Looking for a charge of Christmas cheer? These bright spots in the road are a megawatt of fun, and who couldn’t use a holiday activity that doesn’t break the bank? Load up your spark plugs for a cruise of Atlanta’s best Candy Cane Lanes, where admission is always free but donations to various charities are gladly accepted. Read on to shed light on our eight favorite high voltage homes around town.

543972_488684731245252_850250077_n

Photo: Christmas in Castille via Facebook

Christmas in Castille, Alpharetta
This synchronized Christmas lights display at 4220 Tivoli Way in Alpharetta is a techie’s dream, with thousands of lights that are run on a software / hardware solution that turns them on and off at different intensities—based on a sequence written to music, naturally. Weather permitting, the show runs from Dec. 1-Dec. 24 from 6-9 p.m. Thurs.-Sat. The neighborhood is gated so when the gates close for the night, the show ends. Remember to tune your radio to 89.9FM, and check out the website for additional details.

Brookhaven3

Photo: S. Massey

Winall Down Rd. in Historic Brookhaven
While all of Historic Brookhaven shines during the holiday season, nobody does it bigger than the home at 901 Winall Down Rd. With hundreds of inflatables, this outrageous display is for a good cause: admission is free, but you can purchase baked goods or make donations to The Genesis Shelter.

citg-2013-display-106

Photo: Christmas in the Grove

Christmas in the Grove, Decatur
The Paradowski family at 1428 Oak Grove Dr. in Decatur knows how to string a light or two—or over 115,00—together. With four miles of extension cords to their name, this family’s herculean effort to spread Christmas cheer (and raise money for ALS with optional donations) is impressive. See their website here for showtimes and updates.

Snow and lights

Photo: S. Massey

The Gaddy’s Christmas Lights
For more than 20 years the Gaddy Family of 898 Sandy Creek Rd. in Fayetteville has put on a Christmas light extravaganza, complete with an operating ferris wheel and thousands of lights. There is no admission, visitors are asked to remain in their vehicles for safety, and donations for March of Dimes and Toys for Tots are welcome. The Gaddy’s keep the lights on from Thanksgiving through January 1st from 6 to 10 p.m.

Christmas Lights

Photo: A Whole Lot of Christmas via Facebook

A Whole Lot of Christmas, Stone Mountain
The Economy family at 1833 Smokerise Summit has been decorating their home for over 25 years with only the help of family, friends, and neighbors, and they’re proud to pony up a “whole lot of Christmas” each year. With a Christmas tree forrest, snowflake lane, gingerbread land, North Pole Cafe, Disney section, nativity, and Santa, this family endeavor is big enough to inspire even the worst Grinch to string a light or two. Check hours of operation and details here. Admission is free but donations are accepted for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Christmas Lights

Photo: Holiday Magic Light Show via Facebook

Holiday Magic, Midtown
Dubbed “Holiday Magic,” the Woodruff family’s light display at 1091 Monroe Dr. in Atlanta is a free nightly holiday light show featuring dancing Christmas lights, inflatables, and special effects synchronized to holiday music. And just a stone’s throw from the Botanical Garden’s light extravaganza with none of the cost! Check out details here.

Swan Coach House Lights

Photo: Atlanta History Center via Facebook

The Governors Mansion and Swan House Mansion, Buckhead
For a stately and tasteful presentation of lights and greenery, head to Buckhead to see the Governor’s Mansion at 391 West Paces Fy. Rd., and then around the corner to the Swan House Mansion as seen from Andrews Dr. NW.

12301668_954819791259234_5491685060807233842_n

Photo: Vinyard Christmas via Facebook

Vinyard Christmas, Lawrenceville
With a passion for Christmas and the technology to make it happen, the Knapp family—at
3690 Vinyard Way in Lawrenceville—sets 13,000 lights to festive holiday tunes (91.7 FM to listen). For weather updates and show information, check out their Facebook page here.

Looking for a list of the pro shows around town? Click here. Where is your favorite Atlanta ‘hood to see the lights this season? Plug it in the comments section below!

—Shelley Massey & Phebe Wahl