This post was written in 2012, so some information may be out-of-date. Please visit the city of Meriden’s Facebook page for the latest event information.
There’s no shortage of outdoor holiday light displays in and around our state. Last year, we scoped out Holiday Light Fantasia at Goodwin Park in Hartford, CT. This year, I was excited to check out the Festival of Silver Lights in Meriden, CT. Here’s a description of the event from www.ctvisit.com:
A spectacular display with 200,000 white lights and more than 300 lighted characters throughout the Park. Displays in trees, on the ponds and nestled in the natural habitat.
The park looks amazing with all the lights. It’s really magical. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of great pictures since it was so dark, but hey, why would you want to see all the lights ahead of time anyway? Doesn’t that kinda ruin the fun 🙂
So here’s my list of reasons why you should check out the Festival of Silver Lights:
#1. It’s FREE.
Yup. You read that right. Some of these light displays can be downright expensive, but this one won’t cost you a penny. That’s especially great news if you have a really little one who is probably not ready to appreciate some of the more elaborate displays like Holiday Light Fantasia at Goodwin Park or Bright Nights at Forest Park.
#2. It’s open 24 hours.
This is super because it means you can easily work around any nap or bedtime schedule. You can also check out the lights before it gets dark if you want to be able to enjoy the park grounds too. The driving loop through the park goes around Mirror Lake and is one-way. See map below for entrance:
#3: The light displays are adorable and perfect for little ones.
This may not be the most elaborate light display you’ll ever see, but it is really well done. There are all kinds of cute critters (turtles, squirrels, camels, horses, deer, etc.) illuminated throughout the landscape. Some of them are tucked up in the trees so you really have to “hunt” for them. Kids will love that. We also saw other fun shapes like a teapot, flowers, and sparkly stars hung high in the trees.
There is a playground at the back of the driving loop (and a parking lot), near the swimming pool facility. Since we went to see the lights after dark, I did not actually see the playscape myself, but hubby told me about it as we were driving out of the park. I thought this was fabulous news because what better way to round out this evening outing than with a little pre-dusk playground time? I had hoped to go back to the park last Saturday to snap some pictures of the playground, but unfortunately, it was raining that day. I did find this site with some pictures and additional information about the playground. It looks pretty nice. If anyone does go to the playground and wants to snap a pic for me, please do! I’ll give you a photo credit and everything 🙂
#5. You can get out of your car and walk around.
There is a parking lot near the playground/pool facilities, as well as areas where you can pull over and park. Then you can get out of the car and explore all the quirky light displays. By the time we got there, it was already dark, but I would recommend coming at dusk (or earlier) if you want to do a lot of exploring. The park is really dark once the sun goes down and it can be hard to see things like the stone walls, the electrical cords near the light displays, and even the edge of the pond while you’re walking around. Plus, there is a lot of traffic moving through the park that might have trouble seeing pedestrians. There is also a beautiful lighted bridge that would be fun to explore before dark.
#6. There’s a shopping mall nearby for last-minute holiday shopping.
Just down the road there is the Westfield Meriden Shopping Mall. Maybe you have a little holiday shopping to do? Perfect! Check out the mall and then head over to the Festival of Silver Lights for some holiday cheer. Or, have a family-friendly meal at the Ruby Tuesday before or after.
#7. It’s the perfect excuse to bundle up, grab a hot beverage, and go for a ride.
Sometimes you just want to go for a ride, and this is a great destination. There’s even a drive-thru Dunkin Donuts on the road to the park (West Main Street), so you can get a hot beverage for yourself or some treats for the kiddos.
Hubbard Park, West Main St. Meriden, CT 06450
Get directions here (to the southeast corner of the park):
Hours & Admission:
November 20, 2012 – January 6, 2013
Open daily, 24 hours.
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