Tanglewood Festival of Lights


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The Tanglewood Festival of Lights is a grand show of beautiful Christmas lights. It often includes hayrides and carriage rides. In fact, many people want to experience this lights festival each year. While it draws in the out-of-state crowds, many of the residents enjoy going through the festival and seeing what amazements are in store.

Tanglewood Festival of Lights
Festival highlights

Whether you walk through the lights festival or choose a tractor-pulled hayride or horse-drawn carriage, you can experience the beauty and wonder that these lights have to offer.

This family-friendly event usually has Santa on site, so the kids can tell him what they want for Christmas. There’s also S’moresville, which is a camp-style site. Your family can sit around the campfire and roast marshmallows while sipping some hot chocolate and other beverages.

Then, there’s the gift shop, called Gift Village, where you can buy winter- and Christmas-themed souvenirs to remember your wonderful time. Experience the Tanglewood Festival of Lights in Clemmons, North Carolina, this year!

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Tanglewood Lights Dates

The Tanglewood Festival of Lights happens every year, though the dates do vary. For the 2021 year, the dates were from November 12, 2021, to January 1, 2022. Typically, it starts in November each year and goes until the New Year.

Where It’s Located and How to Get There

If you plan to attend the Tanglewood Festival of Lights celebration this year, you’ve got to travel to Clemmons, North Carolina. The address is 4061 Clemmons Road, and you’re headed to Tanglewood Park. If you’re coming East from Winston to Salem, you’re going to take the I-40 West and use Exit 182 to Harper Road and Tanglewood. Then, you’re going to follow the signs for Tanglewood Park. It’s easy to see where you’re going, and you can probably follow other vehicles.

Alternatively, you can take the Exit 180A to 801 South/Bermuda Run. Then, follow the signs for Tanglewood Park.

Those who come from the West should use I-40 East and use Exit 180, the NC-801 Tanglewood to Bermuda Run and continue following the signs to Tanglewood Park.

Often, GPS systems directly patrons incorrectly. If you get on Idols Road, there is a back gate. However, visitors aren’t allowed to enter through this opening. You’re going to be directed to the lights festival main entrance from US-158. Don’t feel bad if you accidentally do this; it happens a lot, and the staff is happy to help you get to the right place.

Tanglewood Christmas Lights Hours

Regardless of the day you go (weeknight or weekend), the hours of operation are from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Cost to Visit the Festival

There are various costs to visit the Tanglewood Festival of Lights. For regular entry, it only costs $20 per vehicle, and it doesn’t matter how many patrons are inside. However, the amount of seats that can safely hold passengers is the limit for park entrance. Vehicles can include trucks, vans, and cars.

$20 cash,
$23 credit card
$45 cash,
$48 credit card
$115 cash,
$118 credit card

Commercial rates for minibuses, limos, and vans are $45. This is because more people can sit in the vehicle. It costs $100 for buses and motorcoaches (large group vehicles).

When you arrive at the entrance, you can pay with cash or a credit/debit card with a Discover, MasterCard, or Visa logo. The rates don’t change for the weekends.

Often, there are Discount Nights available. Last year, they were November 15-16 and 22-23 (Mondays) and November 17 and 24 (Tuesdays). The prices are lowered to $10 for family vehicles, $25 for commercial vehicles, and $80 for buses and motorcoaches.

Horse-drawn carriage rides are available with a reservation. Call early if you want one. It costs $80 for this ride, and you can only pay with a check or cash. There’s also an alternate route available upon request.

Tractor-pulled hayrides are also available and cost $150 with a check or cash. Reservations are necessary.

Weather and What to Wear

Clemmons, NC, gets quite cold in the winter months (when the Tanglewood lights festival happens). Therefore, it’s best to dress in layers. You can expect the coldest periods to start in December and go through January.

Consider wearing a base layer (top and bottom), sweatshirt or sweater, jeans or heavy-duty pants, wool socks, boots, and a hoodie. You also want to wear a heavy coat. Don’t forget gloves and a warm hat because you’re going to be outside for most of the event.

If you only plan to drive through and look at the lights festival, you may wear fewer clothes. Make sure the heater works in the vehicle so that you can stay comfortable. Ultimately, it’s best to wear as many clothes as possible; you can always remove them if you get too hot.

Sometimes, it snows in Clemmons in November. Consider bringing along some snow boots for traction if you plan to walk the grounds.

Where to Sleep

If you’re planning an out-of-town trip, you may want to get a hotel. That way, when the Tanglewood Festival of Lights ends at 10 p.m., you don’t have far to travel.

The Hampton Inn Bermuda Run

Is only about two miles away from Tanglewood Park. Here, you can enjoy free tea/coffee in the lobby, free breakfast, and free WiFi. There is also a pool and fitness facilities.

The Manor House

Located right in Tanglewood Park. It’s been restored to look like the Victorian Era. This is a magical place to spend the night during the lights festival. You can see genuine and reproduction antique furnishings throughout the place. These include crystal chandeliers, original staircases, and ten different bedrooms. Book your stay at the Manor House, and you get free admission to the Tanglewood Festival of Lights.

Village Inn Hotel and Event Center

located about 2.5 miles away from Tanglewood Park. Here, you have access to a fitness center. Though there is a pool, it’s outside and unheated, so it’s not designed to be used during the lights festival. Inside your room, you have access to a hairdryer, refrigerator, and cable television.

What to Eat

While there’s no restaurant onsite in Tanglewood Park, there are going to be food vendors. If you don’t want to eat and walk/drive, or you want something more substantial, there are plenty of restaurants nearby. Though you could stay in at the hotel and order room service, times may vary.

Since you may be unfamiliar with the area, it’s best to stick to the main drag. Therefore, once you get on Clemmons Road, you’ve got many options available.

Those who want Italian may like Villa Grill. It’s available for dinner and lunch and specializes in flatbreads. You can also choose burgers, pasta, and various sandwiches/salad combinations. If that weren’t enough, you can have a glass of wine or beer with the meal.

Monte De Rey Mexican Restaurant is another top choice. It’s close to the park and the hotels, so you can pop over for some authentic Mexican food whenever you want. The prices aren’t bad, and the portions are quite large.

If you’re looking for something inexpensive and family-friendly, Tanglewood Pizza Company has everything you need. It’s a pizza restaurant, but you can get salads, various sides, sandwiches, chicken fingers, and so much more. It also offers alcoholic beverages, including liquor and beer. After a cold night out, you can warm up with some pizza and alcohol. Plus, it’s a child-friendly location, so you can bring the whole family.

More Things to Do in the Area

Though you’re there for the Tanglewood Festival of Lights, that doesn’t mean you can’t do other fun things. SoftGolf is right in Tanglewood Park with the golf course. You can play throughout the year. It’s a fun and family-friendly golf game that uses 4.5-inch foam balls and large clubs. Left- and right-handed players of all ages can participate (6 years old and older).

If you’re on your own and the kids aren’t with you, consider Yadkin Valley Wine Tours. You’ve got to make an appointment and travel a little, but it’s worth it to see the beautiful landscape and sample some of the top wines from the area.

Those who want a little adventure may want to do some axe throwing. Tap That Axe Throwing has experts to show you what to do and let you practice throwing axes. There are different packages available, as well.

It’s incredibly fun to go to the Tanglewood Festival of Lights in Clemmons, North Carolina. Once you’re there, stay awhile and enjoy the delicious restaurants and attractions!

Arik Akunis
Arik Akunis

My name is Arik Akunis and I have been in the field of lighting for over the last 20 years, I started my journey in the world of lighting in the lighting niche for events where I first came across a festival of lights and immediately fell in love with it.

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