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Day Trip Turns to Night Trip at Magic of Lights Display

By Joanne Colella

Sometimes, a day trip turns into a night trip – especially during the short days of the winter holiday season, when the sun sets early and the dark evenings are illuminated with festive lights. If that sounds like a bright idea to you, then you’ll probably want to check out the Magic of Lights display at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, which is returning for the second year.

From Friday, Nov. 22 through Saturday, Jan. 4, thousands of visitors are expected to drive through the mile-long magical light extravaganza, which will be open from dusk until 10 pm on Sundays through Thursdays and dusk until 11 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. (It will be closed on New Year’s Eve.) From the warm comfort of your vehicle, you can slowly wind your way through a virtual forest of twinkling lights and take in the spectacle of dazzling displays created with the latest LED technology and digital animations. Kids of all ages – and adults, too – are sure to “ooh” and “ahh” as oversized, colorful versions of all their favorite seasonal scenes, themes and characters come to life.

Last year’s event also included an onsite Holiday Village with refreshments, toasted marshmallows, a petting zoo, musical performances and photos with Santa. Some amenities cost extra. The Magic of Lights also hosted a coat collection drive to help the needy.

Round up the family, gather with friends, and come by the carload! Admission at the gate to the elaborate exhibit is $25 per vehicle Monday through Thursday and $30 Friday through Sunday. Admission can also be purchased online in advance for a discounted price of $20; it’s worth noting that there is a $5 convenience fee for online purchases, but buying in advance will help speed up the entry process and advance tickets can be used for any date. Special pricing for buses, limos and groups is also available. Throughout the season, watch for various promotions and specials that may be offered, and sign up for discounts on the event website.

Follow all the latest updates about the Magic of Lights on Instagram @TheMagicofLights, on Twitter @MagicofLights, and on Facebook at Magic of Lights-New Jersey. For more details and to purchase tickets, visit


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