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Where I grew up in Washington state, we had Christmas Carol Lane.

It started out as a random group of neighbors who decided to decorate their lawns, each in a different Christmas carol theme. Every Christmas Eve, my family would drive through the display in our big old Chevy van. The traffic was a mess, and we were full of sugar from the cookies at the Christmas Eve service, but we never missed it.

In Greenville, we have the Roper Mountain Holiday Lights. Yes, it can get crowded. But don’t let that stop you from adding a visit to your family’s holiday traditions.

Dinner first

We had never been to Wild Ace Pizza & Pub when it was in its former location in downtown Greer, so I can’t compare the old to the new.

But the new location that recently opened on Depot Street is very family-friendly. My boys had been watching as the new faux control tower was constructed, and thought it was going to be a small airport. There’s a fun, vintage airplane theme. They serve New York-style pizza, as well as pastas and salads. There are plenty of TVs broadcasting sporting events, and a foosball table for the kids to play while you wait for your pizza pie. There is also a location in downtown Spartanburg.

See the lights

This will be the 24th year for Roper Mountain Holiday Lights. The gates open at 6 p.m. each night, and there’s generally a line forming well before then. Some changes were made last year to the way cars go through the gates, which helped speed up the process.

I suggest you park your car and walk through the lighted displays.

My kids like to see if they can figure out which displays are new — they seem to add a few new items every year. Everything is outdoors, so dress for the weather. The paths are stroller-friendly, and there are different activities each night, including visits from local team mascots and performances by local choirs.

And, of course, Santa is on hand every evening. You can pay to have a professional photo taken, or take your own. A concession stand offers snacks and hot chocolate at reasonable prices. The light display extends for more than a mile, which may be a long walk for little ones, so wear sturdy walking shoes. The paths are paved, but can be a little uneven in spots. Plan to spend at least 90 minutes walking through the displays so you don’t miss anything.

You can go

Wild Ace Pizza & Pub

  • 103 Depot St., Greer
  • 864-879-6900
  • www.thewildace.com

Roper Mountain Holiday Lights

  •     402 Roper Mountain Road, Greenville
  •     $10/vehicle Mondays – Thursdays
  •     $15/vehicle Fridays – Sundays
  •     www.ropermountainholidaylights.com
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