Go out for a light-seeing adventure
In my family, before Christmas day finally comes, we like to get our Christmas PJs and socks on, grab some hot cocoa, blast the Christmas tunes, and go out for a thorough light-seeing adventure.
We don't hit the crowded or pricey Portland hotspots; no, we seek out the very best Christmas lights in our own town of Canby.
My husband was the one who suggested I compile a list for the paper, since he always looked forward to his hometown paper's annual publication on where to see the most spectacular light displays.
So, here it is. The list is NOT exhaustive, but to the best of our abilities, we scoped out the top Christmas lights to see in Canby. They are listed here in no particular order, because you must see them all!
-North Birch and 18th Avenue
Okay, I said they were listed in no particular order, but this one is first for good reason. It has long been my very favorite light display in Canby. Before it was cool, they were synchronizing lights to music that you can tune into on the radio. The lights on the house are fairly simple, but the house itself is its own sight to see, and there are displays throughout the yard as well, including a nativity front and center. I have to admit my eyes get a little leaky each year when "Mary Did You Know?" comes on and all the lights go dark except the spotlight on the manger. We usually park our car on the side of the road and watch all the way through every song they have to offer and maybe even linger until it starts to repeat. It's a performance of lights you should definitely see.
-Northeast 10th Avenue and North Ivy
This display, also set to music, is a bit newer on scene, but just as fantastic to watch. It's a fast-pace, cosmic experience, featuring rock versions of favorite carols. This one is also worth parking your car for a few minutes to catch some entertainment.
-2512 N. Holly – The Flower Farmer
You know, it's the place with the kids' train and pumpkins in the fall. But, debatably, Christmastime is the best time to visit The Flower Farmer. The display is giant and magical—more than 60,000 lights they say. What's more is you can hitch a train ride around the property to really take it all in. Train rides cost $8 per adult, $5 per child or senior and are free for children under 24 months. We did it when the kids were young and didn't regret it. The remaining nights to see the lights are Dec. 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 27 and 28 from dark to 8 p.m.
-350 N. Grant St. - Wait Park
North-siders, you probably drive past it every day, but South-siders, Wait Park is worth taking the trek over the tracks for. The quaint square park sits close to downtown and boasts traditional park lights and a gazebo. It is, of course, the stage for the annual "Light Up the Night" tree-lighting event.
-North Ash Street and Baker Drive, right off Knights Bridge Road
Last year, when we approached this house late at night in the family "wagon," bouncing with children and Christmas tunes, the lights suddenly turned off. I mean, it was probably nearing 11 p.m. We pulled up though, and lingered, imagining what it would look like all alight, when what to our wondering eyes should appear but some kind soul, who must have seen our car and flipped the switch back on. There is much to see at this slightly hidden gem.
-7501 S. Knights Bridge Rd. - Canby Grove Conference Center
On Knights Bridge at the bottom of the hill is Canby Grove Conference Center, butting up to the Molalla River. Home to the annual "Christmas at the Grove" event, the conference center doesn't hold back on the lights.
-North Maple Street and North Maple Court
This house has a way of getting you in the Christmas spirit. There's music emanating from the house and the whole roof is lined with lights.
-Northeast 19th Avenue and North Lupine Street
We call this one the Gingerbread house. You won't find blow-up features or too many bells and whistles, but this house has plenty of lights placed in just the way I'd decorate the perfect Gingerbread house.
-North Juniper Street, just south of Territorial Road
If you're the kind of family who makes a game of counting items, like Grinches, crosses, nativities and more, then this is a must-see! This one is blow-up central—very kid-friendly.
-Northeast 17th Avenue and North Maple
Here's another fun one for the counting game, with a plethora of unique blow-up features.
-Southwest 11th Avenue and South Fir Court
This house lights up the whole block and is reminiscent of an American flag as the whole roof is striped with white lights and the chimney is adorned in reds and blues.
-South Pine Street between 10th and 13th Avenues
This little house is worth peeking at, maybe after winding through the Dinsmore Estates and Tofte Farms neighborhoods where so many of the houses are lit up.
-South Ivy Street and 13 Avenue
Next door to Puddin' River Chocolates, this is, by far, the highlight of the south side. Lights sprawl across this entire large property. It's definitely cause for a pause.
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