Looking for the best Christmas light displays on the Outer Banks and in northeastern North Carolina? Then jump on OBX Today’s Tacky Light Tour.
The Tacky Light Tour has all the biggest and brightest Christmas light set-ups, all in one place, with an interactive map showing how to find all the best lights from Wanchese to Windsor, Mattamuskeet to Moyock.
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Tacky Light Tour interactive map
206 Clamshell Drive, Kill Devil Hills
The Mennicucci family has been decorating their Kill Devil Hills home for Christmas “flashy, loud and obnoxiously” for over a decade. But a few years into it, they decided to give the community more than the gift of lights.
In 2014, they began collecting donations of nonperishables and money for the Beach Food Pantry from those who stopped by the Christmas display at 206 Clamshell Drive. Last year, they raised $4,250 and collected 1,499 lbs of food.
“I can’t tell you how many people have donated and said ‘the pantry was there for me when I needed them,’” Deborah Mennicucci said.
The Mennicucci family, owners of Hands of Gold Home Improvements and keepers of Wesley’s Little Red Mailbox in Kitty Hawk, hope to collect much more this year in their annual effort to give back to the community.
The lights display, timed to music, begins at sundown on Thanksgiving and continues through Dec. 31. Donations are collected through Dec. 24.
“It’s going to be hard to top last year, but our community is amazing and I know they’ll come through,” Deborah said.
The show features about 70,000 lights timed to dance to about 13 songs. The display is separated into 48 zones that can be programmed to blink and twinkle in myriad ways.
David Mennicucci starts working on the display each year about mid-October and “literally will come home early from work today and finish up,” his wife said. The family estimated the show takes about 150 to 200 hours of worth of work each year.
“We just love it,” Deborah said. “Come Thanksgiving night, seeing all the kids smiling.”
The light show is on every night from dusk until about 9 p.m., later on the weekend, weather permitting. Tune your radio to 107.9 FM when you arrive.
OBX Today Tacky Light Tour best-of-the-rest, which we will be adding to all season long:
Corolla Christmas Village
Twiddy & Company is proud to present our first-annual Corolla Christmas Village, a holiday experience that will transform Historic Corolla Village into a Christmas wonderland filled with thousands of lights, trees, and holiday displays.
Each weekend features food trucks, delectable beverages at The Kind Cup coffee shop, and unique shopping opportunities at the various village merchants. The self-guided event begins on November 26th and runs each Friday and Saturday from 5 to 9 pm until December 18th.
Carl Curnutte, the Executive Director of the Elizabethan Gardens and the driving force behind the Winter Lights is the creative director of the event. His creative vision will be the foundation of the Christmas Village.
5111 Lunar Drive, Kitty Hawk
504 Holly Street, Kill Devil Hills
The Johnson Family has lights, Christmas music and snow falling every hour from 6 to 10 p.m. Have the kids walk up the Candy Cane lighted path and put a letter/ Christmas lists for Santa in The Red Mail Box located by the street. Guests can also drop new toys in the Toys for Tots box.
Aviation Park, Kill Devil Hills Town Hall, Veterans Drive
The frog pond at Aviation Park is decorated with festive lights, reflecting off the water for an especially nice effect.
West Sportsman Drive, Kill Devil Hills
A yard filled with inflatables and other holiday fun.
Downtown Manteo, Roanoke Island Festival Park
Manteo gets all dressed up for Christmas, with lights twinkling on boats at the marina, strung between buildings and wrapped in trees. Across Shallowbag Bay shines the Elizabeth II at Roanoke Island Festival Park, lined in white lights.
It’s a Dillon Christmas on Wingina Avenue in Manteo. Lights timed to music, with additions every year. Check out the family’s Facebook page at It’s a Dillon Christmas.
Elizabethan Gardens Winter Lights
Stroll along illuminated garden walks and discover the joy of the season with holiday lights, sights and sounds that transform the ten-acre gardens into an enchanted wonderland. Sponsored by Southern Bank, The Outer Banks Visitor’s Bureau and Dominion Energy.
The radiant glow, traditional holiday décor and fantastical displays are a true spectacle to behold. Indoors are decorated with festive trees and holiday displays too. Other highlights include: holiday gift and plant shopping in the Royal Exchange, a crackling open-air fire, giant outdoor holiday movie and live entertainment on Fridays and Saturdays. (Closed Dec 24,25,31)
Open 6 to 9 p.m. on November 27, 28, 30; December 1-5, 7-12, 14-19, 21-23, 26, 28-30; January 2, 7-9, 14-16.
Tickets for adults: $12; Youth (between 6 to 17) $10; Child: (between 2 to 5): $7; Infant (under 2): FREE; Dog: $3. Timed-entry tickets sold online only. TICKETS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE UNLESS EVENT IS CANCELLED BY THE ELIZABETHAN GARDENS. If inclement weather or persistent damp conditions prevent the lights from occurring, notices will be sent out to all customers by 2 p.m. and posted on www.elizabethangardens.org
Manns Harbor Post Office
An elaborate display set to music lights up the night in Manns Harbor, with houses across the street decked out in their Christmas best, too. Michael Coley said they have done a power upgrade for 2021 and will be adding even more lights to display this year.
Please use caution and not park or stop on the main road, just pull off at the post office. Worth a drive over the bridge. The show starts December 3.
Corolla Christmas House
The show is on and bigger than last year! Sun-Thr 5-9 PM Fri-Sat 5-10PM More ( and hopefully better 😉) videos and pictures to come. @SamWalkerOBX @OuterBanksVoice #corollachristmashouse #corollanc pic.twitter.com/cTcaYCh555
— Corolla Christmas house (@corollaxmashome) November 28, 2021
See how they get ready for the show, and some of their new additions, on their Facebook page.
In their 13th year, the Umphletts have been lighting up the yard at 118 Woodhouse Drive and giving back to Currituck. Stop by and see 70,000 lights programmed to music on over 140 segments. Lights are on now through Jan. 4 nightly from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Dances Bay Christmas Light Show, Weeksville
The Dances Bay Christmas Light Show features at least ten houses of lights in the neighborhood that do a good amount of decorating and then three houses side-by-side that really go all out with almost one million lights at one house alone.
At one home in the neighborhood they have a old 1940s pick up truck with a Christmas tree out the back, as well as their whole house and 30+ trees fully decorated.
Another home has an out-of-service antique fire truck that is decorated for Christmas as well as a 40-foot-tall Santa Claus lighthouse that cannot be found anywhere else but here at our light display.
This is a drive-through display, with one way in and one way out through through the neighborhood to see the homes, and they have a pull-off area to get out of your vehicle to walk through certain designated walkways for photo opportunities.
“[We hope it] will bring a light of joy and happiness to everyone when they come to our display our goal this year is no one leaves our Christmas light display without the felling of Christmas,” McKecuen said.
The Christmas lights are on 7-days-a-week from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Hoggard Christmas Wonderland of Lights, Windsor
What started as a tribute to Carolyn Hoggard, who died in an accident on the way to school in 1991, has turned into one of the biggest displays in eastern N.C. Visitors from as far away as Washington D.C. and Atlanta make the trek each year to Windsor to see the over 500,000 individual lights.
You’ll want to get over there this season, as the Hoggard family is considering making this their final year for the show.