In the mood for fun family time? Then head to the car, turn the key in the ignition, and get prepped to see some of the most incredible, unique light shows in the area. Hot cocoa could be a plus, as could holiday tunes playing in the vehicle. And since it gets dark so early, you may want to enter the street addresses of any shows into your phone so you can easily arrive at destinations. Below is a list of some of the most colorful or unique displays in the area, but don't let our list keep you from driving around and looking for lights on your own with family.
- It's back! After a year's break in 2015, the Lights of Tanea has returned. This entire street of lights in the south part of Reno is up, boasting homes with inflatables, flashing lights, large Santa, reindeer, polar bears and much more. Many of the houses on both sides of Tanea Drive participate, but the most impressive action can be found at 16180 Tanea Drive, right in the middle of the street. Find Santa and his reindeer on the roof, a lit-up tree more than two stories tall, and a yard full of lights and fun. While you are there, tune your radio into 95.1 FM to pick up the musical sound. The flashing lights and show are shown from 5-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 5-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, but be careful when driving around because this street gets lots of action – including walkers.
- While subdued compared to Tanea Drive, 1576 San Pedro St. in Sparks promises something that very few houses have – a life-sized cut-out Grinch and his trusty canine sidekick. The garage is bedecked in lights, but what makes this getup so impressive is a single white light that brings out the green beauty of the Grinch, who stands next to a sign that says "The Elf Made Me Do it." The only thing that might have made this get-up more impressive is to have holiday lights in Grinch-green.
- The Light Show Bro in Sparks is a display not to be missed. Located at 5555 Junction Peak Drive, it offers lights in just about every part of the yard, and a large star about the garage windows. There also are leaping arches, candy canes, a mega tree, and even lawn edging. More than 20,000 LED lights make up this display, with 13-minute shows starting at 5 p.m. and running through 9:30 p.m. daily. Tune into 89.3 FM to hear synchronized music along to the light show, which runs through Dec. 31.
- Perhaps an all-time favorite is the two houses at 1651 and 1661 Brentworth Way in Double Diamond. Not only are these houses full of spectacular color, but they also have impressive inflatables in the yards and lights on the roofs. The house on the right (1661) has a truly unique feature making this home worth a visit: park outside and look to the front living room window for a surprise. Soon, you'll see a large man in a red outfit appear in the window, stop to sample some cookies and then head out to leave some gifts behind. He's impressive to watch and will elicit a "Mom, it's Santa!" from one of your kids or ride-alongs, but only you will know – when the imagery repeats a few minutes later – that it's not the real man in red, but one who sure does an impressive job.
- The Parade of Lights comes back to Hidden Valley, and features homes throughout the community participating in the area's light competition. The best way to find lights is to head in one direction or the other around Hidden Valley Drive, about a three-mile loop, and be on the look out for displays. It doesn't take long to find one. Right at 5665 Hidden Valley Drive is a home that has many wooden cutouts, such as gingerbread men, elves, snowmen and more. Lights decorate the entire yard, and there is music playing. Since a good display always has hidden treasures, be sure to look for the penguin swinging from a tree. Later along Hidden Valley Drive, you can spot a lit-up train high up on the hill on the roof of a house. This is 113 Mia Vista Court, and a drive up to the home promises many delights, including a fully lit-up house, Frosty and Santa in the cab of a pick-up, a large, dancing singing Santa in the front yard, and even a red mailbox for letters to Santa.
- 2835 Solitude Drive, off of Mount Rose Highway, is bedecked in lights, along with a large inflatable green dragon in the front yard. Lighted candy canes can be seen on the front porch and the terrace of bushes at the front of the yard is entirely draped in color. There are several other inflatables, but the green dragon is really the wow of this display. Lit white icicles drape off a nearby tree (really cool when a breeze is blowing!), and a Christmas tree is cast by light above the top of the garage door. Be sure to drive down the street, turn around and come back up to catch the added extravaganza in the side yard.
- 270 Omni Drive, off of Pyramid Highway, provides a dazzling display of lights, including a large Christmas tree in the middle of the yard, the words "Ho, Ho, Ho" across the front face of the home and large plastic candles in the front yard. There also are smaller holiday trees that run across the yard. On the way up to this home, enjoy the lights at 307 Omni Drive for its multicolor display of lights, including lights along the eaves and a large bush in front of the home entirely covered in color. A true sight to see.