Do you see what we see? If not, get out there and check out those holiday lights.

Holiday lights in Modesto and Riverbank

We visited some of the best and brightest displays, so you don’t have to. But, oh, you’ll want to!
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We visited some of the best and brightest displays, so you don’t have to. But, oh, you’ll want to!

Who needs snow when you’ve got all this glow? Stanislaus County may never have a white Christmas, but it’s a warm one when you’re basking in the lights so many people have shining and dancing to music on these December nights.

We asked readers to submit their outdoor-decor must-sees, and sought some on our own, to bring you recommendations of places to check out in local communities.

In Modesto

Two high-visibility homes are at 3101 Coffee Road and 2809 Sylvan Ave. In both cases, you’ll want to pull over to take it all in, and that’s a bit easier to do on Coffee. That yard display includes a walking path through the decorations, and there’s a sidewalk in front of the entire property.

To enjoy the Sylvan home’s decor without having to whiz past at 45 mph, best to pull into the McReynolds Avenue neighborhood on the south side of Sylvan. The sidewalk on the south side of Sylvan provides a nice vantage point. The north side has no sidewalk, just a drainage ditch.

Other places to check out in town:

  • 3500 Pelucca Lane

  • 3529 Forest Glenn Drive

  • The corner of Drakeshire Drive and Grecian Avenue, just across from Coffee-Claratina Park. While in the area, check out Acclaim Court and Riggins Court, where the majority of residents have teamed up to set their streets aglow.

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This cheery home is at 5225 Garst Road, Modesto. Peggy Wika

  • 1124 Pebble Lane. The Clark family invites visitors to view its “scenes of trees and gifts set to the background of holiday music,” which plays from 5 to 6 p.m., followed by synchronized show of over 5,000 lights also set music, which shows 6 to 10 p.m.

  • 5225 Garst Road.

  • 1329 Glenbrook Way. “The lights are always very festive and bright,” Wayne Coulter says of his home. “We don’t have a huge amount of lights or figurines, but people in cars drive by and stop and look and tell us how much joy it brings their children.” That’s what it’s all about.

  • 1108 Duchess Court

  • 607 Bermuda Way

  • 2245 Lambert St.


With its miniature train on an elevated track that encompasses the circle of homes, Oxford Court continues to rule the season. “For the entire month of December, our court will be decorated with Christmas lights, music and our homemade Christmas train that runs around the court from 6 to 9 p,m.,” resident Kyla Yotsuya wrote us. “On Saturdays and Sundays, Santa sits at the end of the court to take pictures and hand out candy canes.”

Another popular spot is Carl Grubb’s place at 2030 Golf Road. Every Christmas season, there’s a steady stream of drivers past his home, friend Sandra Stroud said. This year, 86-year-old Carl has “expanded with lights on the neighboring property frontage to the north and south! With friends and family helping with the heavy work, he has outdone himself and the result is awesome ... absolutely dazzling,” she wrote us.

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Stephanie Valgos went all out in decorating her Merchant Lane yard in Turlock for the holidays. Stephanie Valgos

And 4215 Merchant Lane resident Stephanie Valgos, who loves going all out for both Halloween and Christmas, says, “I would love for the community to come out and enjoy my display, as much as I do creating it!”


A few homes on Lipizzan Court are merry and bright, including one with dancing lights set to music, plus a projection screen showing seasonal scenes.

While in town, swing by 5621 Saxon Way. There’s a sense of humor to the soundtrack to the dancing light display there. In one song, to the tune of The Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations,” some of the lyrics are, “I’m stringing up decorations. I’m freaking out fire stations. I’m pumping out radiation. My neighbors are out of patience.”

Another home to check out is at the corner of Morrill and Oakdale roads.


Christmas Tree Lane — neighbors at Vaughn Street and Henry Avenue off Moffet Road near Smyrna Park who annually deck their yards in yuletide splendor — remains aglow through Christmas. While you can drive past the displays, many park their cars and walk the route.

Just west of there, Steven Joseph welcomes light lovers to visit his home at 2312 Beachwood Drive. “It is a computer-controlled show with 144 channels and about 15,000 LED lights,” he says.

And southwest of East Whitmore Avenue and Morgan Road is another light in the night: 1199 Moonlight Drive.


  • 7419 Palma Ave.


  • 4213 Marabella Court
  • 4712 White Willow Road. Neighbor Kent Winter-Huskins says there’s even a mailbox in which kids can drop letters to Santa and get a reply.

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This home on White Willow Road in Salida even has a mailbox in which kids can drop letters to Santa Claus. Kent Winter-Huskins


For the second year, the city in San Joaquin County is offering something very cool — its eTrans Holiday Tour D’Lights. The service will operate only on Friday, Dec. 14, departing the Escalon Park and Ride Lot, at Main and Viking streets, at 7 p.m. and returning an hour later.

It will visit the best light displays in town, and riders will be treated to holiday music and hot beverages.

The service can accommodate only 18 passengers, first come, first served. If there is significant turnout, a second trip will depart at 8 p.m., the city said in a news release.

The fare for the Tour D’Lights will be $1.50 for adults and students and 75 cents for seniors, people with disabilities and Medicare card holders. Regular one-day, 10-ride, and 31-day passes also will be accepted.


  • 10213 Atlas Court

Twain Harte

  • 18391 Muir Ave.

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This is Lloyd Nyman’s home at 20445 August Ave., Hilmar. Lloyd Nyman


  • 20445 August Ave. The decorations at Lloyd Nyman’s home include a 17-foot lighted train design on his dairy barn.

So there you have it. We’ve made our list and checked it twice. But there still are a couple of weeks till Christmas, so if you’ve an address to add, email jfarrow@modbee.com and we’ll update the modbee.com version of this story.