Must-see holiday light displays to make your season bright

A tableau from Auburn Holiday Displays in Auburn, Mass. Photo courtesy Manning Family.
A tableau from Auburn Holiday Displays in Auburn, Mass. Photo courtesy Manning Family.

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – For the people behind these holiday light displays, it’s the most wonderful time of the year! It takes hours of planning, programming and assembly to bring these displays to life, and once they’re ready, folks from far and wide flock to see them. If you’re looking for a fun, free activity for the holidays, bundle up and head to one (or all!) of these local light displays.

WEST BAY

The Lewis Family Light Show, 12 Shenandoah Road, Warwick, RI

Christmas is a family affair for the Lewises. For the past 20 years, their home has become a glowing mecca of holiday cheer, and this year, it’s gone totally 21st century. The Lewis Family Light Show is the only Christmas display in new England with an interactive mobile website that allows visitors to see which song will be playing next. Visitors can even change the playlist by voting for their favorite song. Check out the site here.

Like most of the displays on this list, the Lewis display takes a ton of time and effort to complete. This year’s display took more than 120 hours to setup. It includes more than 100 extension cords to power all of the high-tech lights that “dance” in time to the music.

The display begins on Friday, Nov., 25 at 5 p.m. and runs through Dec. 31. The Lewises light the lights Monday through Thursday from 5 to 8:55 p.m., and Friday and Saturday nights from 5 to 9:55 p.m. You can listen to the 29 different Christmas songs by tuning your car radio to 106.9 FM.

The Lewis family accepts donations on behalf of The Autism Project to help children go to summer camp “Camp Wannagoagain.”

Visit their Facebook page and their website.

Fun fact: The Lewis children can sometimes be spotted handing out candy canes to good girls and boys.

Picozzi Family Christmas Display, 75 Gristmill Road, Warwick

Frank Picozzi’s house shines so brightly, some say you can see it from the North Pole. Picozzi has been decorating his home for 30 years, but 2016 marks his ninth year setting up an animated display.

Picozzi has ditched traditional Christmas lights and instead uses the same lighting technology found in Tokyo or Times Square. Because of this, Picozzi says his display is one of the most technologically-advanced in the country.

Programming his lights is a time-consuming process: Picozzi says 10 seconds of song takes about five hours to program! Picozzi begins setting up the display on Oct. 15 and continues every weekend and weeknight until the week before Thanksgiving, about 250 hours total.

Picozzi’s display begins Friday, Nov. 25 and runs through Jan. 1. You can see the show Sunday through Thursday from 5:30 to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Listen to the music by tuning to 97.1 FM on your car radio. In addition to the lights that dance in time to holiday songs, little ones can meet Santa every Saturday night in December!

Picozzi is accepting donations for The Tomorrow Fund of Hasbro Children’s Hospital. Over the years, the Picozzi family has raised more than $30,000 for charities.

Visit their Facebook page and their website.

Fun Fact: This year, kids can mail their letters to Santa by dropping them in a special mailbox to the North Pole. Picozzi even promises a handwritten response from Santa himself!

Conway Christmas Lights Extravaganza, 265 Maple Valley Road, Coventry, RI

Photo submitted by Joe Conway.
Photo submitted by Joe Conway.

The Conway Christmas Lights Extravaganza has gotten bigger and bigger every year since they began decorating in 1992.

This year’s display features more than 60,000 lights, upwards of 400 blow molds and a 550-foot walk-able path. But that’s not all — this year the display includes the Conway’s own version of “The Polar Express.” Visitors can walk through the handmade train car and behind the engine, immersing themselves in the beloved Chris Van Allsberg story.

Naturally, an “extravaganza” doesn’t come together overnight — the Conways begin decking their halls the first weekend of September. They turn on the lights Thanksgiving night from 7 to 10 p.m., and the display runs every night thereafter from 5 to 10 p.m. until New Year’s Eve.

The Conways collect monetary donations for The Tomorrow Fund, a non-profit organization that helps children with cancer. They also collect non-perishable food items for the Coventry Food Bank. Kids can also mail letters to Santa by dropping them in a special mailbox for the North Pole!

Visit their Facebook page.

Fun Fact: The Conways kept the addition of the “Polar Express” a secret until Thanksgiving of this year!

Souza’s Holiday Spectacle, 8 North Street, Warwick, RI

Photo courtesy Pete Souza.
Photo courtesy Pete Souza.

Just like Pete Souza’s annual Halloween yard haunt, all of the components of his Christmas displays are hand made.

Souza has been decorating his Warwick home since 2010, and each year he makes a new piece.

This year he has oversize nutcrackers, a ferris wheel, carousel, “Peanuts” characters and a gingerbread house!

His winter wonderland is lit daily from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. and includes some festive and fun holiday music.

