December brings endless strands of brilliant Christmas lights to the Des Moines area. While you can’t miss the beautiful lights throughout our neighborhoods, there are a few displays that glow extra bright. These festive light displays in and around the Des Moines metro certainly stick in our memories as some of the best ways to celebrate the season.
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Christmas Light Displays in Des Moines
What: The Beaverdale Neighborhood Association sponsors a Holiday Lights contest each year. With approximately 50 homes participating in this Beaverdale holiday tradition each year you’ll never know what you’ll see. Blow-up characters, animated animals and other sweet displays will captivate your kiddos. Who knows what special additions will be made this year!
Where: Ashby and Wallace Avenues, east and west of Beaver Avenue.
When: November 24th through December 31st, 2016 at 6:00 to 9:00 pm.
What: A dancing light show with over 15,000 lights dancing in an animated fashion set to music at Ashworth Road Baptist Church. Celebrate Christmas with your family, friends, and neighbors while listening to Christmas music, enjoying sweet treats and hot drinks, taking your picture with Santa and the Gingerbread man, and of course, watching the unveiling of their animated Christmas light show.
Where: 5300 Ashworth Road; West Des Moines, Iowa 50266
When: Sunday, December 4th, 2016 at 5:00 pm.
What: Usher in the Christmas season by visiting Fellowship Community Church in Norwalk. Their property will be covered in 60,000+ LED lights that are synchronized to Christmas music. They’ll also have a live nativity with real animals. The best part is you can enjoy everything from the warmth of your vehicle…AND free cookies & hot chocolate will be brought to you!
Where: 225 North Avenue, Norwalk, IA
When: Saturday & Sunday December 10th & 11th, 2016 at 6:00 to 8:00pm.
Cost: FREE. Donations will be accepted and will be used to assist local needy families.
What: Gingerbread Lane is a long tradition on Richland Court in Ankeny where 31 homes are decked out for the holidays. Expect lots of gingerbread themed handmade displays and oodles of twinkling lights. Santa & Mrs. Claus will be out on the weekends collecting canned goods for the Food Bank of Iowa. Watch their Facebook page for schedule updates and reminders.
Where: SE Richland Court, Ankeny, IA 50021
When: December 2nd to January 1st, 2016 at 5:30 to 10:00 pm.
Cost: FREE. Non-perishable food Donations will be accepted on the weekends for the Food Bank of Iowa.
What: Integra Electrical sponsors a light display at 208 N B Street in Indianola. Thousands of lights adorn and dance around the residence. Be sure to tune your car radio to 88.5 FM to listen to Christmas music as you enjoy the drive by this festive light show.
When: December 5th to January 1st, 2016 at 5:00 to 10:00 pm
What: Lights, decorations, festivities and holiday cheer are everywhere you look when you take this special Holiday Lights driving tour at its new location at Adventureland. Wait until the sun sets, then watch as the grounds magically comes alive with tons of twinkling lights for the holidays.
Where: 3300 Adventureland Drive, Altoona, IA 50009
When: November 22nd – January 1st, 2016 at 5:30 -10:00 pm.
Cost: $10 per car
What: The Urbandale Centennial Committee is revising an old tradition of lining neighborhood streets with luminaries. And whether you drive, or bundle the kiddos for a stroll down the lighted city streets, you’re in for a treat.
Where: Neighborhoods throughout Urbandale, IA.
When: Sunday, December 11th at dusk to 10:00 pm
What: Ted Lare Garden center in Cumming is a great spot to see beautiful holiday lights. The garden center is decorated with thousands of lights, including their large metal cactus by the front doors of the Center. Turn up the Christmas tunes and make the drive.
Where: 2701 Cumming Avenue, Cumming, IA 50061
When: December 3rd – January 1st at dusk to 1:00 am.
What: One of the more popular light displays on this list, the entire Valley Junction business area comes out with lights, Christmas icons, and tons of holiday cheer. They turn it on full force with more than 100,000 holiday lights strung around the Historic Valley Junction area. You’ll want to get out of your car and walk around to take it all in!
Where: Fifth Street and Railroad Avenue, West Des Moines, IA
When: November 17th – January 1st, many stay on all day, all lights are on 5:00 pm to Midnight.
What: The Windsor Heights Foundation sponsors an annual holiday lighting contest. Around 120 homes are lit up and decorated and are sure to be a hit with your little elves. The contest is divided into six districts and the light displays are spread out, so driving is recommended.
Where: Neighborhoods throughout Windsor Heights
When: December 5th – January 1st, 2016 6:00 to 9:00 pm.
Let Someone Else Do the Driving
Of course, you can drive around and look at holiday lights in your own car. But it might be more fun to let someone else do the driving. There are several limousine and bus companies that are more than happy to take the wheel, so you, can drink hot cocoa, sing Christmas carols and take in all of the glittering holiday scenery.
- AJ’s Best Stretch Limousine
- Allbee’s Old Market Limousine, Inc.
- At Your Call Limos & Buses
- Des Moines Limos
- Luxxor Limousines
Do you have a favorite light display to add? Tell others about it in the Comments below!