7 Sacramento Christmas Displays to Make Clark Griswold Proud

Let's face it, few things will warm your Grinch heart like a stroll through Christmas lights. In the greater Sacramento area, there are several places worthy of donning a jacket, grabbing a hot chocolate, and getting ready for your perfect holiday Instagram post.

Here are a few of our favorites:

3316 Lake Terrace Drive, Elk Grove

Sure, these days anyone can buy lights that synchronize to music with the help of an app. But that's the Minor League, and this home is in the Majors. Set to music you can tune into on your FM dial, this display features over 100,000 lights with 45 control boards. If that's not quite enough holiday spirit for you, on Christmas Eve the homeowners will also be giving out hot apple cider and blowing fake snow.

4821 F Pkwy, Sacramento

The debate of whether The Nightmare Before Christmas is a Christmas or Halloween film may rage on, but this themed home—complete with handmade decorations inspired by both the movie and the Disney Haunted Mansion—will have you shouting "I am the Pumpkin King" in your car, either way.

530 W Wise Road, Lincoln

Set on over 2.5 acres, this walking tour will take you through beautiful light displays and past many of your favorite characters in both cut out and inflatable forms. Piped music will accompany you as you stroll, so be ready to sing along as you go.

5640 Kenneth Ave, Fair Oaks

If what you came to this article for is a Griswold-like home covered in lights, this is the one for you. With over 85,000 lights draped over just about every inch of surface on both home and lawn, you will almost need sunglasses to view this one.

Dovewood Court, Orangevale

With not just one house of over-the-top displays, but rather all 18 homes participating, it is no wonder Dovewood Court is one of the top Christmas light destinations in the area. Themes here range from Christmas Island—complete with Jimmy Buffett music—to an iconic Candy Cane Lane, to Christmas around the world. And, of course, what Christmas display is complete without the Minions showing up?

You can drive through, but we suggest parking a couple of streets away to get the full experience without the so much of the hassle. Turn down Walnut Ave from Greenback Lane instead of Madison to avoid the bumper-to-bumper.

Fab 40's, East Sacramento

The Fab 40's is the neighborhood nestled between 40th St. and 49th St. between Folsom Blvd. and J St. The historic homes in this area are stately and feature incredible classic architecture and, around Christmas, dazzle visitors with their light displays. The streets are narrow and get backed up during the season, but it's worth a drive or walk, or even—as many people do—renting a limo or hayride for the full experience.

Macy's Theater of Lights, Old Sacramento

Located on K St, between Front St. and 2nd St, the balconies of the Old Sacramento historic buildings light up to a reading of the 1823 poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas." nightly. Be on the lookout for a special guest —spoiler alert: Jack Frost—and the lighting of a 60-foot Christmas tree. Showings happen nightly at 6:15pm and 7:45pm from now until Christmas Eve, when the last showing is the one at 6:15.

Amanda Gray is a writer and social media manager who settled in Sacramento 11 years ago, after living in more places than she can count. If you can get her nose out of her books, you will find her traveling or on the hunt for the perfect almond milk latte. Find her on Twitter @mandigray.