- Deerfield in Plano: For my money (which pretty much involves only the gas to get there), this is the best all-around neighborhood in the area for lights. It has a wide variety of streets that are easy to traverse once you've done it a few times, most of the neighborhood participates (though there were more "Scrooge" houses this year than before), and now it features the Zephries house on Old Pond Drive, which has 40,000 lights synchronized to music. There's also another house on Quincy at the north end of the subdivision that has a nice synchronized display as well. The carriage and limo rides make this area an even bigger attraction, and I've always thought it would be cool to park nearby and do a walking tour like many of the neighbors do (though I can only imagine how long that would take; our trip in the car this year took around an hour).
- SpringPark in Garland/Richardson: The classic neighborhood of mostly cul-de-sacs, each with a different theme. The Rudolph theme on Silver Maple (with a nice light display in the grassy middle of the cul-de-sac) is something new that's enjoyable, as is the "Christmas Mishaps" on Foxboro. An oldie but goodie is the collection of giant Santa heads on Becky Court.
- Frisco Square: A relatively new addition to the landscape, Frisco has added even more lights to its amazing display from last year (among the new touches are the lights that go across the two main buildings). As before, everything is synchronized to music, which can be heard either from a low-powered FM radio broadcast or from speakers near the buildings.
And if you make it to Frisco, be sure and drive a few miles east to see the Trykoski house, where the designer of the Frisco Square lights calls home. This year, they have 65,000 lights in their display, which is also synchronized to music. (And need I point out that all of the displays with synced music include the song that's become the unofficial theme of such displays: "Wizards in Winter" from this CD by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I think it all started with this guy in Ohio, whose display became the subject of a beer commercial a few years ago.)
- Interlochen in Arlington: I haven't been here in a few years (and missed it again, as it only runs through Christmas day--a fact I'd forgotten until I was researching this post), but this neighborhood is unique in that several streets back up to a large canal, so the backyards as well as the fronts are decorated. This area is not too far from Six Flags, and, like the amusement park, there are signs along Randol Mill Road listing estimated times until you get to the lights. I need to make this one next year.
- There are a few other cool places in the area, like the house on Dogwood Trail in Rowlett that's all done up in neon (evidently, the homeowner also owns a neon sign company), as well as the house on Timberline at High Sierra in Carrollton that always goes all out, even decorating the garage as a Santa's Workshop. (Are there any I've missed? Be sure and tell me in the comments.)
- Houston bonus edition: Since I spend my Christmases down there, I can also point you to some good places, including Pecan Grove Plantation near Richmond, which always has a great display (and also features carriage and wagon rides), as well as another house synced to music that's located here. I got to see it in action last year, but it wasn't turned on when I went to take Mom and Dad to see it on Christmas night (maybe we were too early?). There's also a great display in a neighborhood with the very Dallas-sounding name of Prestonwood Forest. I haven't been to this northside neighborhood since my parents moved south in the early '90s, but I understand that it's still going strong.
But wait--there's more: A recent DMN article talks about the light-syncing craze and mentions a house in Rowlett that I wasn't prevously aware of; I'll have to check that out too.