Need to get into the holiday spirit? Travel to a hilltop in South Royalton, where 200,000 holiday lights twinkle in the snow.
The Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial showcases one of the most festive holiday displays in Vermont, with trees, bushes, and buildings illuminated in red, green, and gold.
An Annual Tradition of Holiday Lights
The impressive showcase of holiday lights are up now through New Year’s Day, and visitors are welcome to stop by to see the display between 4:30 and 11 p.m.
The annual tradition, which started in 1988, draws about 15,000 visitors each year and continues to grow in popularity.
This 400-plus acre property is also interesting to visit beyond the holiday season. The complex, maintained by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, begins with a steep hill of maples leading to a hilltop visitors’ center and a 38.5-foot-high shaft and sits above a 12-foot base.
The shaft, cut from Barre granite in 1905, marks the site where the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was born and lived as a child. Each foot on the shaft marks a year in the life of the prophet, who was later killed by a mob in Carthage, Illinois, in 1844. The memorial celebrates his story and life in an environment that is warm and inviting.
During the holidays, the Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial also features a large nativity scene and a stable with a donkey and two sheep. After this week’s winter storm, the site looks as festive as ever.
Regardless of your religion or beliefs, you’ll enjoy a sense of peaceful holiday beauty along this rural Vermont hilltop.
If You Go: The Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial is located at 357 LDS Lane in South Royalton.
Stop by the visitors’ center from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and see the lights between 4:30 and 11 p.m. now through Jan. 1. Admission is free.