The spirit of the much-awaited festive is now being felt across the country. As the dusk occurs, every street transforms into a spectacle of colors and lights, making every night more astonishing and magical.

Aside from taking advantage of the best deals and promos being offered by retail shops, fancy restaurants and top-class hotels, one best way to enjoy the holiday season is by spending quality time with family and friends at dazzling Christmas attractions. Fortunately, various holiday hubs — which are most likely located in shopping centers — are spread across the country. In Metro Manila, here’s a rundown of must-see attractions worth checking out:

Christmas Animated Display at Araneta City

Located at the Times Square Food Park in Cubao, Quezon City, Araneta City’s Christmas Animated Display showcases the stories of five important figures of the Yuletide season: The Little Drummer Boy, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus, and the Nativity. Each scene in the animated display comes with a beautiful backdrop and familiar characters, delivering a spectacular Christmas show to the audience.

The display, which launched last Nov. 13, has 15-minute shows from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays to Thursdays, and from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays to Saturdays until Jan. 5.

Aside from the Christmas Animated Display, the visitors can also enjoy Araneta City’s iconic giant Christmas tree also situated in the area. Various fun rides and booths, as well as a synthetic skating rink, are also available.

Christmas Street Musical Light Tunnel at Ortigas East

The Christmas Street Musical Light Tunnel is an amusing light display featuring 74 arches with 9,216 bulbs, 5,130 flash pods, and 1,200 pixel tube lights spread across a 213-meter stretch along Central Avenue of Ortigas East estate in Pasig City. This one-of-a-kind spectacle aims to bring together families and friends, and to inspire hope and joy for all during the season. It is open every night from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. until Jan. 5.

For something extra, visitors can also have fun in Tiendesitas, the estate’s retail destination, and visit the Gift of Wonders. This bigger-than-life installation is shaped like a giant box outside and features twinkling lights inside.

Gallery of Lights at Ayala Triangle Gardens

Ayala Triangle Gardens in Makati City is quite known for its spectacular lights and sounds show every Yuletide season. This year, it gets grander and brighter with the Gallery of Lights that showcases a combination of new design concepts and classic staples.

The show, which is directed by Voltaire de Jesus and Luther Gumia, features lights that dance to the tune of three different medleys: a techno-inspired number by Tris Suguitan, a Big Band medley by Mel Villena, and a Filipino medley by Von de Guzman that includes local Christmas tunes and a mix of sentimental melodies. This light spectacle goes live every 30 minutes starting from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. until Jan. 12.

Aside from the Gallery of Lights, spectators can also get additional treat with the Carol of Lights, a 3D video mapping show projected at the dome of Tower One and Exchange Plaza. It features grand ceilings and stained glass windows from select Filipino and international churches.

Laser Light Symphony at Greenhills

The Laser Light Symphony at Greenhills in San Juan City is dubbed as the first of its kind in the country. This brilliant show features two expert laser dancers showcasing their talents with the play of laser lights. It runs every half hour from 6 p.m to 10 p.m. at the G-Strip Parking area until Jan. 5, bringing an element of fun and excitement to the holiday festivities.

The laser show is a unique accompaniment to the Christmas Night Market at the same spot, allowing visitors to enjoy the best holiday shopping. For even more choices, there’s also the Wonderful Bazaar at the VMall Lobby and the Holiday Tiangge Fair at the Center Mall that offer good deals.

Meanwhile, to keep the Filipino tradition alive, Simbang Gabi masses will be held nightly from Dec. 15 to 23 at the Chapel of the Holy Family, located right within the mall.

Water Garden at Festival Mall

Located down south in the city of Muntinlupa is the Water Garden at Festival Mall transformed into a Christmas wonderland. It is adorned with life-sized Christmas installations, including a magnificent 42-foot tree all set in a Magical Christmas Village.

The beautiful outdoor park has become a perfect stage for fun activities, weekend performances and fireworks display that delight families and friends as they come together to create wonderful Yuletide memories. Every Saturday, visitors are treated to musical performances by some of the country’s best local performers. On Sundays, on the other hand, Santa Claus makes special appearances for the kids and kids-at-heart. — Mark Louis F. Ferrolino