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Celebrate at the Howard County Symphony of Lights

Symphony of Lights

The Symphony of Lights in Columbia, MD, will leave you dazzled!


Every year in our own Howard County, the Symphony of Lights makes the region sparkle. A must-see annual event, the Symphony of Lights in Columbia, MD, has been recognized by the Baltimore Sun as a family-oriented spectacular. (For more family-friendly things to do, check out our free area vacation guide.)

What Is the Symphony of Lights?

Put simply, it’s an incredible holiday display of lights. The dazzling display of more than 100 larger-than-life animated and stationary holiday light creations feature more than 250,000 bulbs. During the past 21 years, nearly 2 million individuals have visited the lights, and proceeds from the event have raised more than $7.5 million to benefit Howard County General Hospital, the only hospital in Howard County.

New in 2016

This year there are new elements to the Symphony of Lights…

  • New course design (still located in Symphony Woods in downtown Columbia, Md.)
  • Refurbished traditional light displays and brand-new displays
  • 100% LED lighting
  • Laser light show
  • 3-D holiday video (projected 50 feet high at Merriweather Post Pavilion)
  • Outdoor ice skating rink

Join the Festivities

Drive Through the Light Displays
November 23, 2016 – January 1, 2017
Experience the display of light creations, illuminated by a fantasy of color, design and animation. In 2016, drive through visitors will enjoy a new laser light show and 3-D holiday video!

Outdoor Ice Skating Rink at The Symphony of Lights                                 
November 20, 2016 – January 8, 2017
Experience Howard County’s only outdoor ice skating rink. The perfect holiday activity for families and groups!

Dazzle Dash Fun Run/Walk and 5K                                                                     
November 20
A festive community event to celebrate the opening of the Symphony of Lights. Friends and families gather to walk or run through the magical outdoor display of lights. Experience the excitement as the holiday season begins and enjoy games and activities for children of all ages, refreshments, music, entertainment and giveaways.

Bike the Lights
November 29
Experience the Symphony of Lights on two wheels! Bicyclists of all ages and abilities are welcome. Family and friends may walk with the bicyclists.

Military Appreciation Nights                   
December 1 and December 8
Bring your valid military ID and receive $10 off the cost of the drive through admission.

Twinkling Tots                                                        
December 6
Families can celebrate the season with a leisurely walk through the dazzling light displays. Children in strollers and wagons are welcome.

Tail Lights                                                        
December 13
Treat yourself and your dog to a walk through the Symphony of Lights course.- Participate in our “Best Dressed Pet Contest” and make this dog-friendly walk your new holiday tradition!

Group Walk Through the Lights
November 28 and December 20
Perfect for youth groups, scout groups, school groups and more! Experience the Symphony of Lights in a group setting by taking a stroll through the lights displays. Limited dates and availability. Groups must pre-register online.

Midnight At 7            
December 31
Back by popular demand! See Howard County dazzle with a New Year’s Eve fireworks display. Kids can’t stay up until Midnight? No problem—fireworks begin at 7 p.m. (weather permitting). Celebrate with your family and friends as you walk through the animated light displays and enjoy family-friendly entertainment as 2016 comes to a close.


If you’re planning a trip to Howard County this holiday season, make sure to add the Symphony of Lights to your to-do list. And if you aren’t yet planning a trip, you should! The Symphony of Lights is worth it. Download our free Howard County vacation guide to make the most of your stay.