Winter WonderLights: An Animated Holiday Treat


It didn’t take much convincing to get the kids to change into their holiday PJs and jump in the car to see Winter WonderLights at the Middlesex County Fairgrounds in East Brunswick. I was excited, too, because it’s known as New Jersey’s Largest Animated Drive Through Holiday Light Show, and for a good reason—with 1.5 million lights animated and synchronized to holiday tunes, 30′ Christmas trees, four light tunnels, and displays that celebrate all the holidays this season—it is truly a larger than life fantastic show. Read on for our experience and the highlights of what we saw, and be sure to catch all the holiday activities in NJ this season. (photo taken at Winter WonderLights)

Buckle up for 1.5 million lights

Winter Wonder Lights reindeer

Grandma got run over by a reindeer, and other holiday scenes filled the venue. Photo taken at Winter WonderLights

Pulling up to fun

As we turned off Cranbury Road in East Brunswick into the Winter WonderLights, we were greeted by every color of the rainbow for as far as we could see. This light show is a family-owned business that started as a display at home for friends and neighbors, and it became a fun event for anyone to enjoy. As we drove down the winding path to the entrance of the drive-through light show, we saw signs that said to turn our radio station to 95.3 FM to make sure that our music synced up to the lights. We immediately noticed that the lights were “dancing” to the music from a distance.

Winter WonderLights tunnel

The light tunnels are fun to drive through. Photo taken at Winter WonderLights

Viewing special sites along the way

We purchased tickets ahead of time, and as soon as we showed our QR code at check-in, we were off to see the show from the comfort of our car. It all started with a magical light tunnel into a candy cane forest. We drove slowly to make sure to catch every detail. The light tunnels were colorful and exciting, the holiday character displays were detailed and bright, and the 30-foot trees were dazzling and unique. There were also memorable scenes along the way, such as the tribute to first responders and the United States Armed Forces with twinkling lights and displays inclusive of all the holidays—Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, and Kwanzaa. Every display was animated, filled with movement in the festive scenes and pop culture characters, and timed perfectly to all the music on the radio. Unlike other light displays, these lights were like scenes from a movie that seemed to dance throughout our drive. By the end, my kids happily talked about what they loved the most—they gave top marks to the light tunnels, animated trees, and the lively Disney scene. The best part for me? Staying in the warm car where we could take in the show without bundling up or parking. 

Winter WonderLights

Snowmen, reindeer, and more light up the night at Winter WonderLights. Photo taken at Winter WonderLights

What to know before you go

Winter WonderLights at the Middlesex County Fairgrounds in East Brunswick is a 1/2 mile long drive, and the show lasts between 20 and 25 minutes. Food is available at Dave’s Delicious Fries Food Truck before you enter check-in, and you can park and get out to purchase snacks to have in the car with you. The grounds are open seven days a week from November 24-December 31, 2023, from 5:30 PM to 10 PM (the last vehicle is allowed in the gate by 9:45 PM). Tickets are $30 per car, and the tickets are date-specific; you can go in any time during their hours that day, but always double-check before purchasing. There is also an option to buy a VIP Season Pass, which can be used anytime during the season. To experience the WonderLights, all participating cars must be 9 feet six inches in height, including antennas, and no longer than 23 feet in length. The whole experience is a drive-through, and there are restrooms available in the queue line area before entering the show. Once going through the light show, the recommended driving speed is an idling speed of 1-2 mph. The show is open, rain or shine.

Winter WonderLights – Middlesex County Fairgrounds
655 Cranbury Road
East Brunswick, NJ 08816

Learn more about Winter WonderLights at the Middlesex County Fairgrounds in East Brunswick, NJ, by visiting their websiteFacebook or Instagram.

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About Author

Melanie Bodner has always had a love for writing, but now she has a new love…being a mom. Before having her kids, Melanie was no stranger to writing or working with children. She wrote for a local newspaper as a reporter and taught English and Dance in a public school. Now Melanie enjoys spending time with her kids, doing yoga, writing and decorating her home. Check out her Instagram @burlapbythebeach.