Ho Ho Ho! These Houses Have the Best Christmas Lights in Syracuse
December 16, 2020
Is there anything better to do on a December night than driving around looking at Christmas lights? It’s been a favorite holiday activity of mine since I was a little girl – even when I lived in Australia! The tradition has continued, and now includes my husband and our pups. With the holidays difficult for everyone this year, this has become one of the safest ways to celebrate the holidays. So grab your family, gas up the car, and check out the houses with the best Christmas lights in Syracuse. Just don’t forget the hot cocoa!
Over the past several years, videos of houses elaborated decorated with lights that shine in time with music have gone viral on the internet. So it’s no surprise that some of these houses have popped up in the neighborhoods of Syracuse! These displays take an incredible amount of time and effort to achieve the shows that we all get to enjoy. And they are all FREE to visit! Instead, most of the families encourage donations to local charities as a way of paying it forward.
Remember, when visiting these houses, check the radio station that you need to tune into, keep your radio at a reasonable level, and don’t block traffic or driveways. Otherwise, enjoy!
Please note that 104 Bramley Drive in Camillus usually has a musical Christmas light display, but they have taken a break this year.
106 Legion Drive, North Syracuse
Created by: The Mansour family Hours: Monday – Thursday 5 – 9 pm / Friday – Sunday 5 – 10 pm through January 3rd. Radio Station: 90.9 FM
A special thank you goes out to my fellow Redditor who recommended visiting this house. It’s INCREDIBLE! And it’s proof that you don’t need a huge house or yard to create an amazing Christmas light show. The Mansour family has created such a fun and colorful light display in North Syracuse, containing nearly 3,000 pixel lights. My favorite part? Definitely the lights that dance along to Fall Out Boy’s version of “What’s This?”, or the talking trees!
In their second year of creating the light display, the Mansours started setting up in September for a Halloween show. But the prep takes so much longer! The family starts planning in the spring by deciding where to put the lights, which songs to play, and how to program it all. Their favorite part is the whole house effects, when the lights, colors, and shadows dance across the entire house.
I asked the family what inspired them to create their shows. Their response? “We mainly do the lights because we love them! Growing up, I can remember piling into the car with my siblings and driving around looking at all the lit up houses – it always brought me a special joy to share those moments with my family. Now, that I have my own family, I wanted to try and bring them the joy that I experienced as a kid. Anyone else that brings their children to our show and shares in that joy is just a bonus for us!”
The Mansours also encourage donations to local food pantries, Toys for Tots, and local animal shelters.
Created by: The Scicchitano family: Steve, Deb, Maria, and Emily Hours: Sunday – Thursday 5:30 – 10 pm / Friday – Saturday 5:30 – 11 pm Radio Station: 90.9 FM
I checked with the family to get the inside scoop on this house. Steve first started doing Christmas displays in 2007. Over the years he’s also done displays at Great Northern Mall and a church with his friend. It’s actually been several years since he lit up the house. According to his post on NextDoor, he wasn’t planning to decorate this year either. But a change of heart made him realize that people could use a little more positivity in this difficult years. So the lights came back!
The entire display takes about a month to set up. The family added a special bonus this year – a dedication to the COVID-19 frontline healthcare workers. There’s a spot in the front yard with lights dedicated to individual healthcare professionals. If you’d like to dedicate a light to someone, send an email to the family at email@example.com.
7911 Rinaldo Boulevard N, BRIDGEPORT
Created by: Nicholas Burlarley Hours: Sunday – Thursday 5 – 9 pm / Friday – Saturday 5 – 10:30 pm through December 30th. Radio Station: 90.7 FM
Bridgeport’s Brightest Lights has to be the most heartwarming story of the season. The entire display was imagined, paid for, and executed by 13-year-old Nicholas. He spent his summer doing odd jobs in the neighborhood to raise the money for all of the equipment he needed to make his dream come true. With his love for coding, he wanted to bring some joy and hope to everyone struggling with the difficulties cause by the pandemic.
Nicholas was able to get everything set up in just a few days – until he learned that someone had cut some of electrical wires. But he persevered. And with the help of his family and neighbors, they rallied together to replace what had been damaged by the vandal to get the show ready.
The Burlarley family show has two different shows, each containing several songs, that rotate on different days of the week. The garage even displays favorite classic scenes from holiday movies!
