Holiday Lights in the Park
The Holiday Lights in the Park at Phalen Park in St. Paul has been an annual Christmastime tradition for many families in the Twin Cities area. Phalen Park is located at 1615 Phalen Drive East.
Minnesota’s largest holiday lights drive-through event, Holiday Lights in the Park is a fundraiser for local kids and adults in need. It’s a joint venture of the St. Paul chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and the St. Paul Police Foundation.
Holiday Lights in the Park runs every night from November 25th to January 1st from 5:30 – 10:00pm. Cost is $10 per vehicle ($8 if you buy your ticket online in advance!). For vans or other larger vehicles the cost is a little higher.
We had gone one year before and the kids loved it, so we decided to come back again. I bought our ticket online (you can print it and bring it with you) and we headed there on a weeknight, figuring it’s less busy then.
When you arrive you’re asked to turn your headlights off as a courtesy to the driver ahead of you (though I couldn’t figure out how to turn my automatic lights off so I just kept a good distance).
It took about 10 minutes to drive through the whole display, and there were lots of oohs and ahhhs from our kids in the backseat. They laughed at some of the displays, including the dinosaur pushing a baby dinosaur in a carriage.
Compared to our last visit, I thought the display was good. It could have been better – I heard it has been better in previous years. But considering it’s a fundraiser, I think it’s worth a drive through because it’s a hit with kids, and a comfortable way to enjoy Christmas lights even on the coldest night!
Schultz Family Lights
After Phalen Park, we headed to a display I had heard of called the Schultz Family Lights which you can find at 1526 York Avenue in St. Paul.
It’s about 8-10 minutes from Phalen Park.
The Schultz Family has made decorating their house an annual tradition and it’s been so popular that 8 of their neighbors decorate their houses too for a complete drive through experience!
When you drive in, tune in to 91.5 “The Rockin’ Rudolph” – a radio station devoted just to this display (though you can only hear it when you’re there).
The lights are timed to the music on the radio station which our kids loved. They wanted to stay and just keep listening and watching all night!
We walked out and strolled along the houses, and what caught our attention the most was the Santa in the Schultz house top floor window!
It looked like Santa was really upstairs, looking out at us, talking and walking back and forth with his bag of toys. Our kids were most impressed with this.
They even have a donation box if you want to donate food for Merrick Community Services (see their website for info).
The Schultz family lights can be seen nightly from 5:00 – 10:00pm until January 3rd. There is also a special appearance by a 25-foot Rudolph on Friday and Saturday nights.