Last Updated on December 8, 2020 by Jeremy
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The Clinton Christmas Light-Up drive-thru experience has been entertaining visitors and raising money for charity since 1993. This one-mile light display about 30 minutes west of Pittsburgh features an array of lights, holiday decorations, bible verses, Christmas trees, and so much more on its route.
But the best part is perhaps its price. During our visit in 2020, they only charged $10 per car. A great price supporting good causes? Sign us up.
What You Can See in the Clinton Christmas Light-Up
The Clinton Christmas Light-Up drive-through display may not be the most technically advanced light show out there, but it makes up for it in its volume.
Over the course of the one-mile route, you will see dozens upon dozens of scenes made of lights- some the size of conventional lights you'd see in front of a home and others 10-15 feet tall (or larger). Some of these offer movement and others are static for a decent mix as well. These are visible every few feet such that you are never having a gap of lights to see along the route.
Beyond lighted displays, there are painted cardboard scenes mixed in as well. Some are biblical in nature, others feature popular cartoon characters (think Disney or Peanuts), and even more feature holiday scenes like carolers, Santa, and more. Towards the end there is also a section featuring several dozen Christmas trees provided either by sponsors or to honor loved ones in memorial, and each had their own unique style to really give a feast for the eyes.
But perhaps our favorite part about this one is that the drive through the park features numerous lights decorated on the trees themselves. This presents an interesting depth-of-field to the light display where you can see lights further off into the wooded areas that you're driving to, but are obstructed enough that it isn't all given away at the time (as is the case of light shows constructed in big fields or fairgrounds).
As you drive through, speakers play Christmas music near the lights, but the sound is quite faint such that you would likely need to roll your windows down and be fairly quiet in order to hear it. As such, turning on a Christmas radio station is a better alternative here.
Visit on a Weeknight if You Can
Like most drive-thru Christmas light displays, if you visit during peak hours you may expect a wait to get inside. But the Clinton Christmas Light-Up is a bit different in that if you visit on a slow night, they may let you go back through the display a second time if you so choose (this could be a great incentive for some visitors).
We saw this listed on the display's website as a possibility, and during our Monday night visit, we witnessed the car in front of us do just that.
Beyond this, visiting during an off-night can be a good idea simply to minimize wait times. During our visit we only had one car in front of us at the start to pay, and throughout most of the display, we could drive through at our leisure until we caught up with a few slower cars towards the end. This made our entire visit be only about 15 minutes in length (we'd anticipate 30 if you were behind cars the entire time), but it felt quite nice to go at a pace that suited us.
In fact, by the time we left closer to 7 pm there were still only five or six cars at the entrance waiting to get inside, so going on a weeknight could definitely help with the waits that are often associated with these events on prime weekends!
Overall, the Clinton Christmas Light-Up display was quite well done and its low price that also goes to charity is a great perk. Do they have any extremely crazy decorations that are elaborately out there? No. But at the same time, the volume of lights and variety in decoration styles makes this one a joy to drive through, and was a nice evening out to enjoy some holiday festivities all the same.
The Clinton Christmas Light-Up drive through is located at 600 Clinton Park Drive in Imperial, PA (GPS address), and runs from late November to early January. This event is cash only.