1. A Big Show With a Good Cause
4200 Niagara Carthage Road, Whispering Pines
The Greene Brothers, local home builders, knock it out of the park every year with a drive-through light display that spans two houses and features more than 50,000 lights. If you enjoy the show, consider making a donation to theGiving Homes in Honor of Heroes Program, which helps build homes for children and spouses of fallen military and first responders.
2. A Show With Some History
Pinehurst No. 6: Take Juniper Lake to Oak Tree, and then on to Park Court.
Toni and Yvonne Chempinski’s home has made our list again, and for good reason. Both sides of their home have gotten considerably brighter since they moved in 19 years ago. Toni, a retired engineer, was born in war-torn Poland and watched his mother pine over a warm holiday glow the family couldn’t afford. Now, he spends a month putting together a source of local joy. You can find Toni in Walmart three days after Christmas, digging out boxes of LED lights he totally didn’t hide from less savvy shoppers.
3. A Home to Rival the Griswolds’
Glenwood Trail, Southern Pines: At the intersection of East Indiana Extension and Fort Bragg Road.
Norris and Carolyn Camarena have been lighting up the block since 2001, and at every other home they’ve owned, for more than 40 years. You’ll see the glow long before you get there.
It’s no secret that Carolyn, who once owned 8,000-square-feet of joy downtown at a place called The Christmas Village, is nuts about the holiday. Why? Norris will tell you it’s because she never grew up. She’ll agree.
4. A Technician’s Technicolor Dream
1030 Monticello Drive, Pinehurst
David Loller, a computer technician with a love for Christmas, is back at it again after last year’s holiday success (and a display this Halloween). David syncs the show to 98.9 FM while wife Katrina hangs the lights, ’cause the mastermind don’t do heights.
5. This Place
At the end of Whisper Grove Court, Whispering Pines
Decorated by some guy who may or may not have lost a bet. Seriously, does anyone know who lives here? We need lights on our roof.
6. And a Little Something Different
Koka Booth Amphitheater, Cary
When you’re tired of glowing bulbs on a string (first world problems), check out these huge, intricate lanterns at the NC Chinese Lantern Festival. Kids will like the performances, especially the juggler who balances a chair on her chin. And, it’s open on Christmas Day. Pro tip: Buy your tickets online, and smugly pass by the crowd waiting to get theirs.
:: Looking for an attraction with a little less flash? Try A Colonial Christmas, at the House in the Horseshoe, or an Old Fashioned Christmas, at Malcolm Blue Farm.