It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Round up the family and hop in the car–the Christmas lights are waiting! If you’re looking for an easy holiday activity to do with your family, this is it.
Here are some of the best places to see Christmas lights in Des Moines this holiday season.
Jolly Holiday Lights ($20 per car)
When: November 22 – January 1 from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Closed December 24 & 25
Where: Adventureland, 3300 Adventureland Drive, Altoona, IA 50009
This 2.5 mile stretch of lights displayed at Adventureland boasts over 100 magical lights displays and is a yearly staple for many families in the metro. 100% of the money raised goes to the Make-a-Wish Iowa, so it’s a win-win for everyone.
When: December 3, 5 p.m.
Where: Ashworth Road Baptist Church 5300 Ashworth Rd West Des Moines
Come see more than 15,000 lights set to music. Visit with Santa and see his live reindeer. The event is free, but there will be a collection of new, unwrapped toys for the Salvation Army.
When: Saturday & Sunday, December 9 & 10 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: 225 North Avenue, Norwalk IA
Fellowship Community Church invites you their Synchronized Lights & Live Nativity, a unique experience this Christmas season. The property will be covered in more than 60,000 LED lights that are synchronized to Christmas music. Other features to draw you in include a live nativity featuring real animals and free cookies and hot chocolate brought right to your warm car! Any donations received will go to needy families in the area.
When: December 1 to January 1 from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Where: SE Richland Court, Ankeny, IA 50021
During the holiday season, Richland Court in Ankeny transforms into Gingerbread Lane to delight children and adults alike. Every weekend, Santa & Mrs. Claus will be collecting canned goods for the Food Bank of Iowa. Visit their Facebook page for schedule updates and more information.
Historic Valley Junction
When: thru January 1 from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Where: Fifth Street and Railroad Avenue, West Des Moines, IA
The charm of historic Valley Junction really comes out during the holidays. Enjoy over 100,000 lights and displays and be sure to come early to eat dinner and visit the over 150 specialty shops, restaurants, and services before the lights come on. Valley Junction also hosts a few fun holiday events in December, check them out here.
Family and Neighborhood Lights Displays:
When: until December 31 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Ashby and Wallace Avenues, east and west of Beaver Avenue
About 50 homes compete for the Beaverdale Neighborhood Association’s bragging rights and you can take advantage of the stiff competition. New and exciting displays, as well as beautiful classics are a must-see for many families in Des Moines.
When: Christmas Eve
Where: Waterbury Road in Des Moines
Luminaries line the sidewalks of Waterbury Road on Christmas Eve. It’s magical to drive down the streets!
When: December 7 — January 1 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Recommended streets include South of Hickman Road, Franklin Avenue, Marylynn Drive and 72nd Street
Approximately 120 homes participate in Windsor Heights Foundation’s annual holiday lighting contest. You’ll want to gather up the family and drive by to check out what all the homeowners have come up with this year.
When: December 10 at 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Where: Neighborhoods throughout Urbandale
Drive through Urbandale to see streets are lined with luminaries.
Venzke Animated Christmas Display
When: thru January 1, dusk to 9 pm
Where: 1335 NE Milan Ave in Ankeny, just off of 36th Street
Everyone around Ankeny loves the private residence of the Venzke’s. New and different each year, some favorites you may see include Frosty the Snowman, a flying cardinal, a skiing snowman, a Times Square ball drop and/or Iowa State basketball and football players.
Hedrick Family Christmas Lights
When: thru December.
Where: 308 46th Place West Des Moines, IA 50265
Check out this impressive display choreographed to music. The radio station to tune to is posted on a brightly lit sign in the yard.
2323 62nd Street Des Moines
It’s hard to miss this house with a yard decked out with lights, inflatables, and more!
Where are your favorite places to see Christmas lights in Des Moines?
Check out this cool interactive website called Des Moines Lights where you can see many other displays around town and even add your own to the map!