The Woodland Lights of Washington Township is one of the longest-running and most popular annual lights festivals in the Miami Valley area. Every year, it opens the day after Thanksgiving and this weekend will be your last chance to experience its magic.
“It’s a neat cyclical tradition,” said Kate Trangenstein, marketing and special events leader at the Washington Township Recreation Department. “We have people who came in as children who are now bringing their own kids. It brings back a lot of memories for people, so we have a lot of community support. This year, we had $20,000 in donations from local community vendors.”
Here are the key things to know about Woodland Lights:
🌲 The Wooded Trail
The half-mile wooded path is perhaps the signature feature of Woodland Lights, featuring lighted holiday-themed figures and vignettes such as reindeer, elves, and snowflakes, but also regular objects such as airplanes and helicopters.
🎶 Sam’s Holiday Central in the A-Frame
The live entertainment takes place inside an A-frame shelter with a stage inside. Wander in, and you’re liable to find regional choral groups, a cappella groups, and saxophone groups making sweet holiday music.
🎠 Amusement Rides
The various carnival rides at Woodland Lights include a spinning strawberry, a small roller coaster called the Himalaya, and a 26-foot-tall slide that kids slide down in gunny sacks.
🦌 Live Animals
There’ll be white-tailed deer with antlers, and a local animal trainer is bringing in silver foxes.
🎅🏻Real Visits with Santa
Visit Santa inside a historic log cabin with a fire roaring in the hearth, surrounded by lights and greenery. Needless to say, it’s much more authentic than a mall.
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Pets are usually prohibited during the festival, but Woodland Lights will make an exception on Dec. 11 and 18. “People love Pet Night,” Trangenstein said. “It’s the two most popular nights of the month.”
There will also be a Train Night, where kids and adults can ride a train with an actual conductor throughout the park.
🕗 Best Time To Go
“It depends on what kind of experience you’re looking for,” Trangenstein said. “If you want a less crowded experience, it’s best to come on weeknights. But if you like crowds, come on the weekends, and of course we get busier the closer we get to Christmas.”
✨ Final Tips
“Order your tickets online, which will get you through the fast track line,” Trangenstein said. “Dress warm, and once you get here, take your time.”
WANT TO GO?
What: Woodland Lights
When: Nov. 23-Dec. 23, 6-9 p.m.
Where: Countryside Park, 895 Miamisburg-Centerville Road, Washington Twp.
Cost: $8, free for children 2 and younger
More info: 937-433-0130 | Website