Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights at Alum Creek State Park is more than a Christmas lights drive-thru, it’s something that goes much deeper.

At Christmas, we are looking for things to do around the holidays and we buy our tickets then off we go to enjoy the Christmas event. However, when it comes to drive-thru’s there is usually a beautiful back story about how it came to be and why it continues to exist.

If you’re only looking for the details of the show: read The Ultimate Guide to Christmas Light Drive-Thrus in Ohio and use the code ADVENTURE for $5.00 off your car pass.

If you are interested in the heart of this Christmas lights drive-thru I encourage you to read on!

Beginnings

Twenty-one years ago, Steve Cross, who is known as a sweet strong-willed man began partnering with Alum Creek State Park to bring people to this little known park located in the middle of fields and on the outskirts of Columbus, Ohio. (When you see it now it is in the middle of EVERYTHING!)

It started small but the idea of a Christmas light drive-thru took off and began bringing families together over the holiday season.

When the Bando’s Bought the Display

Dante Bando told me “Steve started the show as a way to keep his seasonal employees busy throughout the year because his boat and RV business slowed down in the winter. When he approached me about taking over the light show the first time I was not interested. However, he got me alone and drove me through, he then made me an offer I could not refuse. His persistence paid off.”

“One of our family’s stipulations, when we bought the show, was we were going to rename it, Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights. We wanted to honor our late father, who passed away 16 years ago, and it has been a wonderful way to keep his legacy alive in the community.”

“Working with Steve, who owns Cross Creek RV Park, has been a great partnership.”

Camping during the Fantasy of Lights:

One thing that resonated with me as the Bando’s and I chatted was how the campers in the campground over the season co-exist with the light display. As an avid camper, it brought a smile to my face as I thought about camping near a Christmas light display! We are putting this on our winter bucket list. Our family can enjoy nature and the drive-thru light show. That is a win-win.

Need information about camping at Alum Creek, you can find that here. Alum Creek Campground Review

Supporting Local Charities

I have two daughters with life-threatening, life-altering illnesses and I will be completely transparent.

When I see a place giving back to the community and the people in it, I get behind them and support them 110%.

Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights benefits local charities and not just because it looks good or for a pat on the back. They do it because it is genuinely from their hearts and they want to give back to others. 

Recreation Unlimited, a nonprofit organization in Delaware County that provides recreational opportunities for people with physical and developmental disabilities.

A Kid Again, a local charity that supports children living with life-threatening illnesses.

3rd & Goal Foundation, which supports veterans.

Steps for Sarcoma, a fundraiser to bring awareness to sarcoma, a cancerous tumor found in the bone or connective tissue.

If you can’t make it to the drive-thru consider donating online to one of the above charities. Just click the links and donate!

Creating Christmas Joy For 21 Years!

Since the Bando family purchased the Fantasy of Lights show it has grown A LOT! They have switched all the displays to LED lights, purchased some dazzling tunnels, and continue to spread Christmas joy all along the way.

This year they have added Mrs. Clause to the Christmas fun. Prior to coming to the drive-thru have your child or children write a letter to Santa. (The Bando’s said if you take a picture of them writing the letter and tag them they would like to share it on their social media.) During the evening they will help you socially distance and pass the letter to Mrs. Clause who will give it to Santa.

BONUS: if you add your email address at the bottom they will scan the letter back to you so you know what the kids are asking for!

Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights should be a family tradition, one where you come and enjoy the gorgeous lights, blast Christmas music from your FM radio (old school fun), and make Christmas memories with your family!

Pro-tips to help you make your night special.

  • Dress up in festive holiday cheer.
  • Pack some snacks, like iced Christmas cookies or Christmas candies. If you like healthy foods, grab some carrots to pretend you are Santa’s reindeer!
  • Take a thermos FULL of Hot Cocoa to sip as you enjoy the beautiful light displays.
  • Play Christmas music on your way there.
  • Have a grateful heart.
  • P.S. this is supposed to be fun, don’t yell at the kids when they spill the cocoa or crush the cookie in the car seat, it can be cleaned up

The Bando’s Christmas message was loud and clear to me, they want to help you make cherished memories and to help light up your holiday’s today and always!

Where is Butch Bandos Fantasy of Lights located?

Alum Creek State Park Campgrounds at
3311 South Old State Road
Delaware, OH 43015

What are the dates and the hours?

Sunday-Thursday 5:30pm – 9:30pm
(ticket booths close at 9:00pm)
Friday and Saturday 5:30pm – 10:30pm
(ticket booths close at 10:00pm)

How much does it cost?

Cars/Minivans/SUV’s

Monday-Thursday $20.00

Friday-Sunday $30.00

Do you want a coupon code? Use ADVENTURE for $5.00 off!!

Have a Merry Christmas!

Brandy