2023 Bull Run Festival of Lights (What to Expect)

The Bull Run Festival of Lights is a Northern Virginia holiday light show in Centreville, VA and it’s one you don’t want to miss. This is a favorite among locals.

Bull Run lights has over 80,000 animated lights that travel on arches over the road and displays along the route to create an interactive feel to the drive.

With the headlights off and moving at less than 10 miles per hour, the effect can be magical. It is a wonderful way to get into the holiday spirit.

As it’s pretty chilly in November and December in the NOVA area, this is a nice way to enjoy the holiday without the cold – from the comfort of your own car.

This is definitely a family-fun outing! Watching kids watch the lights is so much fun. You’ll see many of the recurring lights but you’ll also see new displays each year.

There will be lots of laughs and oohing and ahhing along the entire route.

Past displays have been inspired by children’s stories (Jack and the Beanstalk, Hansel and Gretel), winter symbols (Old Man Winter, skating penguins) and non-religious Christmas scenes (Santa, the Twelve Days of Christmas).

How much is the Bull Run Festival of Lights?

Even if you’re not planning on going early in the season, you should buy your tickets in advance as it’s definitely possible for tickets to get sole out.

  • Tickets range from $30 to $75
  • From Monday to Thursday the ticket cost is $30+ $2.80, which is valid for one vehicle only
  • From Monday to Thursday the ticket cost is $75+ $4.63, which is valid for bus entry only
  • Additionally, there are more add ons available such as Holiday Specs ($3.50) and Holiday Ornament ($17)
  • Check out the complete details and book online from their website

READ NEXT: 45+ Holiday Lights & Shows in the DC Area

Bull Right Lights Discounts

  • Use promo code light23 to save $10 November 10-19, 2023.
  • Use promo code lights23 to save $5 Nov 20 – 22, 27-30, Dec 4-7 & Dec 11-14
  • Use promo code newyear24 to save $10 January 2 – January 7, 2023.

How long is the Bull Run Festival of Lights?

The festival of lights is a 2.5 mile drive through all the lights and displays. You can expect to spend around 30 minutes driving through the lights.

You can add on more time for visiting the Christmas Village.

Credit Linda Toki, NOVA Parks Bull Run Festival of Lights

When is the best time to go to Bull Run Lights?

The best time to visit the Bull Run Lights is during the week. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are always the busiest days.

Although it is a busy time of year, the week before and after Christmas are typically the busiest weeks to visit.

It is open from November 10, 2023 through January 7, 2024.

What to Bring

You really don’t need to bring anything with you except to pile in family or friends into one car so you can save as the price is per car.

Especially if you have kids with you, you may want to pack some snacks and drinks with you.

And possibly pajamas! Why not be comfortable?

If you are planning to visit the carnival afterwards, do make sure to bring your coat, hat and gloves!

Holiday Village & Carnival

After you’re done enjoying the Festival of Lights, don’t forget to park and check out the Holiday Village. Otherwise, you’ll really be missing out!

First, there is a carnival which is open daily during the season except for Thanksgiving. So yes, you can even go to a carnival on Christmas day!

You’ll need to purchase tickets separately. Single tickets are $1.75, sheets of 30 are $40 and sheets of 50 are $60. You can also get an “all you can ride” wristband for $27.

Holiday Village and Carnival at Nova Parks
Image Source: Nova Parks website

Our 9 and 12-year-old reviewers had a blast riding the carnival rides such as The Lollipop Swing and spinning on the Scrambler, while the 5 and 3-year-old had fun in Jungle Mania and “driving” stationary vehicles such as a purple Mustang convertible, a Fire truck and a pink Jeep on a rotating ride. The big draw for all ages was definitely the Ferris Wheel.

On top of the carnival, you’ll also be able to ride a camel for $8 per rider.

At the Holiday Village you’ll find bonfires, s’mores, shopping and more.

Good to Know

  • The Bull Run Festival of Lights is open from November 10, 2023 through January 7, 2024
  • The festival’s address is: 7700 Bull Run Dr Centreville, VA 20121
  • Hours are 5:30pm – 9:30pm from Monday – Thursday and 5:30pm – 10pm Friday – Sunday.
  • Tickets are $30 per car online and $40 per car at the gate
  • Bathrooms can be found at the Holiday Village

All-in-all, the Bull Run Festival of Lights is an enjoyable way to get into the holiday spirit.

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OK Editorial Team

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