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Twinkle time: Lake Lanier's holiday light display in 18th year

Photo by Corinne Nicholson

Photo by Corinne Nicholson

LAKE LANIER — Seven miles of holiday-themed light displays once again adorn Lake Lanier Islands Resort.

In its 18th year, the Magical Nights of Lights features millions of twinkling lights, a Holiday Village and — new this year — an Express Tour zip line through Lake Lanier Canopy Tours. The 30-minute trip through the treetops includes four thrilling zip lines and one scenic sky bridge, providing one of the most beautiful views of the islands imaginable.

If you go

• What: Magical Nights of Lights

• When: 5 to 10 p.m. nightly through Dec. 30

• Where: Lake Lanier Islands Resort

• Cost: Admission for most vehicles is $40 Monday through Thursday and $60 Friday and Saturday. The activities at the Holiday Village, the buffet at the Legacy Lodge and the zip line tour require additional charges.

“For decades, Americans have piled in the car to take a drive around their neighborhood or hometown in search of houses and buildings creatively strung with Christmas lights,” Virgil Williams, chairman and CEO of Islands Management Co., said in a news release. “We’ve simply taken that time-honored tradition, and kicked it up a notch.”

This year’s light procession leads guests to the bustling and brightly bedecked epicenter of the resort, the Legacy Lodge & Conference Center, where a bountiful buffet of holiday favorites will be served up nightly, the press release states. The cost is $27.95 per person, and reservations are required.

Afterward, visitors can resume their journey through the lights to the Holiday Village. In Santa’s Workshop at the heart of the Village, little ones can sit atop Santa’s lap, commemorating the occasion with a photo, while shoppers bustle about gathering gifts and ornaments.

By the light of large toasty bonfires just outside the Workshop’s doors, parents can bestow the art of a perfectly roasted marshmallow to the delight of their children. Guests can sip on cups of hot cocoa as they make their way through the rest of the festive Holiday Village featuring carnival rides, pony rides and games.

Magical Nights of Lights runs from 5 to 10 p.m. nightly through Dec. 30. Admission for most vehicles is $40 Mondays through Thursdays and $60 Fridays and Saturdays.

Discount coupons are available at participating McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A, Publix and QuikTrip locations. Lake Lanier Islands Resort also offers all-inclusive packages that include admission to the Magical Nights of Lights and unlimited carnival rides and can be tailored to incorporate the zip line tour.

For a holiday-themed vacation, Magical Nights of Lights Legacy Lodge Accommodation Packages can be scheduled around a breakfast with Santa.

“We are thankful that so many local families have already made Magical Nights of Lights a treasured part of their holiday traditions,” Williams said. “For those who have yet to discover the beauty and magic of millions of lights that help ignite that age-old holiday spirit in so many hearts, Lake Lanier Islands Resort and the Williams family welcome them to make us a special addition to their holiday memories this year and for many years to come.”

For more information, visit www.lakelanierislands.com/mnol.php.