This Month’s Featured Article


By Published On: December 1st, 2023

Set against Hudson Valley’s dark, twinkling nighttime sky is The Wonderland of Lights – Rhinebeck – A Memorable Drive-Thru Holiday Light Show at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds. Come celebrate the season and witness the kaleidoscope of colorful lights at this holiday festival, which kicks off November 22 and runs through December 30.

This unforgettable journey will whisk guests through a mesmerizing parade of dazzling lights and magical displays in which there will be lots of holiday cheer. From fun tunnel displays to impressive towering structures and whimsical designs, The Wonderland of Lights is a memorable experience that is apropos for the entire family.

From the moment guests cruise in to the fairgrounds, spectators will witness various enchanting scenes. They include a parade of Santa Claus’ riding bicycles, a traditional nativity scene, a duo of doves spreading a message of “Peace on Earth,” and all of Santa’s graceful reindeers completing their all-important annual task of pulling Santa around on a sleigh. 

Where it began

Created by Tammy Peters, owner and producer of North Pole Productions, The Wonderland of Lights was established in 2016 in, of all places, the Sunshine State. It also entertains guests in Florida’s Auburndale and Port Charlotte areas. 

“We want to give our guests a wonderful holiday experience. Our motto is ‘Producers of Memorable Experiences’ and that’s what we try to do for every person who takes the time to drive through the fairgrounds. If this is their first time visiting, we hope that it will become a new family tradition. If it is their second or third time, we’ve done our job,” said Tammy Peters. 

Winter Wonderland

From Florida, The Wonderland of Lights arrived up north in 2020 –its inaugural year in Rhinebeck. The 2023 season marks its third year at Rhinebeck’s Dutchess County Fairgrounds. 

“This is an outstanding activity for the whole family. Babies will love the twinkling lights, little ones will be excited to see some of their favorite characters, and adults will not only love watching the expression on their kids’ faces, but may also be a little nostalgic themselves as well as entertained by some of the more contemporary lighted displays,” added Peters. 

To get the full experience, visitors are asked to take a leisurely drive at about three mph through the grounds. Depending on the number of cars traveling ahead, the holiday-themed ride can take 20 to 30 minutes.

Some of the highlights of this dazzling display include scenes from the 12 Days of Christmas; a Cinderella scene complete with the mice, majestic horses, and a fairy godmother; and a larger-than-life toy shop filled with fun and fabulous toys. The display measures 30 ft. tall by 130 ft. wide.

According to Peters, the team strives to showcase a bit of variety every year with the displays, but feedback from previous events dictates what attractions will remain the following year. “Every year will be just a little different from the year before,” said Peters. 

She said rather than “themes,” it’s really about incorporating all the holidays of the season, plus the whimsical displays that makes sense to the region. Of course, New York reflects more wintery displays, but in Florida visitors will see a moose who is busy working as a lifeguard on the beach.

The schedule

The Wonderland of Lights will host its opening night on November 22. The spectacular light show is open select dates until December 14. After that, it is open nightly through December 30. 

Tickets are priced at $30 per vehicle for up to eight passengers. “We want to make sure folks know the price is per car, not per person. We also have prices for limos, mini-buses, and motorcoaches,” said Peters. 

Please note that guests should bring their own snacks. Refreshments are not available this year, but a concession is something North Pole Productions is considering for future shows. •

The event runs from 5pm to 9pm. Please note that it is closed from November 27 to 29, December 4 to 6, and December 11 to 13. Visit the website for additional ticket options.

The Wonderland of Lights is at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds, 6550 Spring Brook Ave., Rhinebeck, NY. Call (845) 876-4000 or visit