During the holiday season, driving or walking around to admire lights and decorations adorning houses and shops has become a tradition for many families. Even in the current pandemic, this can still be a fun and safe thing to do. In order to profit off of this market, as well as give families some time out of the house in a socially-distant way, many locations and companies have created glorious light shows of their own for families to see, such as the ‘Magic of Lights’ show in Foxborough, MA.
Foxborough's ‘Magic of Lights’ program stretches one mile of Gillette Stadium’s parking lot and features several different displays of lights that flow seamlessly into one another. Tickets range in price between $35 and $50, depending on the date that has been picked, and each ticket covers the cost of one standard carload of people. However many people are included in that amount is up to each family, but tickets have to be purchased online before arriving at the program.
Due to the nature of the program, I would put out a caution to those who have light and strobe sensitivity. Many of the light designs have simple movements to them, such as figure skaters on a pond or a snowman and penguin having a snowball fight, as well as two tunnels with bright flashing lights that visitors drive directly through. I tend to have a bit of a sensitivity to strobe lights, and while the simple movements did not bother me, the bright flashing and changing colors of the bridges definitely did.
The light designs featured a combination of generically wintery images, traditional images dedicated to winter holidays like Christmas and Hanukkah, and some basic designs—like a motorcycle gang, polar bears doing construction, penguins playing hockey, animals playing football, and a bunch of race cars at a race—with a holiday flair. I found this to be refreshing, especially as we moved from scene to scene. Had the scenes been strictly Christmas, I think I would have gotten bored after a while, and I’m sure people who do not celebrate Christmas would have as well.
When beginning the mile-long stretch, there had been a sign that told us to tune our radios to a certain station, which I could only assume was custom made for the event. I had been hopeful that this station would be designed to play music that matched each scene as you went along, such as ‘Winter Wonderland’ in the generically wintery area, and ‘Away in A Manger’ in the nativity area, but it seemed to be a Pandora radio station on shuffle—ads included.
Music aside, the experience had been extremely fun overall. The speed along the path had been just fast enough that it didn’t feel like a crawl, but slow enough that my sister and I could sit on the open windows of the car and hold on in order to get a better view. Some of the scenes had been a bit confusing and unclear, such as the candy shop scene that depicted—at least, to my eyes—an elf in a pie that had lollipops and pieces of hard candy decorating the side, but many made sense after a bit of thought. One of my favorite scenes had been the ’12 Days of Christmas’ scene, which depicted clever takes on the classic song, as seen with the “Three French Hens” which was three chickens next to the Eiffel Tower.
Many of the “normal” scenes also had wintery and holiday elements. The Statue of Liberty had been standing on a giant present, which many people may not notice upon first glance, same with the Leaning Tower of Pisa which had been decorated with garland and tinsel, and the wintery animals—the moose, polar bears, seals, and penguins—had Santa hats and scarves on. There had also been an overarching theme of red, green, and white, since these are ‘holiday’ colors traditionally, even on images like trains, the ornaments, or ice skaters.
Foxborough’s ‘Magic of Lights’ program runs from now until Jan. 2, from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. each night. I recommend it for anyone who enjoys seeing holiday lights, and would love to see it on a grander, brighter scale.