Watkins Park Lights (Festival of Lights Watkins Park)


Scroll down to view pricing

Another year rolls on, and yet another Christmas is upon everyone. The merriest and happiest time of the year is loaded with great food, family traditions, and a whole lot of adult drinks to make the party a lot jollier. While sitting by the fire is certainly cozy, adventure junkies like you should not miss visiting the Watkins Park Festivals of Lights.

If you are looking for something festive and fun for the entire family to enjoy this upcoming yuletide season, you have come to the perfect place. From illuminated trails loaded with fairytale characters to shining Christmas lights brightening up some of Watkins Park’s Every winter, the Watkins Regional Park in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, invites many visitors to see the stunning drive-through holiday light show with more than two million blinking Christmas lights.

Watkins Park Lights
Festival highlights

Here, it will be showcased with a lot of Christmas light show, such as fairy lights, twinkle lights trees, light exhibition, LED curtain lights, icicle lights, net lights, meteor shower lights, and rope lights, among others. The light festival features a lot of new displays every year like the fifty-four-foot LED musical tree.

You can effortlessly drive through a remarkable trail, which matches perfectly with your car audio playing all your favorite Christmas songs. The most highly-sought displays here include toy soldiers, candy canes, gingerbread men, colorful snowflakes, and of course, we should not forget about Santa Claus.

So, get yourself a pair of 3D glasses to enjoy all the twinkle lights and curtain lights in this light festival in Maryland.

Watkins Park Festival of Lights Dates (2023-2024)

The Watkins Park Lights Festival will certainly shine bright this 2023 holiday season with a drive-through glistening and whimsical lights. You can expect to feel the dazzling scenes, which rejoice in the magic of the happy holiday season from the own comfort of your car.

The event is often held at the Watkins Regional Park—a surely fun family event ideal for all ages. You can drive through this event every night from 5 PM until 10:00 PM between November 25, 2023, and January 1, 2024.

It might not be Lapland, but Watkins Light Park certainly gets into the Christmas spirit, with lights strung over the park and a massive illuminated Christmas tree. Flickering Holiday Splendor is sponsored by the Department of Parks and Recreation and is one of the most reasonable light festivals in the region. The attractions in the park include Watkins Nature Trail, the miniature train, the Chesapeake Carousel, and the Old Maryland Farm.

There’s no doubt that the park builds a family-friendly ambiance and fun for everyone to enjoy. Don’t forget to visit the Watkins Nature Center to get cozy by the fire, enjoy a hot cup of chocolate, and see how the animals decorate for the holiday season.

© Department of Parks and Recreation, Prince George’s County

Pictures by:
© Department of Parks and Recreation, Prince George’s County

Where It’s Located and How to Get There

The Watkins Park Lights is held at the Watkins Regional Park in Maryland’s Upper Marlboro. It is at least half an hour’s drive from Washington, DC, which makes it a good side trip during your holiday vacation to the capital of the nation.

Keep in mind that Maryland Route 193 is the only way you can enter the festival of lights. On top of that, guests cannot do a left turn from Maryland Route 202 to Maryland Route 214. As an alternative, you should make your U-turn into Route 193 to enter.

Other amazing festivals to explore in Maryland are:

Symphony of Lights Columbia MD

Lights Festival Gaithersburg

Festival Hours

You can drive through the Watkins Regional Park every night starting from November 25, 2023, to January 1, 2024, from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM.

This immersive light festival is set on the stunning grounds of a historical park. So, make your way along the illuminated trail and gaze at the displays flooded in the light!

How Much It Cost to Visit Watkins Park Festival of Lights

Are you thinking about how much it will cost you to attend the Watkins Park Lights Festival? You don’t need to worry. The cost of attending the light festival differs based on the type of car and the number of people you are with.

Oftentimes, the tickets can be bought online ahead of time. Nonetheless, cash is also accepted in person. It will also help if you can bring canned goods for local food banks to be distributed throughout the holiday season.

The admission fees for a car is $10 for advance purchase and $15 at the gate. For the multi-visit pass, it will cost you $20 for three visits. For mini-bus or limo, the admission fee is $20, while the multi-pass visit (3 visits) will be $40. For the bus, the fee is $30.

