Cape Cod shines: Don't miss these four holiday light displays

3,100 landing lights will sparkle when the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown is illuminated the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Walter Brooks photo.

As we tuck this summer's sunny memories away and the temperature begins to dip, Cape Cod brightens in another way.

All of the Cape twinkles in the winter months--some towns a little brighter thanks to special holiday light displays. Here are four not to be missed.

Pilgrim Monument

The already impressive Pilgrim Monument, which commemorates the landing of the Pilgrims in Provincetown in November 1620, will sparkle come November 23, 2016. Traditionally, on the eve of Thanksgiving, people gather at the monument for the annual lighting. Between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum are open to anyone wishing to join in the celebration. 

When the switch is thrown at 6 p.m., more than 3,100 landing lights on 19 strands will illuminate the 252' granite monument. 

The monument will remain illuminated through January 6, 2017. The five weeks of illumination represents the five weeks the Pilgrims stayed in Provincetown Harbor before setting sail for Plymouth.

The Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum is at One High Pole Hill Road in Provincetown.

Gardens Aglow

In Sandwich, Heritage Museums and Gardens hosts a holiday festival you won't want to miss. Weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) from November 25, 2016 through December 18, 2016 from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., visitors will enjoy a traditional holiday celebration featuring over ten miles of holiday lights throughout the gardens.

Join Santa at Heritage and ride the vintage carousel, roast marshmallows and stroll the illuminated gardens. There will be holiday crafts, a model train exhibit and a nightly musical performance at 6:30 p.m. You can even have your picture taken with Santa in Heritage's 1913 Ford Model T. 

Tickets are available at the door and online. Gardens Aglow takes place even if it is snowing or raining.

Heritage Museums and Gardens is at 67 Grove Street in Sandwich.

Provincetown Lobster Pot Tree

Only a few days after the lighting of Pilgrim Monument, Provincetown celebrates another annual festive lighting. On Saturday, November 26, 2016, a second switch will be thrown, this time in Lopes Square. 

At 5:30 p.m., rain or shine, the Lobster Pot Tree will be illuminated for the 12th year. 

The "tree"--a perfect fit for the seafaring spirit of Provincetown--is made up of more than 100 lobster traps, 3,400 lights, and a hearty helping of plastic lobsters, bows and buoys. 

The lobster pot tree, the creation of the Popko Family, will remain illuminated through the beginning of the New Year.

Lopes Square is off Commercial Street at the entrance to MacMillan Wharf in Provincetown.

Enchanted Village 

Hyannis will shine come Friday, December 2, 2016, when the Enchanted Village opens at the Cape Codder Resort and Spa. Each December, the Enchanted Village delights both guests of the hotel and visitors with its display of lights and animation.

This nostalgic display features thousands of lights, topiary animals, miniature Christmas trees, Santa's reindeer and Santa's Village. 

The lights may be enjoyed each day at dusk, with special events and entertainment on the weekends. 

From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday through Sunday (December 2-December 18), Santa and the Cape Cod Surftones will join the revelry. As the Cape Cod Surftones carol, children can share their Christmas wishes with Santa. There will be a bonfire (weather-permitting) and hot apple cider, hot chocolate and cookies available for purchase in the Hearth 'n Kettle. 

On Saturday, December 3, 10 & 17, there will be complimentary holiday concerts with the Cape Cod Surftones performing on the 10th and the Regency Brass Ensemble performing on the 3rd and 17th. 

The Cape Codder Resort and Spa is at 1225 Iyannough Road in Hyannis. Enchanted Village Packages are available for those interested in staying the night.

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