Family Vacations: Winter Festival of Lights

©2007 Oglebay Resort The Oglebay Park Winter Festival of Lights covers 300 acres.

The Oglebay Park Winter Festival of Lights in West Virginia has grown into one of the nation's largest holiday light shows. It attracts more than one million visitors per year during its two-month run, which starts in November and continues into January. Featuring more than one million lights and 50 displays, the festival covers 300 acres.

Guests take in the display of lights via car. An animated Snowflake Tunnel glows with thousands of lights as visitors drive through the exhibit of twinkling snowflakes. Other displays lit up in holiday finery include a poinsettia wreath with candles that stands almost 60 feet tall, making it the festival's tallest display. Illuminated Snoopys help guide visitors through the show.

Also on display are a nativity scene, decorated live Christmas trees, a miniature holiday village, entries from a gingerbread contest, and a model train exhibit set in an enchanting winter wonderland. Elementary schoolchildren from the area are invited to send in their ideas for lighting displays. The Benedum Planetarium at the Good Zoo features a laser light show all festival long.

Winter Festival of Lights

Address: 905 National Rd., Wheeling, WV

Phone: 800/624-6988

Hours of Operation: First week of Nov. - first week of Jan.

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • West Virginia State Guide: West Virginia is home to numerous family-friendly attractions. Find out more about West Virginia.
  • Scenic Drives:For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.


Laura Sutherland is a widely acknowledged authority on family travel and has published several books on the topic, including Best Family Ski Vacations In North America and Tropical Family Vacations.