Driving around town looking at Christmas lights in Reno and Sparks is a treat any year, but this year, it’s one of the best—and safest—ways to get into the holiday spirit. Don your favorite ugly Christmas sweater, make some hot cocoa for the road, and bring your favorite sweet treat to enjoy while you drive around Reno and Sparks checking out some pretty spectacular holiday light displays.
Where to see Christmas lights in Reno in 2020
The 5th Annual Griswold Challenge is featuring homes and businesses across Reno, Sparks and the outlying areas. The nonprofit group 39 North Downtown, which is presenting the event, canceled its annual holiday light festival in downtown Sparks. But the holiday light decorating contest is still a go!
“We’re adapting, and excited to try something new with the Griswold Challenge,” said Angela Handler, 39 North Events director. “We’re asking people in our neighborhoods and local businesses to help us in our mission to bring holiday cheer by lighting up our town and competing in the Griswold Challenge. We hope this will allow families to drive around and enjoy the holiday lights while creating new memories.”
For a list of all the locations participating, click here.
Hidden Valley Parade of Lights
The Parade of Lights 2020 is in its 38th year in this southeast Reno neighborhood running through New Year’s Day. The Parade of Lights is a fantastic event, and kids love the scavenger-hunt feel of looking for all the houses on the map while you drive around.
- First place: 7155 Pebble Beach Drive
- Second place: 113 Mia Vista Court
- Third place: 3735 Jagged Rock Road
- Fourth place: 2960 Man of War Drive
- Fifth place: 5665 E. Hidden Valley Drive
- Sixth place: 6012 Clear Creek Drive
- Seventh place: 5690 Still Meadows Dive
- Eighth place: 6017 Clear Creek Drive
- Ninth place: 2308 Tamarisk Drive
- Tenth place: 3425 Shawnee Circle
Double Diamond & Damonte Ranch
Check out the thousands of lights on display at the Double Diamond home at 1675 Gulch Way. The Damonte Ranch Circle of Lights Celebration has been canceled for 2020, but the neighborhood still offers plenty in the way of festively decorated homes.
Christmas lights in Reno Old Southwest
The homeowners on Alpine Circle in southwest Reno (off Sharon Way near Jessie Beck Elementary School) get into the spirit with gorgeous light displays. Don’t forget to bring non-perishable food items to drop off for donation to the Food Bank of Northern Nevada.
Somersett Neighborhood of Lights
Somersett’s Neighborhood of Lights has 43 entries this year — the most ever. The gates will be open from 5-8 p.m. each night so people can tour the participating houses. For a full list of participating homes, download a map here. Paper maps are also available at the front desk of The Club at Town Center.
There are plenty of options in Sparks as well. The Lights of Omni at 290 Omni Drive in Sparks, features a light show synchronized to Christmas carols. A singing Santa and a lights display are featured at 4435 Dancing Moon Court in Sparks.
And the 2020 Vidette Lights Show featuring lights and synchronized music runs through January 6 with a 15-minute run time. The show begins at 5 p.m. nightly and ends at 9:30 p.m., running every 30 minutes. The house is located at 5146 Vidette Meadows Drive in Sparks.
Christmas Light Show Dos and Don’ts
- Tune your radio to the appropriate station if music is synchronized to the lights.
- Be respectful of other drivers and homeowners
- Bring cocoa and snacks and plan to be in the car for the whole trip.
- Keep your headlights on
- Blast the music from your car
- Block neighbors’ driveways