Five Tips to Make the Most of Lake Lanier Islands Magical Nights of Lights

Magical Nights of Lights
Lake Lanier Island
The Magical Nights of Lights at Lake Lanier Island is a wonderful drive through light display. The WIzard of Oz series and the 12 Days of Christmas was our favorite.

By Sue Rodman
Last week we ventured up I-85 to Buford, Georgia to take in the Magical Nights of Lights at Lake Lanier Islands Resort. I’ve been wanting to check out their holiday events, so when I got an invitation from the marketing folks to visit, I jumped at the chance.

We opted to visit the Holiday Village first, do the carnival rides and ice skating while it got dark outside and then finish up in the warm car with the lights.  Even though we were later than I had hoped getting there, we were able to park close and walk right on to all the rides. In fact, until about 7 pm, it felt like our own private carnival.

We began the night with me riding with my youngest and the two older boys doing all the rides together, which is typical. However, as we ventured back to the carnival for a few last rides before heading out, it was my youngest and oldest bonding over flipping carts and spinning contraptions, which brought a smile to my heart.

Holiday Village Magical Nighst of Lights
The Carnival at the Holiday Village was a big hit with my kids.

By far our favorite activity was the ice skating at the Verizon Wireless Ice Skating Rink. We skated for over an hour, which surprised me a bit, especially with the little one, who always seemed to be totally out of control arms and legs going every which way, yet fine, all at the same time.

Lake Lanier Islands
Ice Skating was one of our favorite activities in the Holiday Village at Lake Lanier Islands.

We breezed through the shopping to warm up a bit, have our picture taken with Santa and secure some s’more fixings for the fire pits outside. Unfortunately the live nativity hadn’t begun yet, but we did see the manger scene in bright lights along the driving route. I’m not much for sponsored lights, but the Medieval Times jousting knights was pretty great.  The light display is quite extensive. We especially enjoyed the 12 Days of Christmas and the Wizard of Oz sections. Make sure to download the music track before you start. Just search Magical Nights of Lights in the app store. It’s free and had us singing Christmas tunes all the way home.

Tips for the Magical Nights of Lights at Lake Lanier Islands Resort

1. Use Coupons. Lake Lanier Islands Magical Nights of Lights is magical, but it’s also expensive. Take advantage of coupons available at partner locations: Publix, Chik-fil-A, McDonalds, QuikTrip, Rick Case Audi Gwinnett & Lenny’s Sub Shop. November is also Double Coupon Month for Magical Nights of Lights. Next year, plan to visit in November for the most savings. This year, visit during the week for the best deals.

Lake Lanier Islands
These cars spun all the way around. My boys loved it, but I can only spin so much.

2. Bring your own. There are picnic tables at the Holiday Village and lots of different choices for food and treats. To ease the burden on your wallet, pack a picnic, including a thermos of hot chocolate and s’more fixings for the huge fire pits. You’ll get all the ambiance without all the expense.

3. Go early. As in early in the season and early in the evening. It’s less expensive, but it’s also less crowded, which I find especially important on the ice skating rink if you have kids who aren’t experienced skaters.

4. Dress Warmly. It can get really cold spinning through the air on the carnival rides. My son thought a simple sweatshirt would do, but as the night wore on, he got cold and wanted to leave well before the others were ready.

Holiday Village at Magical Nights of Lights
It’s like a mini Festival of Trees at the Holiday Village market. All the trees are decorated differently. Here is the Chick-fil-A tree.

5. Download the App. Make sure you download the Magical Nights of Lights app before going through the lights. It’s a mellow Pandora-like station of holiday tunes to get you into the spirit. It had us singing out loud all the way home.

What: Magical Nights of Lights
Where: Lake Lanier Islands, Resort, 7000 Lake Lanier Islands Pkwy., Buford, Ga. 30518 | 770-945-8787
When: Nov. 15 – Dec. 31, 2013 | Opens at 4 pm
Cost: Light Tour and Live Nativity: Begins at $60 per car (vans and buses extra) coupons are readily available. Check the website.
Carnival Rides: Per ticket or $19.99 for an unlimited wristband
Ice Skating: $13 including ice skates
Also extra: concessions, shopping and photos with Santa

Lake Lanier Islands
You can’t have a holiday event without roasting marshmallows. You can save a little money by bringing your own s’more fixings with you.

We were given tickets to see the Magical Nights of Lights at Lake Lanier Islands. However, all opinions are our own and we were not asked to write a post about our experience.

About Sue Rodman 165 Articles
Sue Rodman is the mom of 3 boys and publishes Field Trips with Sue, an award winning family travel blog about the Southeast and fun places to visit from the Southeast, covering outings, day trips, weekend getaways and family vacations. Field Trips with Sue is a Nickelodeon Parent’s Pick Winner, a Red Tricycle Best Family Travel Blog and a Parents.com best blog nominee. Sue has been interviewed on Family Travel in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Northside Neighbor, Publix Magazine, and on all three major networks. For four years, Sue produced a Field Trips with Sue travel segment for CBS Better Mornings Atlanta, and has filled in for the host of WXIA Friday Freebies. Sue offers inside information about must-see Atlanta attractions and more in her popular book “100+ Free Things to do in Atlanta.”

2 Comments on Five Tips to Make the Most of Lake Lanier Islands Magical Nights of Lights

  1. Hi-
    Just wanted to clarify the details. You can’t do the rides in the village first. You must go through the lights to get to the village.

    • Alissa, Thanks for the comment. You are correct, but what we did was go through the lights (although they weren’t really on because we went early) to the village, then we hung out there and then went around the entire lights afterwards.

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