By Robert Lucke
One of the best outdoor activities this time of year is to load up on thermos bottles of hot chocolate and Christmas cookies, bundle the kids in the car and head off to look at the various displays of Christmas lights that decorate Havre and Hill County homes.
The question always is where to go to see the best lights. The answer to that is difficult because in each and every area of the city and all the suburbs, there are lots and lots of elaborate displays to choose from.
Keep in mind that touring the south, east, and middle sections of Havre will not do justice to seeing beautiful lighting displays. You need to check out the additions east of Legion Field, the new additions just south and east of the high school, the north side, and Highland Park just for starters. While in Highland Park, don't forget about the very south end of that area. Often times Smithville has some beautiful lights and the homes just east of the Mormon Church are most beautiful this year.
Don't be afraid to go off the beaten path because sometimes those areas lead to some of the largest lighting displays of all. Drive up River Road or down the East River Road at least until you run out of houses. You might be surprised at what you see.
And most important, don't forget those pesky suburbs. They are more difficult to get to than cruising up and down the main drags but they are home to some of very best displays of all.
The houses that cling to the west side of Saddle Butte are impressive each year, as is Meadowlark Estates. And just driving west on U.S. Highway 2 is worth the time and effort. The Old Post Road and on to Fort Assinniboine yields some beautiful displays too this year.
And really worth the effort is to take a weekend drive out to Beaver Creek. There, some residents and cabin owners put on great displays of lights. They are even more beautiful when contrasted with dark Bear Paw nights these days.
Soon you will find that one night of looking at area Christmas lights just does not do it. But as much time as you and your family can spend, looking will make your Christmas even better.