Fun Fact: Visit Souza’s home during the month of October and you’ll find ghosts flying overhead!

Lenox Avenue Lights, 10 Lenox Avenue, West Warwick, RI

Photo courtesy Shirley Gentry.
Photo courtesy Shirley Gentry.

When Bruce Erikson and his wife started decorating their home 19 yeas ago, it was a small display, but each year its grown bigger and brighter.

“It really looks like Christmasville here,” said Erikson in an email to Eyewitness News. The display includes light-up candy canes, Christmas characters, trees and delightful holiday music.

The display is lit on weekends until December 9, at which point it will run nightly through New Year’s Day from 6 to 10 p.m.

Fun Fact: The Eriksons’ display is so beloved, one of their neighbors told us about it!


EAST BAY

Giroux Family Christmas Display, 69 Outlook Avenue, East Providence, RI

While most people spend the time leading up to the holidays baking and shopping, the Giroux family is wiring and programming.

They’ve been decorating their East Providence home for the holidays for the past ten years, synchronizing their Christmas lights with catchy carols and classics.

This year, the display will be lit from Thanksgiving through January 8, weekdays from 5:30 to 9 p.m. and weekends from 5:30 to 10 p.m.

On Friday Nov. 25, the Girouxs will host an opening night celebration with free hot chocolate, candy canes and pictures with Santa!

Donations will be split between Cub Scout Pack 5 and Girl Scout Troop 516, both of East Providence.

Visit their Facebook page and their YouTube channel.

Fun Fact: The Giroux family says it takes a team of 12 volunteers about 15 hours to set up the display — that’s not including the dozens of hours spent programming beforehand!

Lights for Lives, 84 Hayden Avenue, Tiverton, RI

A few strings of twinkle lights and an evergreen wreath just don’t do the trick for Colleen and Larry St. Onge.

Instead, for the past five years they’ve been transforming their Tiverton home into a holiday mecca of sound and light. This year they’ve strung up 30,000 lights that “dance” to music broadcast on 91.7 FM.

The show runs nightly from Thanksgiving through January 1. The lights are on Monday through Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 4 to 10 p.m. Santa pays a visit every Friday and Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m., and there’s a sleigh for photos and candy canes for kids!

Donations will be collected for The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, as well as the Tiverton Food Pantry.

Visit their Facebook page.

Fun Fact: This year’s display features a light-up peacock!

The Frisina Family Lights, 283 Massasoit Avenue, East Providence, RI

Photo submitted by Jason Frisina.
Photo submitted by Jason Frisina.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Frisina family’s East Providence home!

For the past seven years, the Frisina family has been spreading holiday cheer by stringing up 20,000 lights that blink and flash in time to classic holiday songs. The display takes close to a month to set up and includes 32 different programmable channels that control thousands of lights.

Visitors can listen to the music by tuning their car radio to 89.9 FM. The display runs nightly from Saturday, Nov. 26 through Jan. 1, Monday through Friday from 5 to 9:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 5 to 10:30 p.m.

This year, the Frisina family is collecting donations for the Providence Chapter of the Ronald McDonald House.

Visit their Facebook page.

Fun Fact: The Frisina family often finds “thank you” notes in their mailbox from grateful holiday visitors!


CONNECTICUT

Amarante’s Winter Wonderland, 8 Pratt Road, Dayville, CT

Photo submitted by Alexis Amarante.
Photo submitted by Alexis Amarante.

Just over the western border of Rhode Island lies a winter wonderland — Amarante’s Winter Wonderland, that is.

Visitors can walk throughout the Amarantes’ glistening yard, marveling at the 200,000 twinkling Christmas lights strung up on the house and trees. The display also includes more than 40 inflatable characters.

The spectacle is the work of Daniel Amarante, whose love of holiday lights began at age 10 when he received a small inflatable as a Christmas gift. In the 11 years since, his passion has grown and become known throughout the community.

Amarante begins setting up the display each year in August. Visitors can walk through the glowing wonderland nightly from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. The lights are on Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. The Amarantes collect monetary donations to fill stockings for children in local homeless shelters, and also hold fundraising nights to benefit charities like Feed the Need Food Pantry and The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Connecticut.

The Amarantes also invite Santa to meet children every Friday in December!

Visit their Facebook page.

Fun Fact: Daniel Amarante said the display is partially a tribute to his father, Joseph Amarante, who passed away in 2012. Daniel said his dad always encouraged him to pursue his passions and dreams.

Quiet Corner Christmas, 251 Wauregan Road, Brooklyn, CT 

It may be called “Quiet Corner,” but visitors to this display just over the Rhode Island border shouldn’t anticipate a silent night.

This is the tenth year Chris Lambert has decorated his Brooklyn home with animated lights, and the ninth year he’s incorporated holiday music. This year’s display includes 80,000 lights and took about 100 hours to set up.

