Whether your holiday of choice is Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, or Kwanzaa there is a timeless joy to be found in taking a spin around the holiday light displays. And while professional light displays are fun, there is a particular magic to those over-the-top holiday light displays created by someone’s (if thankfully not your) next-door neighbor. Even better is a whole street made up of nothing but this kind of neighbor, and we know where one of those is at in the Des Moines area.
A few of the light displays listed light up around Thanksgiving and turn off around New Year’s Day. Others are only lit on specific dates. Lights go on (and are best seen) after dark. And, if you want to avoid the crowds and potential traffic jams, go early in the evening on a weekday. These places tend to get busy on weekends.
Christmas Light Displays in Des Moines:
What: Second annual Toys for Tots drive on Berkshire!! Check out the lighted Christmas display at this private residence in Clive, drop off a new unwrapped toy and get this holiday season kicked off right! There’s also a good chance the big man himself will be there!! Ho Ho Ho!!!
Where: 3465 Berkshire Parkway, Clive, IA 50325
When: Sunday, December 7, 2019 at 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Lights stay on through the holiday season.
Cost: FREE. Donations will be accepted for Toys for Tots on December 7th.
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 29 through December 31, 2019 at 6:00 to 9:00 pm.
What: Ashworth Road Baptist Church’s Celebration of Lights is a dancing light show with over 15,000 lights dancing in an animated fashion set to music. To kick off the seasonal display they host a Christmas celebration for the public. Enjoy sweet treats and hot drinks, taking your picture with Santa, and of course, watching the unveiling of their animated Christmas light show.
Where: Ashworth Road Baptist Church; 5300 Ashworth Road; West Des Moines, Iowa 50266
When: The celebration event is on Sunday, December 8, 2019 at 5:00 pm. The lights can be viewed throughout the holiday season.
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: Fellowship Community Church; 225 North Avenue, Norwalk, IA
When: Saturday & Sunday December 14 & 19, 2019 at 5:30 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 30+ 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 6 through 31, 2019 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: The Hedrick Family light up and transform their home into a Christmas wonderland each year at the holiday. The spectacular light display is timed and set to Christmas music and totally worth the drive to West Des Moines. Check out their past displays on their YouTube channel.
Where: 308 46th Place West Des Moines, IA 50265
When: November 29 to December 31, 2018 at 5:00 to 10:00 pm
What: Integra Electrical sponsors an annual holiday 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. Watch their Facebook page for updates and info.
When: November 29 to December 31, 2019 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 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: Adventureland; 3300 Adventureland Drive, Altoona, IA 50009
When: November 29 – December 30, 2019 at 5:30 to 10:00 pm.
Cost: $20 per car
What: The Urbandale Community Action Network continues the great tradition of lining neighborhood streets with luminaries. And whether you drive, or bundle the kiddos up for a stroll down the lighted city streets, you’re in for a treat.
Where: Neighborhoods throughout Urbandale, IA.
When: Sunday, December 15, 2019 at 6:00 to 9:00 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 at Christmas time. Turn up the Christmas tunes and make the drive.
Where: 2701 Cumming Avenue, Cumming, IA 50061
When: November 29, 2019 – January 1, 2020 at 5:30 pm 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 21 – December 31, 2019, many stay on all day, all lights are on 5:00 pm to Midnight.
Did we miss your family’s favorite Christmas light display in Des Moines? Let us know, so we can add it to the list!