So you've chosen a night to check out some of my recommendations for the must see Christmas Lights of 2016. Good choice! But, oh! You've only allowed yourself one night to see as much as you can because you think that's all you can tolerate or you are way to social and have to many Christmas parties in which you must attend to keep your street cred. All rightfully so. Here are some of my tips for you:
Know when you will want to eat dinner on the night either- beforehand or after. I prefer to have my dinner before I head out. I time my dinner with the goal to arrive at the first display by 7pm on the dot to not waste precious viewing time. Remember you only have three hours of scheduled lights on time an evening! Yes, you've remembered the yuletide snacks but you will need the energy and it prepares you for the night ahead!
It can get very busy at some of the winning displays (especially the Best Light display at Morayfield). I find it can be tricky to get a park close by between 7.15-8.30pm, the time when the parents are taking the kids out for a great form of light entertainment. Get it? If you want to avoid the major crowds and you know there are only 3 displays you are keen to see, maybe think of seeing your first exhibits from around 8.30. Yes it shortens the night, but may save you little stress. Also, be respectful of no parking zones around the busier displays. I don't care how many Matilda awards you've won, you'll never be good enough to be an ass hat.
Don't drive by like a gangster. Find a park, get out and where properties allow you to enter, walk in and immerse yourself in the environment they have created. Displays do generally look brightest and more epic from the front but there are so many little gems of detail within the display worth checking out up close. This is where your inspiration and excitement can be taken up a gear. Take some great photos, find some of these interesting ideas and then potentially borrow them for to use yourself in your own display.
It's very handy to make sure you have the 4KQ Christmas Lights app open on your phone. Make sure one of your friends is the navigator or route assigner. If you are driving there is nothing worse then wasting time pulling over every 100 metres checking the map. If you have a smart phone with google maps or a built in GPS tracker in your car, you can dial in the next addresses and have it read you directions but WARNING it may interrupt your carol playlist, maybe turn your cars voice off.
It's a Marathon, not a sprint
Pace yourself. Christmas lights are beautiful but night shouldn't just be about that. After seeing 5 or 6 displays in a row you can burn yourself out and that's ok. You don't have to use the full three hours. You may find it better to head out over a few nights, seeing only a couple on each. I have found that if I plan a night out on a certain side of town, spending about 10mins on foot at each exhibit, I can realistically see about 10 displays an evening.
In summary, oh i don't need these sub headings anymore because you've figured it out for yourself
On the night make sure you enjoy the conversation and discussions about the displays, share and eat yummy food, pull over for ice cream or churros, listen to great music you wouldn't usually listen to. I think of the evening like the ultimate night road trip taking round blocks and sometimes places you ain't never been. But most of all, there's no need for stress. Keep it warm.