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Magical Nights light up Lanier Islands
Array of activities, displays to entertain families in Buford
A lighted trolley passes by one of the displays of the Magical Nights of Lights at Lanier Islands in Buford. The lighted displays will remain open until Jan. 3.

At Christmastime, one of the most beloved activities for those of any age is seeing Christmas lights decorate a town.

Some take a tour of the neighborhoods. Others drive down Green Street to see the historic homes.

But one of the most popular attractions in Northeast Georgia is Lanier Islands’ Magical Nights of Lights.

Since opening in 1993, the light display has grown throughout the years into an all-out Christmas attraction.

“Many of the favorite displays are back this year and it will be a longer drive than last year,” said Chelsea Hernandez, marketing and public relations manager for Lanier Islands.

Following this year’s theme of Christmas Wishes, guests to the resort in Buford are encouraged to write down their wishes on designated Christmas Wishes chalkboard in the Holiday Village. Hernandez said one of those wishes will be granted at the end of the season.

After writing down their wish, visitors will be guided by twinkling lights along an enchanted road filled with animated Christmas scenes.

“We aren’t sure on the exact amount of lights, but there are thousands,” Hernandez said.

A new app also can be used during the drive or time spent at Lanier Islands.

“Trigger points throughout your experience will engage you with a custom story and music for each light display section,” Hernandez said.

The companion app is available in the App Store or Google Play. It features in-car game suggestions, a map of the island, special offers and Christmas music.

When travelers are finished trekking through the light displays, they may head over to Santa’s Holiday Village.

“This year, Magical Nights of Lights tickets not only allows you to experience the amazing light show, but gives guests access to the live Nativity and our Holiday Village,” Hernandez said.

New this year, the Holiday Village features a 40-foot-by-80-foot high-definition LED outdoor screen playing popular holiday moments throughout the season.

Children and adults may also participate in “Knockerball,” in which guests can climb into giant inflatable balls to roll around. Or visitors may try out the new Bubble Skating Rink.

“Our Bubble Skating rink is where guests and their families can glide through bubbles as they skate,” Hernandez said. “The rink is a synthetic rink, which is more family-friendly than traditional ice.”

Plus, plenty of photo ops to capture those special moments will be available throughout the village. And Santa Claus will be available for pictures, too.

“With so much to do here, the best way to allow guests to build their own experience was to price per person versus a standardized per carload fee,” Hernandez said.

The new pricing structure gives the resort the ability to offer a new combo ticket option with access to Magical Nights of Lights, Winter Adventure and unlimited Christmas carnival rides.

Ticket prices vary between peak days and family value days. Prices for Magical Nights of Lights range from $10 to $28 per person, or up to $60 per carload. Combo tickets range from $27-$46 per person.

Deals for buses and shuttles are also available.

Being able to celebrate Christmas beachside is something you can only do in North Georgia at Lake Lanier Islands. Roasting marshmallows by bonfire, holiday shopping and finding the perfect ornament for the tree will still be available this year.

But the fun won’t last long. Magical Nights of Lights ends Jan. 3.

For more information about the Magical Nights of Lights, visit