Festival Of Lights Watkins Park

Pictures by:
© Department of Parks and Recreation, Prince George’s County

Festival Of Lights Watkins Park

Pictures by:
© Department of Parks and Recreation, Prince George’s County

Weather and What to Wear

Are you headed to this mid-Atlantic state, which borders Washington DC? Then you should have to pack based on your planned itinerary. December is one of the best times to visit Maryland. The weather is too cold during this time of the year. The average high during this season is between 48.4°F and 38.6°F.

Anything close-fitting will do. Real tights could go under your jeans for added warmth, or you can pair them with ankle boots and a skirt. Leggings are a huge life-saver as well, especially if you want to enjoy the lights while walking. Full-on spandex is always a fancy dress winner.

For men, overalls may do. They will serve you just as well in the minus temperatures and could be at the core of a killer layering strategy. Don’t forget your denim too. Jeans are the off-piste option, but they are a flexible mainstay to ensure you have them in your luggage.

Lights at Watkins Park – Hotels Nearby

After a wonderful day visiting and sightseeing the Watkins Park Lights, the last thing you want to do is to look for a place to stay. Right? So, before you pack your bags and leave for your flight, make sure you are ready with a list of possible accommodations.

Here are some of our best picks:

  • Sleep Inn & Suites

This hotel is located near Andrews AFB hotel in Marlboro. This is only as restful as your home, but butter in a location that makes it simple to travel. They provide a stylish haven inspired by nature where you can relax and refresh.

  • Executive Inn & Suites

This accommodation is conveniently located less than two miles from the Showplace Arena. The Six Flags America amusement park and the FedEx Field Museum are only seven miles away from this hotel.

With effortless access to town center Washington, DC, the Executive Inn & Suites has a central Maryland location that is perfect for pleasure or business from the vibrant sounds and sights of Baltimore and the saltwater charm of Annapolis.

  • Residence Inn Upper Marlboro Joint Base Andrews

This hotel is extremely spacious and offers the best amenities in town. Whether you are staying there for a few days, a few weeks, or a few months, your regular routine matters. The residence offers a fully-equipped kitchen ready to prepare for your favorite cuisine. There is also a complimentary grocery delivery service to fill your fridge and satisfy all your cravings.

Where to Eat

Where is the best place to eat at Upper Marlboro? No worries, we got you covered as well. Here are some options for you:

  • The Grove Restaurant

This place is a casual fine dining experience that is intended to bring friends and family together. The overall experience is sleek, and the inviting and comfortable design elements make The Grove Restaurant the ideal place to eat and celebrate.

  • Applebee’s Grill + Bar

This is considered to be America’s neighborhood grill, bar, and restaurant that serves its customers up good times. The restaurant serves a wide array of dishes from salads, burgers, steaks, chickens, and many more.

  • Jasper’s

Jasper’s in Maryland provides tasty American cuisine and a full-service bar. They have a broad spectrum of items, breakfast items, omelets, sausage, bacon, and many more.

More Things to Do in the Area of Watkins Park Lights

Are you searching for other things you can do with your family and children while in Upper Marlboro? Be it playgrounds, themed parks, or water parks, your entire family will have fun, learn new things, get great food, and won’t get bored in long lines.

Here are some of our recommendations:

  • Rosaryville State Park

This spot is a paradise for nature-lovers and hikers alike. The state park is the main point of attraction in the area, with a well-marked dirt trail for mountain biking, horseback riding, and hiking housed inside the park.

  • Superman Ride of Steel

Are you searching for the best getaway with your children? Head right away to this amusement park close to Upper Marlboro. You will find the Superman Ride of Steel, which is made of steel. If you enjoy height and speed at the same time, this ride is perfect for you.

  • Patuxent Rural Life Museums

This museum brings the past alive again. It offers a house from 1923 without electricity, a tool museum, a tobacco farming museum, and a replica blacksmith shop from the 1880s.

A Final Sparkle: Wrapping Up Your Unforgettable Visit to Watkins Park Lights

As the curtain falls on your visit to Watkins Park Lights, we hope you leave with not just photos but also indelible memories of shimmering landscapes and festive joy. Between the awe-inspiring light displays, nearby attractions, and delectable dining options, Upper Marlboro truly becomes a winter wonderland during the festival season. So, pack your bags, bring your sense of wonder, and come experience a festival of lights like no other!



Recently Added Lights Festivals

Lights Festival Las Vegas

Lights Festival Las Vegas

Las Vegas is considered to be the Entertainment Capital of the World. One of the entertaining things you can do in Las Vegas is to witness the Christmas light show.

Read More »
Skip to content