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.)
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.
This year there are new elements to the Symphony of Lights…
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
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
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.
Families can celebrate the season with a leisurely walk through the dazzling light displays. Children in strollers and wagons are welcome.
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
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.