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Are you going to be in Cincinnati, Ohio during the holiday season? Do you want to find an awesome holiday lighting display to experience with your kids? Then the Coney Island Night of Lights is for you! It is the best Christmas light display in Cincinnati. Keep reading to find out why you will love it!
What is the Coney Island Night of Lights?
This mega Christmas light display is a Cincinnati holiday tradition. It is visited by families year after year.
Coney Island is a water park on the banks of the Ohio River, approximately ten miles from downtown Cincinnati. But in the wintertime, this family amusement area turns into a magical world of twinkling lights. Coney Island Night of Lights has over two million Christmas lights.
The display is set up in the parking area of Coney Island. While you would think this would be too small for a huge lighting display, you will be amazed at how much they can squeeze in! It definitely feels like it is much bigger than it is.
What makes it so special?
This is not just any old holiday display. It is an experience! It is such a wonderful way to celebrate the holidays, especially with your kids.
The lights dance in time to holiday music, which you can get in your car by turning your car radio to a specific station. The whole thing is one big feast for the eyes.
Many of the exhibits are super creative. There are some large Santa and elf faces whose mouths move in sync with the music, so that it appears that they are actually signing the Christmas carols. These were the best.
The highlights also include several giant Christmas trees made out of lights, a row up light up toy soldiers, and a couple of light tunnels that you drive through.
It is the best light show that I have ever seen. Even my husband, who is not a big fan of things like this, enjoyed it.
The logistics of visiting
Coney Island Night of Lights opens each year around mid-November. It runs until the beginning of January. The show goes on every night, rain or shine. It begins each night at dusk and is open until 10 pm.
Admission is charged by the car. The prices vary based on the night you go, as well as the size of your vehicle.
Vehicles that seat 8 people or less are $25 per car on Mondays through Thursdays and $30 per car on weekend nights. Vehicles that can accommodate 9-15 people are $50 per car, regardless of the night. If you are in a vehicle that can hold 16 or more people, you will be charged $75.
Limos, tour buses, and vehicles that are 25+ feet long are not allowed. They are just too long to safely navigate the lighting display.
It will take you approximately 30-40 minutes to drive through the entire exhibit.
You can find all the details about this year’s display by visiting the Coney Island website.
Tips to have the best experience
To ensure you have the best time at the Coney Island Night of Lights, use the following tips:
Tip #1: Get there early!
Don’t underestimate the popularity of this event! The lines to get in get really long really fast! And the last thing you want to do is to spend half your night waiting in line to get to the lights. Early arrival will greatly minimize your wait time.
When we went, we arrived about 45-60 minutes prior to dusk, and there were approximately 30 cars in front of us.
Tip #2: Turn off your headlights.
Once you enter the lighting display, turn off your headlights.
The exhibit winds back and forth through the parking lot. This means that as you are driving one direction, there will be cars off to your side going the opposite direction. So, turning off your headlights will allow everyone to fully enjoy the lights.
Don’t worry. The lights are so bright that you will be able to easily see where you are going without your lights on.
Tip #3: Tune into the music.
While the lights are wonderful by themselves, to get the full experience, you have to turn on the music that they are synchronized to.
To hear the music, tune your car radio to 97.5 FM as you enter the display.
Tip #4: Go to the bathroom in advance.
This is a very important tip, especially if you have younger kids with you. Once you enter the exhibit, you won’t be able to stop to go the bathroom.
There are porta-potties just outside the entrance gates. Definitely take the opportunity to go to the bathroom while you are waiting to get in. You will be glad you did later!
Tip #5: Bring some blankets.
It doesn’t take a genius to realize that it gets cold in Ohio in the winter, especially right next to the river. But it is a lot more enjoyable to view the lights with the car windows rolled down. However, it doesn’t take long before you get cold with the windows down.
So, to keep warm while you are enjoying the show, bring some blankets. Have everyone in the car bundle up and get cozy while driving through.
The Coney Island Night of Lights in Cincinnati, Ohio is one of the best and most entertaining Christmas light displays that I’ve ever seen. It is definitely worth the time and money to drive through and see it. I highly recommend seeing it for yourself if you will be in or near Cincinnati during the holidays.
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