The show runs nightly from Friday, Nov. 25 through New Year’s Day. Visitors can see the show Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m. Quiet Corner offers extended hours closer to Christmas. Listen to the music on 95.1 FM.

Visit their Facebook page and their YouTube channel.

Fun Fact: Instead of collecting donations this year, Lambert encourages folks to do a good deed and help spread Christmas cheer!


MASSACHUSETTS

Lagarto Christmas Lights, 192 Jean Drive, Seekonk, MA

As a child, Michael Lagarto remembers driving around with his family looking at Christmas lights. Now, he hopes young children will remember his holiday display when they’re older. And it certainly is a memorable one!

Lagarto’s display includes more than 40,000 LED lights, a mega tree and an assortment of light up characters. The lights “dance” in time to holiday songs, twinkling in the winter night.

In addition to programming the lights to the songs, Lagarto said it takes around 60 hours to set up the display. He’s been decorating his Seekonk home for the last seven years.

Jolly visitors can listen to the music by tuning their car radios to 105.5 FM. The display runs nightly from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, Monday through Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 5 to 11 p.m.

Visit their Facebook page.

Fun Fact: Lagarto said he still feels like a kid when he sees Christmas lights!

L&R Lighting, 793 Sutton Street, Northbridge, MA

Photo submitted by Rich Arsenault.
Photo submitted by Rich Arsenault.

Christmas may come only once a year, but for Leslie and Rich Arsenault (together L&R Lighting), decorating for the holiday is a year-round hobby.

This marks their eighteenth year putting together a Christmas display. It features more than 150,000 twinkling lights and 50 homemade wood cutouts. The lights “dance” in time to holiday songs that are broadcast on 92.7 FM.

The Arsenaults’ merry display runs nightly from Dec. 2 though Christmas night from 5:30 to 9 p.m. The Arsenaults collect donations for the Jimmy Fund.

Visit their Facebook page.

Fun Fact: The Arsenaults say Santa sometimes stops by their display to drop off early Christmas presents!

Sachs Family Lights Extravaganza, 21 Mann Street, Bellingham, MA

The Sachs family helps to make the holiday season bright…literally!

Their Bellingham home just over the Rhode Island border is festooned with all sorts of light-up treats: a mega tree, peppermint sticks, leaping arches and more. Plus, Santa, Mrs. Clause and Rudolph even make cameos in their show!

The lights twinkle and shine to holiday songs broadcast on 101.7 FM. The show runs nightly from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve, Sundays through Thursdays from 6 to 10 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 6 to 11 p.m.

This year, Santa will pay a special visit for photos on Saturday, Dec. 17 from 4 to 7 p.m.

The Sachs family is also collecting monetary donations this year to benefit Massachusetts Vest-A-Dog.

Visit their Facebook page.

Fun Fact: The Sachs family also does a Halloween display. When that comes down on Nov. 1, the Christmas display goes up!

Auburn Holiday Display, 12 Reithel Street, Auburn, MA

Photo courtesy Auburn Holiday Display.
Photo courtesy Auburn Holiday Display.

Reithel Street looks an awful lot like the North Pole come December 1.

The Manning family has been decorating their Auburn home for the past three years, allowing tiny tots with their eyes all aglow to walk through their magical display. This year the walk includes inflatable, blow molds, plenty of lights and other hand-made items. On specific nights, Jolly Old St. Nick himself is known to pay a visit, and visitors can enjoy hot cocoa and cookies.

The Auburn Holiday Display collects unwrapped gifts — toys, gift cards, clothes – as admission to their walk. Donations benefit the Auburn Secret Santa program and another that the family runs privately for struggling middle class families.

The display is sponsored this year by Escape Games Worcester and runs nightly the entire month of December from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Visit their Facebook page.

Fun Fact: The Manning family hand-delivers donations to needy families every year before Christmas.

Kut Family Christmas Light Display, 70 Summerfield Avenue, Somerset, MA

Photo courtesy Stephen Kut.
Photo courtesy Stephen Kut.

The Kut family’s Somerset home transforms into a glistening gingerbread house every holiday season.

The family has been decorating for the past four years, and this year’s display includes close to 35,000 lights. There are also two “mega trees” towering at more than 20-feet apiece.

And if you’re having trouble navigating your way there, look up: you’ll find a star measuring 54-inches high and 42-inches wide suspended 14-feet over the roof of their house! This year, they’ve even added an artificial snow machine!
The display is lit nightly through January 1 from 5 to 10 p.m.

Visit their Facebook page.

Fun Fact: The Kut family’s display typically starts on December 1, but they got so excited this year, they lit it on November 27!


Do you have a favorite holiday display that’s not on this list? Tell us about it!