Six best Christmas light displays in Des Moines
It's that time of year where Christmas lights are going up and people are getting out to see them. We compiled a list of some of the Des Moines metro's best holiday light displays.
- The neighborhood sites are free but some seek donations for charities.
Beaverdale is a popular spot for holiday displays but Ashby and Wallace avenues are best known for their extravagance.
Details: Dozens of homes compete in an annual lights contest. People's choice voting runs through Dec. 15.
- ⏰ Lights up through Dec. 31, from 6pm-9pm.
Bonus: A Tree lighting ceremony is Dec. 3 at 5pm.
- Santa and a Toys For Tots collection will be part of the event.
Gingerbread Lane: Along Southeast Richland Court in Ankeny
Details: Dozens of 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.
Bonus: Frosty Circle, (aka SE Rio Circle), which connects with Gingerbread Lane.
- ⏰ Dec. 2 through Dec. 31, 5:30pm-9:30pm.
Details: A custom lights display that runs through Jan. 9 with scheduled special events, a custom-built train and ice skating.
- Open during normal park hours.
Bonus: A few of the special events include a candy cane hunt (Dec. 3), a Santa and reindeer meet and greet (Dec. 10) and a holiday city band concert (Dec. 12).
Jolly Holiday Lights: 3300 Adventureland Dr., Altoona.
Details: The annual Make-A-Wish fundraiser includes hundreds of displays along a 2.5-mile route, the biggest in Iowa.
- Wishes of 80 kids with critical illnesses are, on average, granted via the event's revenue each year.
- ⏰ 5:30pm-10pm through Jan. 1. (Closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day 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 third 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 December, 5pm-8pm.
Cost: $7-$13. Free for kids under 2.
- Tickets must be purchased online and in advance.
Santa's Rock N' Lights: A drive thru lights music show at Living History Farms in Urbandale.
Details: More than 700 feet of dancing light tunnels, giant dinosaurs and reindeer.
- ⏰ Opens at 5pm most days through Jan. 1.
Cost: $26-$33 per vehicle. Online ticket purchase required.
Of note: It's not an official Living History Farms event.
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