit the Campus Development Plan for Howard County General Hospital: A member of Johns Hopkins Medicine.​ 

Location

Merriweather Post Pavilion is an outdoor concert venue nestled within the 40 preserved acres known as Symphony Woods, in Columbia, Maryland. Originally built to be the home of the National Symphony Orchestra, the Merriweather was designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry. In addition to its use as a music venue, the expansive grounds host a variety of community festivals and events throughout the year. 

You can find the entrance to this event at the intersection of Broken Land Parkway and Hickory Ridge Road.

Weather Cancellations

Cancellations are unlikely and the show is set to go on in the rain or the snow. If there is a cancellation, Symphony of Lights will post an update to their social media pages and a notification will be sent out to anyone who pre-registered for the event.

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