For families looking to enjoy drive-thru Christmas light shows from the comfort of their vehicles, Southern Illinois has a few options that offer shorter wait times and shorter lines than the popular large-scale events.
Reis Lane in Herrin is a private drive that has grown over the years into one of the region’s most delightful light shows. The light display began several years ago when the father of Reis Lane homeowner Sharayah Skaggs began decorating her childhood home. Now Skaggs, who built her own home on the street, teams up with other family members and friends residing on Reis Lane to make each Christmas bigger and brighter with the whimsical display.
Reis Lane has a turnabout at the end of the lane where Skaggs sets up her food truck, Spread S’more Love. As the name indicates, Skaggs offers gourmet s’mores in festive flavor combinations such as Rudolph the Cherry Nose, Turtle Dove and Jingle Bell Crunch. Works of art on a a plate with homemade graham crackers and roasted marshmallows, the s’mores pair well with twinkle lights. Spread S’more Love will have its final night on Reis Lane on Saturday, Dec. 26 from 6 to 9 p.m. but will take a break on Christmas Eve and Christmas night. Reis Lane is open nightly, through the end of the year, from 5 to 10 p.m.
Lewis Light Show, just down the road from the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds, is a one-home light display that comes complete with accompanying synchronized music with thousands of smart LED pixels run by hardware controllers. Adam and Amy Lewis, with their respective love of technology and all things Christmas, created a show that has become a family tradition for many in the region. On Country Lane in Du Quoin, squeals of delight can be heard from passing vehicles when the lights begin to flash and twinkle in time with Christmas song favorites with images of Santa, Christmas trees, and shining stars. Drivers are asked to pull over a bit to allow for flow of traffic and to tune in to 87.9 FM for the music. The Lewis Light Show is open 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. A map is provided on the Lewis Light Show Facebook page to allow visitors to also view some other decorated homes as they drive away on Country Lane.
Yost Family Lights, in rural Marion, is another one-home light show with thousands of twinkle lights and props packed into one big Christmas extravaganza. On Cherry Valley Road, the home has a circle driveway where vehicles can pass under a canopy of colored lights as they take in the brightly lit trains, elves, snowmen and Christmas characters including Charlie Brown, Santa and The Grinch. While the drive is a one-way route, it is easy to loop back around and drive through more than once to experience the show. A donation box is at the end of the drive and the show will run on Christmas Eve and Christmas night from 5 to 10 p.m. The show runs 5 to 9 p.m. through the week.