Created by: Tracy Rutter Hours: Sunday – Thursday 5:30 – 9:30 pm / Friday – Saturday 5:30 – 10 pm Radio Station: 90.9 FM
I first found out about Rutters Lights because they live down the street from my sister-in-law. One night I went over for dinner, we opened the back door and just watched the show from her kitchen! It was so much fun. The display rotates through 3-4 songs that change weekly. I’m loving the song from The Greatest Showman that is currently running!
This is just the second year that Tracy has put up his display. He started in October with a small Halloween display, and then kept adding through the end of November. You can tell how much time and effort went into it! I asked Tracy what inspired him to decorate his house. He said “I have always loved Christmas lights. Some of my fondest memories as a child was checking out all of the Christmas displays.” Tracy added that his favorite piece is the spin reel on the lower level of the house.
One of my favorite parts is that they also have a donation box set up at the end of their driveway. You can drop off anew, unopened board game or card game to donate to Griffin’s Guardians.
When you look for houses with the best Christmas lights in Syracuse, everyone mentions Lights on Jacob Lane. And for good reason! Their display is so incredible that it was featured on The Great American Light Fight in 2019. It became so famous that traffic started backing up in Brewerton, and the family made the unfortunate decision not to continue the musical light shows. It’s truly a shame though, because their light shows are works of art.
The holiday displays are created by Greg & Jess Brewster. With their shared love for Christmas and Greg’s background in theatre lighting, they are able to create lighting masterpieces! They first created their light display when they moved to Brewerton in 2013, and have kept it growing ever since. And even though their lights aren’t set to music this year, they do have some rotating looks.
Because they didn’t host a light show at their house this year, the Brewsters had a one-night-only show at nearby Central Square High School. While there, they held a can and toy drive to support local families.
Houses with Epic Inflatables on Display
If you love giant inflatables filling up lawns, these are the houses for you! These houses go all out with inflatable characters – some of them move, play music, or even tower over the roofs. You’ll recognize Christmas favorites like Santa, Rudolph, the Grinch, Buddy the Elf and more. But they are joined by some of our favorite non-holiday favorites too! Keep scrolling to see them all and read their stories.
1981 Esprit Glade, BALDWINSVILLE
This house is the talk of the neighborhood! I’d heard about the display from several people and knew that I had to see it for myself. So we drove to the Radisson community and were blown away. Not really blown away, like inflatables sometimes are. But overwhelmed with excitement about the number and size of the decorations! Santa, Rudolph, and the Grinch are physically taller than the 2-story house!
Since the house is located on a corner, there are multiple angles to enjoy the characters. Some of them even move! There’s a sign on the house above the garage from the family, thanking all visitors for coming to enjoy their display. At the end of the driveway is a collection box for items to donate to the local food pantry. Next to that? One of my favorite parts. If you clap loudly, the animals sing and dance!
3122 Corlear Drive, BALDWINSVILLE
After seeing the decorations on Esprit Glade, we drove around the neighborhood to see what other lights we could find. And we weren’t disappointed! We came across another gem on Corlear Drive. This holiday display was created to spread hope. The woman who lives here is a doctor at Upstate, working the frontlines of the pandemic. To honor her work and thank the healthcare community, her brother set up the decorations at her house. He said “We need hope and a little Christmas cheer to keep us thinking positive and being safe.”
He originally decorated at his own house, but brought it to his sister’s house to make it even bigger this year. The display took 6 weeks to put together, and even faced some damage in November due to inclement weather. Nonetheless, the house looks fantastic! His favorite decoration is the giant start above the front door, as it is a symbol for hope and that life will get better.
Another night of searching for Christmas light displays meant that we stumbled across this house on Howlett Hill Road. The number of inflatables was incredible! The Moses family has created a genuinely bright light along an otherwise dark country road.
That’s not all…
More Houses with Notable Light Displays
You don’t need music, inflatables, or extra pizazz to have a beautifully decorated house at Christmas. There’s something to be said about classic lights and decorations! Check out these houses with the best traditional Christmas light displays. The one on Constitution Lane looks like it is straight out of Arendelle!
Christmas Lights in Syracuse
So which of these houses is your favorite? Are you a fan of the musical shows? Inflatables? Classic looks? Let me know if I’m missing a house that is worthy of being on this list by sending me an email. I’d love to check it out!