No neighborhood embraces over-the-top holiday lighting displays like northwest Plano’s Deerfield neighborhood. This community of over 700 homes comes alive with millions of lights and decorations each season. Drive through the development on your own for free, or snag a seat on an old-fashioned horse-drawn carriage for the full holiday experience. You can even book a Segway tour of the neighborhood.

It all started years ago when Deerfield was being built, among undeveloped fields in an area some considered too far north. To get people interested, the builders offered homeowners big cash prizes ($5,000 for first place!) to decorate their homes for the holidays. Things got serious; besides stringing millions of lights, people covered their lawns in cotton to look like snow, put animated figures on display (including fake animated figures made out of actual people!), and handed out Christmas candy to draw people in. The competition continued even after the contest was retired, creating a tradition that endures to this day.

This year, visitors can vote on their favorite decorated homes by text. Categories are Best Overall, Most Traditional, Children’s Favorite, and Funniest.

Read on for all the details, to help you get the most from your visit to the Lights at Deerfield.

The Lights at Deerfield

Where: The Deerfield neighborhood, located in northwest Plano between Preston Road and Coit Road

When: December 1–30, 7–11 p.m.; closed Christmas Day

Driving tips: Enter from Legacy Drive on Colonnade Drive or Archgate Drive, noting one-way and restricted-turn signs along Old Pond Drive and Hallmark Drive. RED and BLUE routes are suggested main thoroughfares; be sure to visit side streets and cul-de-sacs along these routes. Use Quincy Lane or Legacy Drive to connect both routes. Watch all signs and drive carefully.

Click the map to enlarge and print it. Click here for a link to detailed written directions to help you navigate through the neighborhood.

Walking tips: If you decide to walk the neighborhood, please park north of the Clubhouse on a less busy street.

Holiday carriage rides: Reservations are highly recommended for holiday carriage rides, provided by North Star Carriages. The multi-passenger carriages and wagons range in size from 4 to 20 seats. Walk-ups will be accepted, but reserve online to avoid disappointment.

Horse-drawn carriage rides take 50–55 minutes. Thirty-minute rides on smaller 2–6 passenger carriages may also be available on-site for walk-ups. Blankets and holiday music will be provided, or bring your own; you may also bring hot cocoa or other beverages. All rides are weather-permitting.

Days: December 1–30; closed Christmas Day

Times: 6–11:30 p.m.

Where: Carriage rides begin in the Legacy Church parking lot, 4501 Legacy Dr. at Preston Meadow.

Cost: From $145 for up to 6 passengers to $250 for up to 20 passengers. Click here for details on carriages and prices.

Segway tours: McKinney Segway Tours will conduct Segway tours on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays starting December 4, through December 24. The cost is $30 per person and includes training and helmets. Closed-toe shoes are required. Reservations are recommended; walk-ups will be accepted if space is available. Segway tours will meet at Bettye Haun Elementary School at 4500 Quincy Ln., and start on the hour from 6–9 p.m. Reserve here.

Voting: Vote on your favorite decorated homes by sending a text to 469.200.4699. Just remember what street you’re on, and when you’re ready to vote, text the letter corresponding to one of the four categories, followed by the street address.

Categories:

A—Best Overall

B–Most Traditional

C–Children’s Favorite

D–Funniest

For example, to vote for 1222 Main St. as Funniest, text D-1222 Main.

Enjoy the lights!

Steve Beavers

Dallas native Steve Beavers wears a lot of hats (but not a cowboy hat, as you might expect of a guy who was born and raised in Texas) in his role at Plano Profile. Technically, he’s the Creative Director,...