Driving looking at neighborhood Christmas lights has a charm that can’t be replaced by mega ticketed light extravaganzas. The simplicity of loading up the car, maybe a little past the normal bedtime, and searching for lights through a neighborhood is a sweet memory many of us cherish and aim to pass along to our children.
But let’s be real, some neighborhoods can be duds.
We’ve rounded up five sure-to-wow neighborhood light displays that have a little Christmas magic left to them with the surprise and delight of happening upon them in a neighborhood. What’s better, we’ve paired each neighborhood with a sweet treat from a nearby locally owned shop to have something festive to enjoy while seeing the glitter and glow of the homes.
Thanks to Henry Brown Auto Group for giving us the wheels to explore the East Valley and curate this list for you! We were lucky enough to test drive a GMC Acadia SLT to experience holiday lights in the latest, greatest family-friendly SUV. Be sure to check out our instagram highlights to see a full tour of the Acadia SLT and all the mom-friendly features it boasts!
Whether you’re driving or riding shotgun through the lights, these 5 neighborhoods will bring all of the holiday magic to you.
- Eastmark– located off Ellsworth and Ray in Southeast Mesa, this masterplanned community goes all out for Christmas. Sweet treat pairing: If you haven’t had Soda Rush’s pink peppermint cookie yet this season, this is a must-do before December 25! We think it’s literally the perfect cookie of the season and there’s a shop just down the road from Eastmark.
- Power + Germann– Located in Queen Creek, there’s a cluster of homes (a lot in the area) that go all out for Christmas. We’ve seen it on some IG stories and had to add it to the list. You can’t go wrong with this area. Sweet treat pairing: Just 15 minutes from San Tan Village, this is a great stop after photos with Santa to keep the holiday spirit alive, followed by holiday flavors of gelato at Frost!
- Circle G (Linsday and Houston in Gilbert) – beautiful homes, beautifully decorated for the holiday season! Sweet treat pairing: Be sure to stop by Toasted Mallow for gourmet s’mores made with their amazing in-house marshmallows for a sweet treat nearby! Open until 8 p.m., they boast over 15 different s’mores on their menu and they’re all amazing!!
- Santa Train House – this one is worth the drive to Ahwatukee. 30 years in Arizona, the Polimene family really goes all out. The highlight is, of course, the train! You can tune into 89.7FM to listen to the music as the lights dance along! Visit santatrain.com for more more info! Sweet treat pairing: With it being a little bit of a drive (Ahwatukee), this is a perfect night for a hot cocoa bomb to sip on the drive to the trains. We recommend the hot cocoa bomb from Floured because they’re mini/kid’s sized ones perfectly portioned for littles.
- Mesa Christmas– located in East Mesa, this gorgeous home is decked in over 30,000 light that bring a spectacular show! Tune into 107.5 FM to listen along! You can visit mesachristmas.com for more info. Sweet treat pairing: This display is less than a mile from Balboa’s, known for their custom dipped frozen bananas and ice cream bars, they’ve launched a special hot cocoa menu with four flavors. Our favorite is the happy hot tub where they take an ice cream bar dipped in their chocolate covering and put it right into the hot cocoa—super yum!
We love seeing what your families are up to! Tag us on your Instagram stories and posts if you visit any of these light displays!
For other family fun in these last days before Christmas, be sure to check-in on the 25 days of Disney+ movie calendar we shared and where to drop letters off to Santa (with a great, free photo opp as well!).