Group Leisure & Travel is making the finishing touches to the annual Christmas Guide, and to get you excited, we’ve put together a list of some of the best light displays from across the world. 

From seeing old buildings in a new light to walking through cities posing as works of art, these places offer awe-inspiring illuminations, fireworks displays and technicolour walking trails. We’ve even added some light events that take place year round, so you can get inspired for a trip anytime – both at home and abroad.

1. The Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights

Running from 18th November until 31st January, this Canadian light festival will celebrate 35 years of illuminating Niagara Falls. The annual event turns Niagara Falls into a ‘winter wonderland’ with illuminated displays along an eight-kilometre route that travels through Niagara Parkway, Dufferin Islands and the surrounding areas.


Pictured: The Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights.

2. Beaulieu does Broadway

This autumn, Beaulieu in Hampshire will host Beaulieu does Broadway, a firework spectacular that will be taking place on the 28th October. This showbiz styled spectacular will involve choreographed displays to music and a range of entertainment for all ages. Visitors are encouraged to dress up as their favourite Broadway character for a more immersive experience.

3. Gardens by the Bay

In Singapore you’ll find Gardens by the Bay, a collection of tree-like vertical gardens with the tallest one measuring up to 16 stories in height. The attraction is free to enter, and offers a picturesque area to sit by day, and light and sound shows by night. Each evening, at 7.45pm and 8.45pm, a Garden Rhapsody spectacle takes place that comprises rainbow light displays throughout the trees, accompanied by music. The light displays take place year round.


Pictured: Gardens by the Bay, Singapore.

4. The Festival of Light

The ‘magic of storytelling’ has been confirmed as the theme for this year’s Festival of Light, taking place for the fourth time at Longleat in Wiltshire. The annual light event offers visitors a wide-ranging collection of illuminated lantern displays to explore. This year the Festival of Light will run from 10th November through to 2nd January, and a series of giant illuminated lantern displays will ‘create a new and immersive literary experience for guests to capture the magic of storytelling’.

5. Fourth of July fireworks

New York City offers a wow-inducing fireworks display every year on 4th July to celebrate all things American. Department store Macy’s holds the annual pyrotechnic spectacular that sees the East River and some of the best New York attractions illuminated by the light and colour of fireworks. There are other smaller but still dazzling displays across the city, too, like the Coney Island July 4th Fireworks Spectacular that can be viewed from rooftop bars.

4th July fireworks

Pictured: 4th July fireworks.

6. Lumiere Festival

The dates for Durham’s annual light festival, Lumiere, have been confirmed as the 16th to 19th November, and groups visiting the light festival will be able to see works by artists from around the globe. The light displays will illuminate the city in unexpected ways, in order to produce displays across the four night event. Previous years have seen highlight installations including a ‘whale’ in the river, cathedral displays and a projection of people climbing the viaduct.

7. Ayers Rock

After a sell-out run in 2016, the award-winning Field of Light, a light installation at Ayer’s Rock by artist Bruce Munro, has been extended until 31st March 2018. As darkness falls each evening, the Australian landmark is thrown into silhouette behind a field of more than 50,000 slender stems crowned with frosted-glass spheres. The installation covers an area the size of seven football fields and guided tours of the spectacle are available for groups.

Field of Light, Uluru, Bruce Munro

Pictured: Field of Light, Uluru. (Photo credit: Mark Pickthall).

8. Chatsworth House

Chatsworth may be well known for its grand architecture but this November the skies above the stately home in Derbyshire will be lit up with an array of colourful fireworks. On 4th and 5th November a Bonfire and Fireworks event will take place in the gardens of Chatsworth and will offer visitors an impressive display throughout the evening. Special rates are available for parties with 15 members or more.

9. Ibirapuera Park

Groups making a winter trip to Sao Paulo in Brazil should make time to visit Ibirapuera Park one evening. The outdoor space is a major urban park in the city and offers a place for leisure, jogging and walking, as well a cultural scene with museums and a music hall. Over the Christmas period, the park holds a water illuminations display, complete with colourful spectacles on the lake plus festive themed décor throughout the park. And it’s all free to enjoy.

Ibirapuera Park

Pictured: Ibirapuera Park, Sao Paulo.

10. Amsterdam Light Festival

Running this year from 30th November until 21st January 2018, the Amsterdam Light Festival is an annual light art event that sees artists, architects and (light) designers from all over the world bring their artworks and installations to the city. The artworks are placed alongside two routes: Water Colors, a boat route, which offers visitors the chance to experience art from a water perspective, and Illuminade, a walking route, that shows interactive installations in the Plantage neighborhood.