We usually do this the second week in December when neighborhoods have their houses decorated and lit up. My kids never know when and we never talk about it till that night! My husband and I pick a night...the kids get in pjs...teeth brushed..like any other night. But, when they pull their sheets back there is a golden ticket for our Minivan Express. It's always fun to hear the first child who notices..there are screams and giggles..."Did you get the ticket???" "Go Look Go Look"...
They run downstairs. We collect the tickets to get on the Mini Van Express..there is popped popcorn in the seats...Christmas candy in little bags....and their Christmas light "glasses". We have Christmas music on and we travel around the city looking at lights on all the houses!
Three years ago, I found these glasses like 3D glasses to look at Christmas lights. Some of the glasses turn the lights into snowmen or snowflakes. You can find them in special toy shops...they run about $3! It is so fun to look through them!
After, we stop at Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kreme and get hot chocolate before we head home! It is so simple but my kids love it! It's cheap...easy...but full of memories that last! I hope one day my kids will share this tradition with their children and pick up "Grandma" on the way!