The annual Bull Run Festival of Lights holiday drive-through display brings cozy fun back to Northern Virginia. A perennial favorite, the Festival of Lights dazzles with a 2.5-mile drive-through display of sparkly lights.
Bull Run Festival of Lights 2022 is open from November 11, 2022, to January 8, 2023, so you have plenty of time to enjoy the holiday fun. That's an extra weekend of fun compared to last year's festival.
What to Expect at the Bull Run Festival of Lights
The Bull Run Festival of Lights is a drive-through display with a small carnival and holiday village at the end.
Cars slowly make their way past and under the Festival of Lights holiday and fairytale vignettes that entertain adults and wow little ones. While most of the displays repeat year-to-year, there are new scenes to enjoy, and seeing old favorites is part of the fun.
The Bull Run Festival of Lights holiday drive is an ideal family activity for even the youngest kids. The little ones stay warm and cozy as you slowly drive past the sparkly, animated displays.
We first visited with our toddlers dressed in their favorite footie jammies. Now much older, our twins still enjoy the annual tradition, though with a more critical eye and no pajamas in sight.
The lights throughout the Bull Run Festival are brighter than they were in the old days, but many of our favorite vignettes are still around. Our recent favorite is the trees dripping with holiday lights in the Winter Wonderland.
Drivers are not allowed to stop and you can not get out of your car, so be prepared to take photos as you drive. If possible, visit on an early weekday to avoid crowds. Fewer cars and headlights make for better photos and a more relaxing experience. Fortunately, most cars turn off their headlights during the drive.
Festival of Lights Holiday Carnival
At the end of the drive, visitors are welcome to stop and enjoy the Holiday Village and Carnival. The village was closed last year so we're happy to see it return for the full season in 2022.
The Holiday Village includes a small carnival with a colorful Ferris wheel and a few other rides. A walk-through light display is a great spot for family photos. Everyone can snuggle up by the bonfires and enjoy s'mores, and holiday merchandise is available for purchase.
The Bull Run Holiday Village is open November 11 – January 8, 2023, but the carnival opens November 19 – Jan 2 (weather permitting).
Bull Run Festival of Lights Holiday Tips and Logistics
November 11, 2022 – January 8, 2023
- The Bull Run Festival of Lights is open every evening. Hours are 5:30 to 9:30 Monday – Thursday, 5:30 to 10:00 Friday – Sunday and holiday nights.
- Festival of Lights holiday weekends get very busy, especially later in the season. Visit on a non-prime weekday to minimize cars and lines, and to score a nice discount. Demand is usually high so you should definitely buy tickets in advance.
- Timed entry tickets to the Bull Run Festival of Lights are $30/$40 online/at door for a car or van (1 to 14 people) except during peak days. You only need to buy 1 ticket per vehicle.
- NEW in 2022! Tickets are $10 off during the first Festival of Lights week, November 11 – 18. Use promo code early22.
- Use promo coupon lights22 to save $5 per vehicle on non-prime weekday tickets from Nov 21 – Dec 15. With the discount, a family of four is only paying $6 each for the Festival of Lights holiday drive. What an excellent deal!
- Buses and large vehicles with 15 or more passengers are $50.
- Bull Run Festival of Lights is at Bull Run Regional Park, 7700 Bull Run Drive, Centreville, VA 20121.
- Check the Nova Parks website to purchase tickets, for additional details, and for inclement weather closures.
Is the Bull Run Festival of Lights display part of your holiday lights traditions?
Looking for the perfect holiday gift? Read our Virginia Gift Guide now!
You'll find more holiday fun in these seasonal articles:
- 12 Holiday Favorites from Northern Virginia Experts
- Holiday Lights in the Northern Virginia Area
- Meadowlark Gardens Winter Walk of Lights
- Where to Buy Christmas Trees in Northern Virginia
- Favorite Holiday Markets in Northern Virginia and the DC Region
- 10 Fun and Free Things to Do on a Washington DC Holiday Visit