(from Washington Township)
Lights and color abound at the 19th annual Woodland Lights, a month-long festival of holiday lights, displays and activities in Countryside Park, next to the Washington Township Recreation Center, 895 Miamisburg-Centerville Rd.
Woodland Lights offers a half-mile wooded path winding through a park and around a pond where visitors can enjoy whimsical characters and illuminated critters preparing for the holidays. Hours are 6 to 9 p.m. nightly Dec. 2-30, except Dec. 24 and 25.
This year, nine butterflies outlined in lights have been created for the event. Each is about three to five feet high and located where a Butterfly Playground will be installed next spring. Extra spark and color also has been added with more new lights decorating the trees, said Linda Madden, event coordinator.
Other favorite stopping points include eight holiday window displays, an interactive light display for hands-on fun, and the 11th annual collection of home-made gingerbread houses. Visitors can enjoy bonfires, hot chocolate, refreshments and a viewing deck where lights sparkle and reflect off the Woodland Lights pond.
Different nights at Woodland Lights have different moods. Monday and Tuesday Nostalgia Nights offer lights, Santa visits, refreshments and bonfires.
Festival Nights are Wednesday through Sunday and include the same, plus carriage rides, live deer, amusement rides, costumed characters, games and activities. Kids can play on a fun slide and enjoy four amusement rides including a small train, Santa swing, twister and pony carts. Offerings also include face painting and a drawing for a giant stocking filled with toys.
Photo opportunities abound, with whimsical settings that include a country front porch and photo panels where kids can poke their heads through a panel and appear as a jack-in-the box, a mouse, or a gingerbread character.
“When we started Woodland Lights 19 years ago, we wanted it to be magical and enchanting. We’re staying true to that vision,” Madden said, noting that visitors will see areas such as toy land, Santa’s airfield, candy land and a winter play land.
Admission is $3 on Mondays and Tuesdays and $6 on Wednesdays through Sundays. Children under 3 are free. Tickets are available at the gate, or may be purchased from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday at the front desk of theWashingtonTownshipRecreationCenter. Season passes cost $20 for adults 19 years and older and $15 for youth 3 to 18 years. Group ticket packages also are available.
Details, including options for people with limited mobility and senior tours, are available at woodlandlights.org, or by calling 937-433-0130.Woodland Lights is presented in cooperation with Subaru of Dayton. Media sponsors are Dayton Daily News, MIX 107.7 and 94.5 LITE FM.
Woodland Lights at a Glance… Walk the Path to Holiday Fun!
6 to 9 p.m. nightly December 2 – 30 Closed Dec. 24 & 25
Countryside Park (next to the Washington Township Recreation Center)
Monday & Tuesday
Lights, refreshments and visits with Santa
Wednesday – Sunday
All the fun of Nostalgia Nights, plus carriage rides, live deer, amusement rides, costumed characters, games & activities