9 Smart Tips That Will Help You Have a Blast at Prairie Lights

By December 5, 2017 Events

It’s that most wonderful time of the year—especially in Grand Prairie, where the holidays shine a little brighter thanks to Prairie Lights Powered by Grand Prairie Parks, Arts & Recreation, the premiere drive-through holiday light park in Texas.

You’ve got until New Year’s Eve to experience an all-new, stunning display of four million lights on the beautiful shores of Joe Pool Lake—but closing day will be here before you know it, so make plans to visit now and avoid missing out on one of the most popular holiday traditions in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Get ticket pricing and hours of admission.

9 Tips For Your Prairie Lights Visit:

One: Plan to participate in the Prairie Lights out-of-car experiences.

About halfway through your trip through the light park, you can hop out of your vehicle and enjoy a number of out-of-car experiences, all of which are included free in the price of admission (except for Photos with Santa):

  • Holiday Village: Hot cocoa, funnel cakes, a charming gift shop, free carnival rides and more are in store for you at the Holiday Village (as well as the park’s restroom facility).
  • Photos With Santa: The Big Guy himself will be available through Dec. 23 to listen to holiday wishes and snap a photo or two. (Pricing begins at $15.)
  • SnowMazing Snow Maze: With the help of some friendly snowmen, navigate your way through the twists and turns of whimsical holiday labyrinth.
  • Holiday Magic Lighted Walk-Through Forest: Enjoy a memorable stroll through a wooded area that’s lit with thousands of lights depicting Christmas around the world.

Two: Allow plenty of time for your visit.

Prairie Lights Peak Times: Holidays, weekends, and December 18-21. Non-Peak Times: Weeknights (with the exception of Dec. 18-21).

If you have limited time or if you prefer smaller crowds, we recommend that you visit Prairie Lights on a non-peak night. During non-peak times, it usually takes about 45 minutes to drive through the park, and about 90 minutes to drive through and stop and enjoy the out-of-car experiences (which you will definitely want to do, since they’re tons of fun). If you visit during a peak time, you should add on at least an extra hour to your anticipated time.

Of course, these are just estimates —ultimately, your visit time will depend on how many guests are at the park that night, as well as how fast or slow everyone is driving. One last note: Cars are allowed to line up prior to our nightly start time of 6 p.m., so you might want to arrive at the park early.

Three: Consider a Fast Pass purchase

This year, we’re offering a Fast Pass ticket (available online only), which is an upgraded “line jump” option that allows you to get to the park quicker. See Fast Pass pricing. (Fast Passes must be purchased online no later than 3 p.m. on the day you want to visit the park.)

The suggested route for Fast Pass holders is to take I-20 and exit south on Lake Ridge Parkway, then stay in the right-hand lane and follow the signage leading the way to the Fast Pass entrance, located immediately after the general admission entrance and shared with The Oasis restaurant.

Note that entrance fees for general admission and Fast Pass admission cover up to eight people per vehicle—but we want you to be safe, so avoid the temptation to overload a vehicle just to save a few dollars on entrance fees.

Buses, limos and RVs carrying up to 56 people are also welcome, but be aware that they cost a little more. Also: Hayrides, while admittedly fun, are not permitted in Prairie Lights for safety reasons.

Four: Take advantage of discounts. In addition to saving time, guests who pre-purchase general admission tickets online can claim a $5 discount. Also, we usually offer special coupons for Prairie Lights at different times through the run of the event (for weeknights only). Follow Prairie Lights on Facebook and Twitter to learn more.

Five: Charge your phone or camera before you leave. For safety reasons, visitors are not permitted to get out and take pictures during the drive through, but you’ll have plenty of chances to shoot pictures and video from the interior of your vehicle or during your on-foot visit to the Holiday Village, Holiday Magic Walk-Through Forest, or other out-of-car experiences.

Six: Watch the weather. In the event of potentially dangerous weather conditions, Prairie Lights may close or delay opening. Visit us on Facebook, Twitter or our website to verify the park status before you head out.

Seven: Plan ahead. Besides charging your camera or camera phone, you might want to bring or pack the following:

  • Beverages or snacks for the first part of your visit (but too many, since we’ve got some delicious holiday-themed concessions waiting for you at the Holiday Village).
  • A coat or jacket if you plan on getting out to explore the Holiday Magic Lighted Walk-Through Forest.
  • Cash or plastic (Visa and MasterCard) for your tickets (if you don’t purchase online) and for shopping or buying concessions at the Holiday Village or taking a photo with Santa.

Don’t forget to gas up your vehicle before you arrive – you definitely don’t want to run the risk of running out while you’re driving through.

Loyd Park restrooms are available at the Holiday Village in front of and behind the big white tent. There are also a few portable toilets located near the office building and Fire Station by the main road (Lynn Creek Parkway), as well as just before the pay gate at the park’s entrance.

In the unlikely event that you experience an emergency during your visit, dial 9-1-1. The Police and Fire Departments are located at the entrance to Prairie Lights, so help will be available quickly.

Eight: Enhance your experience with music. While driving through the park, we recommend that you tune in to KLUV 98.7 FM for festive holiday classics to soundtrack your visit to Prairie Lights.

Nine: If possible, kill your lights while you’re driving through. The Prairie Lights experience is much more enjoyable when your headlights are off, especially for the people in front of your vehicle. You don’t have to worry about finding your way, because the driving path is clearly marked with cones and lighted indicators. Don’t forget to flip your lights back on when you leave the park!

Find out more about Prairie Lights

Kelly Eddlemon

Author Kelly Eddlemon

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