Tripping the lights fantastic around town Tradition: Every year, residents show their holiday spirit by decorating their homes.

UP FRONT

December 18, 1997|By Sandra Crockett and Mike Giuliano

The holidays are here and if you are not into the spirit yet, maybe a drive around town will get you there. Our holiday lights tour roundup is certain to get you in the mood. There are some old favorites on the list but some new places, too. The routes listed below are only suggested ways to go. You may be familiar with short cuts or perhaps there are one or two houses in nearby neighborhoods that may be worth checking out.

City

1. In the city, one place to start the tour is at 3916 Cold Spring Lane. The Victorian-looking big blue and white house is beautifully decorated with green and red wreaths and a Christmas tree out front. The nice white picket fence makes a pretty holiday statement as does the decorations on the front and side of the house. Continue east on Cold Spring and be treated to a number of nicely decorated homes including a row house at 2424 W. Coldspring Lane where there are silver colored wreaths, candy canes and big, red bows on the porch.

2. When you get to Park Heights Avenue, make a left. The residents at 6211 Park Heights Ave. show us that outside holiday lights are not just for Christmas. We have dubbed this residence "Hanukkah House" for the beautiful lights in celebration of the Jewish holiday. The house is lighted at night with a menorah, a candelabrum used to hold the nine candles necessary for the celebration of Hanukkah.

3. Turn around and head south on Park Heights to Northern Parkway and take a left. Make a right turn onto York Road and then a left on Woodbourne Avenue and a right on Ready Avenue. The house near the corner at 5325 Ready Avenue has a big "Seasons Greetings" sign on the roof and a huge manger in the small yard. The yard may be small but the statues standing there are huge. There with Mr. and Mrs. Claus is what looks like Santa Claus Jr. There is also a sleigh and a Santa Claus on the roof. And there are lights on the fence. A house across the street is also nicely decorated.

4. Take any number of streets back over to Roland Avenue and make a right to head north. Go to Colorado Avenue and make another right to Summit Avenue. It may not be a house but it is in a residential neighborhood and it is a converted home. We're talking about the neighborhood hardware store at the corner of Summit Avenue and Wyndhurst. It looks like Christmas with its three lively looking reindeer on the roof and the decorated tree outside. Maybe it's the green door and the green and white awning that makes the building look so "fitting" this time of year.

5. While you are in the neighborhood, make a quick right on Wyndhurst, then make a quick left on Hawthorne. There's a big gray and red home in the 400 block of Hawthorne Road at the corner of Upland. It is nicely done up with wreaths in the window and garland is wrapped around the porch railings. There are a few holiday themed flags hanging outside.

6. From Hawthorne, take Roland Avenue south to west on Cold Spring Lane and then continue south on Falls Road. Of course, no mention of holiday lights would be complete without a trip to 34th Street in Hampden. To get there, make a left off Falls Road to 36th Street. Make a right on Keswick to 34th Street. Yes, there are other homes in the general area that are nicely done up but the 700 block of 34th Street has it all. Imagine any Christmas decoration and the people on this block already have it. If you haven't seen it and live in one of the counties, this holiday lights spectacle is worth a special trip all by itself.

Southwest

1. In Columbia, off Snowden River Parkway, opposite Guilford Industrial Park, there is a street called Silver Sod. To get to Silver Sod turn westward off Snowden River Parkway onto Rustling Leaf and then left onto Tune Maker Terrace and Silver Sod. The home at 9214 Silver Sod is decked out with red and green lights lining the driveway, colorful white and red candy canes with bright red bows and a manger in the front in addition to a Santa Claus. All of the decorations go well with the white house and its green shutters. There are other homes on this small street that will catch your eye, too.

2. Backtrack to Snowden River Parkway heading west. Make a right hand turn on Broken Land Parkway and then make a right on Cradlerock Way. You're looking for a street called Smooth Path. Make a right on Smooth Path and go all the way down to 7152. This family went all out to dress up their home. There are angels, Santas and other decorations on the roof and the yard and giant candy canes every where.

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