2020 may not have been an amazing year in general, but it’s been an amazing year for Christmas lights and displays in our community. Reno Dads recognizes those houses that, in the spirit of dad extraordinaire Clark W. Griswold, go above and beyond with decorations and lights to bring joy to the holiday season. Truthfully, there were too many homes that were WAY above the threshold for excellence to make this easy. We want to thank each and every one of you that spent your time, talents, and money to bring joy to our community this holiday. Your work has not gone unnoticed.
However, we’ve identified 11 must-see homes/neighborhoods in the Reno/Sparks area – those that we are bestowing the coveted Reno Dads Griswold Award. Are there more than this that have a high level of excellence? Absolutely. And you can view all of them on our 2020 Christmas Lights Map (the biggest by a mile in our community). We’ll turn the Griswold Award winners red on the map so you can more easily identify them.
2020 Reno Dads Griswold Award Winners
2380 Solitude Dr (South Reno, Galena area)
Definitely one of the best in our area, and was even ranked amongst the tops in the nation at one point years ago. This is a must-see this season – photos can’t do it justice. Take it slow through the neighborhood, and try to find a spot that isn’t in front of the house (so everyone can see. You can tune your radio to 94.9 FM and watch the lights expertly dance to the music. This isn’t just a few channels of lights – the consideration for what lights up at what parts of the music is expertly done. Bonus: The house across the street is awesome, too!
10440 Canyon Country Ct (South Reno, Double Diamond area)
This is one of the most unique Christmas displays you’ll find in our area – the famous Nightmare Before Christmas house. We’re not talking about a few cute inflatables (in fact, I don’t think there are any); the quality of these decorations is second to none. You’d swear you’ve stepped into Disneyland with this house. This is another must-see Christmas display this holiday season. It’s a fantastic anchor to some wonderful surrounding neighborhoods, as well.
7450 Ambush Cir (Sparks, near Red Hawk golf course)
This 2019 Griswold Award winner gets the nod again this year. They added even MORE to their display! The heart of this light show is lights timed with music that you can listen to from your car (89.9 FM). We loved the Christmas-tree-shaped display that features characters rocking along to the music. This is a house you’ll want to spend some time on. This year they’ve added flying Santa and reindeer and projections in the windows. There’s also a huge homemade reindeer and sleigh (I’m guessing 8’+)
113 Mia Vista Ct. (Reno, Hidden Valley)
Chances are that if you’ve looked at lights in Hidden Valley any time in the past few decades, you’ve climbed the hill to this cul-de-sac and stared in awe at this house. They bring the Griswold spirit to life every year and have again earned themselves a 1st place finish in amongst Hidden Valley residents. This house has more decorations than a single photo can capture (they even decorate the back of the house so you can see it from the street below. Expect to wait in line a little while to see this one; but it’s always worth the wait.
3735 Jagged Rock Rd (Reno, Hidden Valley)
While you’re in Hidden Valley, make your way over to this year’s 2nd place Hidden Valley winner, on Jagged Rock Rd. This house has a long yard and a really great variety of lights, inflatables, characters, and a big visual feast (more than you can see in this photo). While you’re in this neighborhood, there are two other top-10 finishers nearby – 2960 Man of War (which has some great Disney character cutouts) and 2845 Parkway Dr. (which has a really really well-done lights show – worth stopping and watching for a bit).
290 Omni Dr (Sparks, Spanish Springs)
This one is a little bit of a drive if you’re located in the center of Reno, but it’s worth it. The house is masterfully wired for a light and music show that you can enjoy from the warmth of your car. Tune your radio to 89.9 FM to listen to some great music synchronized with a really well-thought-out display. Definitely one of the best Reno/Sparks has to offer.
4700 Vista Mountain Ct (Sparks, off Los Altos)
The spirit of the Griswold award is about abundance and going over the top to bring joy. This house has done just that. Perhaps the most variety of executions – synchronized light show, inflatables, custom made character cutouts, plastic-form decorations, Christmas trees. Hats off – it’s a visual feast!
7540 Gold Dr. (North Valley, near North Valley HS)
This is another house with a really well-done light show – tune in to 89.9 FM from the warmth and comfort of your car. This house packed in a punch for a relatively small front yard. There were a couple things we really liked – first is that there’s a healthy amount of Star Wars and Star Wars music, not just your traditional Christmas music. Secondly is that this gem is off the beaten path a little so you don’t have to wait in a long line and stretch your neck to get a glance. You can sit and enjoy the show for as long as you’d like.
We wanted to call out a few streets for their coordinated effort and over-the-top participation. It’s a visual wonderland driving through a street or cul-de-sac in which there’s something to see everywhere you look. It’s impossible to get these into one photo – so go check them out for yourself.
Deerbrook Ct (Somersett)
Outstanding participation with an annual award winner on the corner. In the heart of the cul-de-sac was a mailbox for letters to Santa.
Picket Ct (South Reno, Double Diamond area)
Put your shades on as you enter this small but mighty cul-de-sac. Bright LEDs and creative light displays line this street. The Double Diamond area is really your best bang-for-your buck area in Reno in terms of participation and this cul-de-sac is a great example.
Alpine Circle (Old Southwest Reno, off of Plumb)
Full street participation in this historic part of town. The mature trees make for some tall light displays and a fun experience as you drive through and see what every house in the cul-de-sac has done. we love when neighbors come together to do something fun like this.