This year's must-see holiday light shows in the Des Moines metro
Only a grinch could frown after seeing these holiday lights across the Des Moines metro.
- We've compiled a list of free finds and displays worth the extra penny.
Free neighborhood drives
Gingerbread Lane: Along Southeast Richland Court in Ankeny.
Details: 31 homes help tell an “original gingerbread story.” Visitors are encouraged to bring canned goods or money along to donate. Donations will go to the Food Bank of Iowa.
- Santa and his helpers collect donations Friday-Sunday, but food donations can be left anytime in the gingerbread house.
Bonus: Frosty Circle, (aka SE Rio Circle), which connects with Gingerbread Lane.
- ⏰ Daily through Dec. 31, 5:30-9:30pm.
Details: Dozens of homes compete in an annual lights contest. People's choice voting starts today.
- ⏰ Lights up through Dec. 31, from 6-9pm.
Pay admission to these
Jolly Holiday Lights: 3300 Adventureland Dr., Altoona.
Details: It's the 25th year for this Make-A-Wish fundraiser that's 2.5 miles long with more than 100 displays, the largest in Iowa.
- Wishes of 80 kids with critical illnesses are, on average, granted via the event's revenue each year.·
- ⏰ 5:30-10pm through Jan. 2. (Closed Xmas Eve, Xmas and New Year's Eve.)
Cost: $25 per car or $20 online.
Winter Wonderscape Holiday Light Show: Reiman Gardens, 1407 University Blvd, Ames.
Details: This is the second year for the 17-acre outdoor walk-through show featuring motion, music and massive disco balls twirling to laser lights.
- ⏰ Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday through Jan. 1, 5-8pm.
Cost: $5-$10. Free for kids under 2.
🎶 One note-able house display: 705 NE Canterbury Dr., in Ankeny.
Details: Teenager Josiah Davenport created a light show that's synchronized to music via tuning in to 89.5 FM.
- Part of the donations will go toward upgrading the auditorium at Ankeny Christian Academy, where he is a senior.
- ⏰ 5-9pm Sunday through Thursday, and 5-10pm Friday and Saturday.
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