Take a trip around Lawrence to see the Christmas Lights
My wife and I took a trip around Lawrence on Saturday to check out the homes in Lawrence that had listed themselves on our 2010 Holiday Lights Map.
It took us about two hours, but we looked at all the lights and, I can safely say, there are people in this town who go all out for Christmas specifically and the holiday season in general.
Of course, there's Zach and Alicia Stoltenberg's house on Larissa Drive, which Brenna Hawley wrote about last week, and Mary Ann and Gary Martin, who I wrote about two years ago, but there are so many other great light shows. Do yourself a favor and spend a couple hours one night checking out the lights around Lawrence.
It'll definitely put you in the holiday spirit. If you can't, however, here are some woefully inadequate pictures I took with my cell phone of most of the homes depicted on our map.
3405 Westridge Court
I must shamefully admit to forgetting to use my camera at this house. But I didn't want to leave them off the list because not only is their house nicely decorated, several of their neighbors have great decorations as well. If you're doing the whole tour, stop by here.
3947 Aster Street
This house won the award for being the hardest to find. Google thought it was about three blocks west of where it was, which sent me onto rural country roads until a little more checking led me to the right location. Simple, tasteful white lights. No music or animation.
909 Stonecreek Drive
This was the first musical light display we visited. Upbeat Christmas songs are played as the lights flash and pulse sort of to the beat of the music. This display is not as coordinated or elaborate as Light Up Lawrence or Parkside Christmas, but it was still very nice. A bonus is that many of the houses on Stonecreek Drive have lined their sidewalks and driveways with white lights, tying the whole neighborhood together.
4901 Jefferson Way
A smaller display just a little east of Stonecreek Drive, I was impressed with what this family was able to do with a small space. Though the picture doesn't nearly do the display justice, the blobs of white light are actually animals that have slight movement.
4518 Larissa Drive
On my way to the Light Up Lawrence display, and as I was cueing up in the knot of traffic that was also checking out the Stoltenbergs' display, I noticed this house at 4518 Larissa. They've put up some great lights on trees, on candy canes and around their house.
4530 Larissa Drive
This is definitely one of the two best light displays in Lawrence, but getting a photo is tough because the great lights come not from a single frame, but rather from how it changes and evolves with the music. Light Up Lawrence is raising money this year for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. As I watched the 20+ minute display, I was really pleased to see three different people get out of their car and go drop a couple of bucks in the box.
4216 Goldfield Street
When I pulled up to the house on Goldfield Street, I couldn't help but want to whistle KU's Rock Chalk Chant. The lights are mostly red and blue, with some candy canes. I think the Jayhawk painted onto the curb was a nice touch as well.
4600 Block of Woodridge Drive
The neighbors on Woodridge Drive team up to string white lights not across their houses, but across their yards and the street. It presents a unique display that's unlike any other in Lawrence and is definitely something to look at.
1305 Vantuyl Drive
This is one of the most colorful displays in Lawrence. With lots of lights and a gigantic inflatable snowman, it's a tough house to miss.
4100 W 13th Street
Tucked back in a wooded area north of Bob Billings Parkway, this is a light display you definitely need to be looking for to find. It has a tasteful mix of white and colored lights.
1132 Parkside Circle
Parkside Christmas is probably the most well-known animated light display in Lawrence. We've mentioned it in a couple stories, and everyone sees to know about it. When I was there Saturday night, there were cars lined up and down both sides of the road, making it a bit tricky to get a great view of the more than 20 minute show. Each year, Gary and Mary Ann Martin add a new song or light fixture to the display, or both. Again, the photo doesn't do the display justice because it's really the way the lights shift and change with the music that makes it so outstanding.
2920 Pebble Lane
This display is farther south than any of the other displays on our list, but it was worth the trip. The lights are animated and set to music — and it's a lot of songs I hadn't heard at any of the other animated displays. The radio station for the music is pretty weak, so you have to be right across from the house to hear it. But once you're there, it's a great show.
Remember, if you want you house's light display to show up on this list, just fill out this form.