christmas lights

Thompson St Northcote for Christmas lights

Have you ever seen the Christmas lights in Thompson St?

Christmas tree and gift in lights against night sky

(Love Santa image, not from Thompson St)

While not as extensive as Ivanhoe’s Boulevard (3km of lights is pretty hard to beat!), there apparently are a lot of lights there – over 50,000 LEDS between just three houses according to one report! And residents think their display is better so it could be worth a look if you’re in Melbourne during December.

Personally I love the story of the Francis family at number 49 – they decorate the house for the Hindu Diwali festival of lights and add to it for Christmas. Mixing religions and celebrations, to me, is a great way of building peace and showing Melbourne is a multi-cultural place.

What do you think – could a small collection of lights be better than Ivanhoe’s huge display? Have you seen both and have a preference?

Incredible lights in Forest, ACT

Christmas lights with inflatable Santa & snowman

(Love Santa image, not from Forest, ACT)

We saw some amazing lights last night in Forest – 3 Tennyson Court. You actually walk under a canopy of lights that is just beautiful.

Gotta love living in Australia to spend warm evenings strolling amongst lights like this.

Oh, I found a video of these lights, too, so you can get a glimpse of it.

Ivanhoe Christmas lights are stunning

If you are in Melbourne and like Christmas, visiting the Boulevard in Ivanhoe is a must.Christmas lights collage Ivanhoe 2012

This is not about one fantastic house of lights, or a couple of hours near each other. It is a street full of lights with a few houses nearby!

Drive along the Boulevard

One option is to drive along the Boulevard, entering from Lower Heidelberg Rd. The street is officially blocked to incoming traffic at Burke Rd during December and early January so the street is one way.

A lot of cars travel down the road in peak times (ie in the first couple of hours after sunset) but they move at a crawl so there is time to watch the lights and decorations as you pass. It is probably the rare event of crawling traffic that no one minds being stuck in!

It is about 3km from start to finish for the lights. True not every house is decorated, but more than 95% are so there is a LOT to see!

Walk along The Boulevard

Your other option is to walk along the road – we walked most of it last night (the kids got tired so we skipped the last stretch).

As the traffic is flowing one way, very slowly in one lane, it is safe enough to walk along the street , and occasionally step back to see things from a bigger perspective.

Most people walk the same direction as the cars – everyone going the same way makes it easier to stop and gaze at places that take your fancy.Santa and children singing carols

One advantage to walking is that you can see more than the main strip. A couple of courts and streets off The Boulevard are also well-lit and it’s easy to divert and see them when you are walking – the cars miss these side streets.

Walking also means coming through other side streets to reach the Boulevard from wherever you manage to park.

We loved the classy decorations on the corner of Warncliffe Rd and Wallis Ave – it’s a gorgeous house with a large front lawn decorated with a Christmas tree covered in lights plus some large characters (Santa included).

What to see…

There is no way I can describe every house for you!

Although the street is united in decorating their houses, there is no consensus on how to decorate so there is an incredible array of Christmas lights and decorations.

Some houses have a few subtle lights, some are ablaze with light; some have many large inflatable or plastic ornaments, others have only lights; some are themed or use a single colour, others are full of colour.

A few have a nativity scene (and one is basically only a huge nativity setting), many have Santa and one house has Santa on the veranda serenading all who pass!

Have you been to the Boulevard?

Can you remember any specific parts that you loved – or didn’t love?

Boy looking at Christmas bell lights

Exciting sets of lights localy!

I love Christmas lights – they are beautiful and magical. So it’s very exciting to see more and more set up in our area each year.

Christmas house decorations

A local house with Christmas lights on trees, walls and grass

If you want a drive to see some nice lights (and without lots of crowds, too) try this route…

High St Rd, between Winbirra Pde and Vannam Dve in Ashwood – lights on the south side with candy canes featured.

Turn into Vannam Drive then left into Ashwood Drive, seeing some small collections along the way. Park next to the playground (you’ll see why – the house opposite is AMAZING!)

Walk past the playground , across the bridge and turn right to see Santa on the roof as well as a train and Santa’s car. Wonder along Ashwood Dve a bit to see some other small sets of lights.

Back in your car, turn around to go into Baryn St and right into Vannam Dve to see a blue light display.

Turn again and then right into Arthur St.

On the left, past the kinder and shops, is a HUGE Santa and lots of pretty lights.

That’s it in Ashwood (for what I know – let me know if you spot more goods near by!) but if you turn from ArtBurwood Christmas elf with childrenhur St into Huntingdale Rd and head to Burwood Hwy (via Highbury and Station St) there is an awesome display near Benwerrin Reserve – they have lights, a massive Santa display AND visits from Santa and his elves.

 Have a Merry Christmas and say hi if you see me along the way!!!

Christmas lights in Vermont & Wantirna

We went looking for Christmas lights a week before Christmas and ended up finding some lovely lights so here’s what we found in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs…

Christmas lights on a garden tree in MelbourneBellbird Court, Wantirna

A few houses there have decorations. The first house has a beautiful tree covered in lights and another had fewer lights but was beautiful in its simplicity with white reindeer forming a path to the front door.

2.5 Santas for this group, but well worth it if you’re in the area

Beddoe Rd & Allison Ct, Vermont

We found  a number of houses on Beddoe Road (starting at the corner of Cosgrove St) with lights – one or two had a lot of lights – which was nice but only about 2 Santas. We turned into Luck Drive and found one lit up house on our right.

Then we  turned into Allison Court. Most homes in this street have some lights set up while a few have a lot of lights. Altogether it is a good street to slowly drive through – but a walk along would be even better (our kids were too tired by this stage so we drove!)

Put all 3 streets together (and you could walk between them) and this is definitely worth 3 santas.

 Morack Rd, Vermont South

We only saw these lights while driving past on Burwood Highway but I think there are a few places and they were certainly lit up!

Narracan St, Vermont

This one is a mixed review. The house has quite a few lights on the house, in the garden and inside the windows – you can walk through the garden, too. It stands out and is worth a bit of a drive.

However, if you have been there in the past (as we had), this is not the display it once was. it used to be covered in lights, have a snow machine and create traffic chaos in the side streets! A few neighbouring houses were also decorated (but not this year). The owners have sold off many of their lights and decorations but hopefully will retain some lights for Christmas 2012.

Surrounding streets  (such as Hartland Rd) have a few dispersed homes with nice lights, too, so driving through these streets can be rewarding.

Cgristmas bells in lightsRead more about Victorian Christmas lights or share other lights in the Vermont/Wantirna area for others to enjoy…

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