Every year, I try to visit several Christmas light displays in PA, so I’ve seen a lot of them throughout the entire state. However, I don’t know that I’ve been to one that is as impressive as the Holiday Light Show at Shady Brook Farm.
Shady Brook Farm is located near Yardley in Bucks County, a short distance north of Philadelphia. Throughout the year, they offer fun events on the farm, but few, if any, are more popular than their Holiday Light Show held during the holiday season.
For many years, I had heard about this show and how great it was, so, in December 2021, I decided to finally check it out.
Shady Brook Farm is more than 100 years old and has been running light shows during the holiday season since the mid-1990s. Over time, the display has grown to feature more than 3 million lights (quite possibly the most lights of any drive-through Christmas light display in Pennsylvania, though the Festival of Lights in Tunkhannock, PA may have more).
The entrance is located along Stony Hill Road and can be quite easy to miss as there are no signs denoting the entrance along the road.
Once on their property, follow signs for the light show, bypassing the farmstand area for now.
The light show route is about a mile and a quarter long, and how long it will take you to get through it depends on how many cars are in front of you and how quickly they drive. Plan on a minimum of 30 minutes on a quiet night.
If you buy your tickets online, you can reserve a 30-minute window, which should definitely help to cut down on your wait time. You’ll also save money as tickets online are $40 per car (plus a $2 service fee) instead of $50 at the gate.
As you approach the ticket window, traffic actually splits into two lanes and stays that way throughout the show. The positive of this is that they can accommodate more vehicles and, on slow nights, you might even be able to switch lanes if the drivers in your lane are going too slowly (though you probably aren’t supposed to do that).
On the negative side, it can be harder to see lights on the opposite side of the road if you have a car next to you. Despite this, though, it’s probably a good thing overall that they have a second lane.
Shady Brook Farm has its own radio station for the light show, which can be found at 90.7 FM. This station broadcasts music commercial free. I’ve driven through some light shows where the suggestion station has commercials, and it’s no fun to listen to them while trying to get some festive cheer.
Shady Brook’s station plays a nice mix of upbeat Christmas music, though I do think the majority of it during my visit (and possibly all of it) were Christmas songs from the TV show “Glee”. Regardless, the music is quite enjoyable and goes with the upbeat nature of the show.
That being said, the lights aren’t synched up to the show at all, so you could also choose to listen to your own holiday tunes if you prefer and you wouldn’t miss out on any features of the show.
The lights on display during the visit range from more traditional lights featuring things like the 12 Days of Christmas and Santa and his elves to whimsical farm scenes and characters. However, the displays are very well done and nicer than those I’ve seen at other drive-through displays throughout the state.
In fact, some of the lights even told a story, such as elves creating candy canes, which was really fun to watch.
There are also characters that can be found throughout the display including the Grinch and Sponge Bob Square Pants.
As a lover of travel, I also really enjoyed the fun and unique light displays that showcased various well-known attractions around the world. These included Mount Rushmore, the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Taj Mahal, and many others.
While these aren’t really Christmas-related, they were still really neat to see in light form.
Once you’ve finished driving through the display, it’s worth taking a few minutes to enjoy Shady Brook’s Market. Outside, you’ll find Santa’s village (which features more lights to enjoy), Christmas decorations you can purchase, snacks, and campfires.
Inside the market, the store features some delicious-looking packaged food, a small pub, more decorations, and an ice cream stand.
At the market, you can also climb aboard a wagon for rides through the lights. At $15/$18 per person, this would actually be a less expensive option for couples or solo visitors who want to see the display.
Unfortunately, due to a driving rainstorm that popped up near the end of my time at the drive-through display, my ability to check out the exterior activities at Shady Brook Farm was limited.
Overall, I can’t say enough good at the Holiday Light Show at Shady Brook Farm. As I said above, I’ve done many different drive-through light displays in Pennsylvania and New York, and this was the best I’ve ever seen.
While it is a bit pricy to visit compared to some other drive-through displays (or the free Christmas lights at nearby Peddler’s Village), it’s actually cheaper than some of the walk-through displays if you have four or more people in a car (I paid $60 for a lesser walk-through display the night before for my family of four.)
If you can afford to visit this light show, I definitely recommend it as it’s one of the best things to do in Pennsylvania at Christmastime.
In 2023, the Holiday Light Show at Shady Brook Farm is open daily starting November 18. Purchase tickets online to save $10 on the admission cost of $50 per car.