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Magical Nights of Lights adds new activities

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Special Photo Lake Lanier's Magical Nights of Lights opens to the public Friday and runs through Dec. 31.

If You Go

What: Lake Lanier’s Magical Nights of Lights

When: 5 to 10 p.m. Friday through Dec. 31

Where: Lake Lanier Islands Resort, 7000 Lanier Islands Parkway, Buford

Cost: $60 per car, $90 per van, $250 per bus

For more information: Visit www.lakelanierisl...>

BUFORD -- With a chill in the air, it's time to find ideas to arrange your outside Christmas lights -- and what better place than Lake Lanier's Magical Nights of Lights, which opens Friday.

This year's event pays homage to some traditional favorites while introducing a few new additions.

"It means a great deal to my family that Lake Lanier Islands Resort holds such a special place in the hearts and holiday traditions of so many people throughout the Southeast," said Mike Williams, CEO of Lake Lanier Islands Resort.

For those who have been to the light show several times, the resort kept many of its traditional activities around including listening to holiday songs while driving the Magical Nights of Lights route and stopping by the Holiday Village.

The stop along the route features bonfires for roasting marshmallows, vendors selling hot cocoa, a petting zoo and pony rides, carnival rides and games, holiday shopping, a new ice skating rink and a chance to visit with Santa Claus.

"Each year, we look forward to the sight of cars and minivans loaded with everyone from the new baby in the family to the grandparents as they take a modern sleigh ride through the resort's streetscapes to enjoy the animated holiday light displays and stopover at the Holiday Village for some good old-fashioned holiday fun," Williams said. "Because this is the 20th anniversary of Magical Nights of Lights, we wanted to make it particularly special for all of our guests."

To celebrate the past two decades, the resort has added several new things to the event. This year, there is an ice skating rink, new sections of lights, including a "Holiday House" and "Diamond Wonder," and a live nativity show beginning Dec. 1.

Since the Nights of Lights is opening before Thanksgiving, Lake Lanier is also hosting a canned food drive Nov. 23 through 25. Guests are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to benefit Free Chapel's His Harvest House, a local food bank ministry. Those who participate will receive one free carnival ride per canned good.

As one of the Southeast's leading holiday destinations for families, the Magical Nights of Lights will offer its array of festivities to the public until Dec. 31.