40 Years of Lighting the Outer Banks Sky – The Poulos Family Christmas Lights

Some of the many decorations at the Poulos home for the public to see.

In the darkest of nights, which is what the winer solstice is, the beauty of Christmas lights have a power beyond the decorations of the season.

A lot of homes and businesses take the time to create Christmas scenes with their lights, but, there are two places on the Outer Banks that take that whole concept to a new level.

The Elizabethan Gardens designs their Winter Lights every year with something a little different, and walking through the gardens on a cold winter night is absolutely breathtaking 

But no one has given what the Poulos family has given to the Outer Bank community over the past 40 years. That’s how long Jim and Ann Poulos have been treating the locals and visitors to their own vision of Christmas lights.

Ann passed away last year, but according to a number of reports she made Jim promise the tradition going.

And what a tradition it is.

Located on Ocean Acres Drive, on maybe two acres, wandering around the paths packed with lights and decorations lifts the spirit and is a wonderful reminder the spirt of Christmas is truly found in giving.

Finding a parking place approaching the property can be a bit of a challenge. Our recommendation is to grab the first open spot on Ocean Acres after it turns into a dirt road. There may be a bit of a walk to the lights, but it is worth every step.

Santa is almost always on hand, to the delight of children, of course. But what makes the Poulos lights so magical, is that for kids, Santa is one part of a glorious experience.

Families have been coming back year after year, and it has become a true part of Outer Banks Christmas tradition.

The family will keep lights going through December 31. Make an effort to see it. It’s worth it. 

Winter is a marvelous time to explore the Outer Banks. Plan a winter getaway with Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates and take the time to learn about life on a sandbar.

The Magic of the Season-Outer Banks Christmas Lights

Santa and his reindeer at the Poulos House.
Santa and his reindeer at the Poulos House.

Christmas lights are part of the magic of the season. If that is the case—and it seems to be—then the Poulos house in Kill Devil Hills is a spellbinding place.

For 10 months of the year, the house on Ocean Acres Drive, which is the road to Nags Head Woods is nice home by the side of the road. There’s perhaps two acres to the property.

But Thanksgiving week through the New Year, everything changes.

For 37 years, the Poulos family has been creating magic, filling their yard with every imaginable Christmas light, holiday decorations, trains and symbols of religion.

The decorations have been recognized nationally, but this is really a wonderful local tradition—a time for families, or a date night or a place where local kids can go and just be kids.

Visiting the property and wandering about does not take all that long. Maybe a half hour or 45 minutes; but it’s a perfect investment in creating the spirit of the holidays.

Little children run around, their excitement palatable; high school kids seem to gravitate to the lights; families stroll by. And all of it lit by the twinkling Christmas lights, illuminated Santas and reindeer and Christmas elves.

It is an inclusive celebration of the holidays. The Poulos family has placed Chanukah Menorah where most people begin their journey. At the base of the menorah is word “Shalom”—peace in Hebrew.

On the roof of the house lights flash reading “Put Christ Back in Christmas.” One of the first decorations encountered is Noah’s Ark with animals entering.

A string of lights arcs over the road giving the feeling of entering a special place—which it is.

The family does not charge for the display or wandering through their yard. However, their power bills for the month are rumored to be in the thousands. There is a donation jar and donations are appreciated.

To get to the Poulos house is on Ocean Acres Drive in Kill Devil Hills. Turn at the light at Pigman’s Barbecue. The house is just over the rise in a hill when the street turns into a dirt road. On busy nights expect to park a hundred yards or so from the house.