UPDATE DEC. 20, 2017: Win one of two car passes to this event! See details below!
By Patricia Hall, FairfaxFamilyFun.com
If you drive along I-66 (especially traveling east from Manassas) in winter, you can’t miss the lights that sometimes peek out from the trees. This means the Bull Run Festival of Lights is back! Visiting this annual holiday lights display at Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority’s Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville is a tradition for many local families. This fun drive-through display with different scenes is an easy and quick way to spend family time together, regardless of the weather. This year, the festival takes place November 22, 2017, through January 7, 2018.
The main attraction of the Festival of Lights is the drive-through light show, which features elaborate illuminated displays that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own car. As you drive along the 2.5-mile-long circular route, you will see scenes depicting Santa’s workshop, the Twelve Days of Christmas, and other holiday and winter scenes. You also will spot penguins, snowmen, candy canes, “flying” reindeer, and in one section even some very cool lights that resemble snow falling overhead. Since this is a drive-through attraction, it’s an event you can enjoy no matter what the from the comfort of your car no matter how cold it is outside.
If the winter weather is nice or you’re bundled up and ready to brave the cold, also make time to visit the carnival at the end of your ride. The carnival is open on select dates and features traditional midway rides and games (ride tickets are not included with the basic festival admission). Also see the Holiday Village to enjoy bonfires, s’mores, hot cocoa, holiday merchandise, photos with Santa, and Santa’s Enchanted Lights, 40,000 twinkling lights set to music. On select dates there are also free family activities including cookie decorating, bingo, crafts, and nature shows, and, for a small fee, even camel rides!
Admission prices are per carload. Mondays through Thursdays, the fee is $20 or $25 per car, depending on the day. You can download a $5 off coupon on the website to use on select dates. The times for the festival (and the carnival, on applicable dates) are 5:30-9:30 Mondays through Thursdays, and 5:30-10 pm Fridays-Sundays and holidays.
Some tips to enjoy the festival:
- Go on a weekday: you will save money and avoid the crowds (another plus: with fewer cars, you usually can go a bit slower to enjoy the drive more)
- Download the coupon: save $5 per car for select weekday admissions with this coupon from the festival website
- Gather friends: as long as you’re paying by the carload, take along some friends for extra fun!
- Set the mood: make some hot cocoa before you go and put it in travel mugs to enjoy during your drive, set the radio to a station playing holiday music, and bring blankets and the kids’ favorite stuffed animals
Win a car pass to the Bull Run Festival of Lights
Two winners will each one free car pass to the Bull Run Festival of Lights, good for any day during the 2017-2018 operating season. Each winner will receive a free entry pass for one vehicle that can be used for any day and time of the festival. To enter this giveaway, leave a blog post comment below before 11 pm on Friday, Dec. 22, 2017. Two winners will be randomly selected and notified immediately via email at the address the winner used when placing the comment; the winner will need to respond with 24 hours to the notification email or risk forfeiture. The passes will be mailed to the recipient via regular U.S. Postal Service mail (in-person pick-up may be an option). This promotion is not affiliated with Facebook. Contestants agree to abide by our giveaway terms and conditions. This giveaway is open to persons ages 18 and up. The total value per prize is up to $25.
All photos courtesy of Bull Run Festival of Lights
Raja K says
I have been wanting to go to this!
Looks like fun!!
Edwin Gotico says
Angie Carpenter says
We love to see the lights at Bull Rn! Thank you for this opportunity
Claudia Galiatsos says
Would love to get picked. Kids have not gone yet!!
Love going to bull run Festival of Lights.
Rekha Kochhar says
It will be awesome if get to go.
We would love to go and see the pretty lights! Thank you
My kids would love to go see the lights
We loved it last year and would love to go back this year!
My kids have loved looking at the lights this year. They would enjoy this!
Our family would love this!
I’ve got my fingers crossed for this one!
My family would love to win tickets to this! ❤
Cindy B says
We have gone to see the Bull Run lights for many years. I recommend going during the week when it’s less crowded. Otherwise you’re looking at a good 30-45 minute wait just to get into the park.
