5 of the Craziest Christmas Displays Near Jackson, Mississippi

Visions of sugar plums? For me, it's those crazy Christmas displays that define the holiday season. Near Jackson, you'll find a historic southern town in Victorian regalia with nostalgic Christmas activities, an elegant crèche collection in a museum, and stunning traditional Christmas light displays choreographed to radio music. It's a season for celebration!

Canton, Mississippi and the Canton Animation Museums
Just 27 miles north of Jackson, the "Movie Capital of Mississippi" becomes the biggest, boldest, over the top celebration of Christmas when the entire town transforms into the "City of Lights" for this month-long festival each year. The Historic Courthouse Square in Canton, Mississippi is decked out for the season with over 200,000 shimmering Christmas lights. Join in the fun while riding the carousel, browsing antique-styled shop window decorations, and visiting the whimsical animation museums. This is good old-fashioned fun for the entire family.

Mississippi Museum of Art, Trustmark Grand Hall, Jackson, Mississippi
For our next display, come inside where it's warm at the Mississippi Museum of Art, in downtown Jackson, Mississippi. The Bethlehem Tree collection is on display through the end of the year and is free for public viewing. Inspired by the Angel Tree exhibition at New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art, Mrs. Jewell Younger Graeber began collecting these beautiful handcrafted Italian pieces. The collection's Nativity display features more than 100 authentic figures representative of the first celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. While you are there, stop in at The Palette Café for a hearty lunch with fresh local foods, including some ingredients from The Payton CityFarm Learning Garden, located on the museum grounds.

These three classical Christmas light displays bring out the best of drive-through entertainment, in towns near Jackson. Gather your friends and family for a carload of fun while driving the designated routes and singing along to the radio broadcasts of all-time favorite Christmas music.

Crossview Lights, Brandon, Mississippi
It's a blue Christmas at this residential Christmas display of about 30,000 lights, blinking to the rhythm of FM 102.3 holiday music.The Taylor family and Brandon's Crossview subdivision community connect the fun holiday light show with the true meanings of the Christmas season. The displays emphasize the Biblical reasons for this season of celebration and support a charitable cause each year. For 2016, the community is participating in "A Blue Christmas" honoring police officers and first responders.

Richardson Light Show, Madison, Mississippi
The Richardson Light Show has become a family tradition with more than 100,000 LED lights and 250 character inflatables. The wireframe messages and outlines, the 23-foot animated tree, and the beautiful twinkling promotes holiday fun while offering insight into Christmas and the birth of Jesus Christ. Tune into radio station 99.9 FM to jam along with the synchronized lights.

Freedom Ridge Park, Ridgeland, Mississippi
Every year, the Freedom Ridge Park in Ridgeland, Mississippi, lights up with thousands of bright Christmas lights timed to flash and change colors to the music on FM 100.3. This 50-acre city park hosts a traditional drive through blinking light display - fun for the entire family. Bring along a camera to capture the memories at this entertaining light show.

After a long day of visiting Christmas displays, cozy up with family and friends for a cup of hot cocoa beside a fireplace or outdoor bonfire. Then drift off to sleep with visions of Christmas light displays and perhaps even sugar plums.

Gwyn Goodrow is a freelance travel writer and photographer currently residing in central Mississippi. She is a member of ITWPA (International Travel Writers and Photographers Alliance). When Gwyn is not traveling, she is crafting or blogging about yarn, crochet, and travel on Crochet Getaway.