HARKER HEIGHTS — Are you looking for a family-friendly, local and free activity to do during the holidays?

As a child, I remember the excitement that filled my little heart with warmth, anytime my parents told us that we were going for a drive to look at Christmas lights. They would help us get ready, buckle us in, and play Christmas music on the car radio. As an adult I still practice this tradition.

Tuning into 88.1 FM for Christmas music, my fiancé and I watched the 45-mintute Carlson Light Display in Harker Heights. The light display perfectly synchronized with the radio station’s Christmas music. Children signing along with “Frosty the Snowman” could be heard all the way down the street. As we pulled up, there were about five cars parked in front of the house. It was a beautiful neighborhood.

Originally established in 2009, out of Maryland, the Carlson Light Display migrated to Virginia, then Harker Heights. The Carlsons are a military family who love spreading Christmas joy.

The light display is located about 20 minutes from Fort Hood. Decorated with rainbow colored-lights, white snowflakes on the roof and singing Christmas trees on the lawn, the Carlson Light Display put all the neighboring houses to shame. More than 30,000 lights covered the Carlson property (their electric bill must be astronomical). I wouldn’t be surprised if you could see the Carlson Light Display from space.

As the light display went on, a few small children, unable to control their excitement, climbed out of their family’s car and began dancing excitedly. It wasn’t too cold outside, but I never go look at Christmas lights without a jacket — just in case. Last year, my fiancé and I were freezing as we watched the light display from outside of our vehicle. If you plan to watch the display in a lawn chair on the grass or outside of your car, I would recommend sipping on a warm beverage. I could have used one last year. I enjoyed this year’s light display slightly more, one because it wasn’t freezing and two, because the layout was a little different.  

For a family-friendly experience, visit the Carlson Light Display — you won’t be disappointed. The annual light display is located at 428 Winter Sun Dr. in Harker Heights and will run from 6-10 p.m. through Dec. 25. For more information about Carlson Light Display, you can follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/carlsonlightdisplay.