We love Bull Run Festival of Lights!
We would love to go!
Fingers crossed! ??
Jessica F says
We always do Meadowlark. This will be a nice change. Thanks for the tip! My twins love Christmas lights.
Shannon C says
WOW. I’ve lived here my whole life and never been. Would love to go.
Mayra estrada says
I want to go!!! ?♀️ It will be fun to do it with my daughter.
We have never been before
I’d love to take my family! We haven’t been yet.
Lisa R. says
Would love to see this with my family!
I hope I am doing this right, this would be a great treat for my daughter ?
Lisa Lopez says
My family would be most grateful for one of the vehicle passes. Thank you!
This would be fun!!
Would love this for my little family! (just me and my son )
We would love to go!
Love those lights
We love the Lights at Bull Run!
Katie L. says
Would love to win this– we haven’t gone this season, yet!
Bobbi arca says
Liezel Munson says
Love Bull Run Festival Of Lights. Would love to take my family as they have never been and have been sick the past few weeks. It would help break the cabin fever we got and our two year old would love it!
Liezel Munson says
Would love to take my family as they have never been and have been sick the past few weeks. It would help break the cabin fever we got and our two year old would love it!
This would be so cool for the kids!!!
Stacy S. says
We love Christmas light decorations ! ?
Cindy Bruzzese says
We would love to do this! One child has been sick witb strep so this would be a low key way to get back into the holiday spirit.
Vinson Anderson says
Would love to go!
Michelle S says
We would love the chance to take our family to see all of the incredible lights. This would be an extra special treat – especially for our of town guests. Thanks for the chance to win.
Sara L says
Would love to take my kids! They have never been and it has been a very long time since I have.
We’ve never been and my kids would enjoy this!
Love to see lights. Happy New year !!!
Ginny George says
I was trying to think of something festive that we could do with an infant and toddler- viewing lights from inside the warm car is perfect. Thank you! Would love to win a pass
Jessica Kutzler says
I would love to take my family to this!
Carrie Clark says
Our daughter would love this! We have never seen the bull run lights. ?
Bridget Holmes says
Would love to have tickets!
Katherine M Murray says
Bull Run is the best!
Margie Wong says
Would be fun to go to with the family!
We love Bull Run ?
Jennifer Euff says
Nate Somers says
This would be awesome always wanted to go!
Would love to take my family! We’ve never been. Thanks either way!
Aronda Dent says
This sounds like fun! My kids would love this!
Mara Surridge says
I would love to win – we’ve never been but it looks like so much fun!
Nicole Stevens says
We would love to go see the lights!
Would love to take my daughter!
Ash Gojer says
Would LOVE to take our boys to see the Bull Run lights. We’ve never been!! Thank you for your offer 🙂
Annual tradition but we haven’t made it yet this year. Would love to win!
Jen Earnhart says
Haven’t made it yet this year!
Joanne Fulmer says
Do we get extra credit points if we post on Facebook and Twitter?! 🙂
I would love to take my family this year. Never been to such an event where one can enjoy lights from inside your car.
Heather Stalfort says
Can’t wait to go!
Brinda Bhargav says
It would be fun with family. Would love to win!!
We went there last year but both of our young kids fell asleep throughout the whole time. We dont mind going there again, hopefully with alert kids at this time. Thank you for this chance!
Looks like lots of fun!
Looks like a lot of fun!! ? ?
We would love to win a chance to see the lights.
It’s really stunning
Amanda Orr says
My family loves Christmas lights.
I’ve lived in this area for 19 years now and would love to go for the first time!
Would love to go, thanks for the chance to win!
Millie W. says
This is such a fun holiday tradition!
Would love to win!
Liezel Munson says
We’ve been having cabin fever due to all in our household being sick but would love to go see some lights. 🙂
This looks fun!
Menka Linthicum says
Our family love to go! My kids are stir crazy as I’ve been sick the past two weeks.
Sheila Bartley says
We haven’t been to the light in years and we’re just taking about going.
Virginia Stannard says
Wahoooooo I love that place!!!
We would love this!
Andy Miller says