Christmas Lights in Des Moines

Christmas Lights in Des Moines

Christmas Lights in Des Moines, Iowa 2020

I do not know about you, but driving around looking at lights is one of my favorite holiday activities. I love to get the kids dressed in their PJ’s, make some hot cocoa, pack some fun snacks, and set out to look for the best Christmas light displays we can find. With everything that 2020 has brought us, this is the perfect social distancing friendly activity this holiday season!

We have gathered some of our favorite places to see Christmas lights in Des Moines, including some new spots. We will keep updating this list as we discover new places. Do you have an amazing display you would like to share? Feel free to contact us here.

705 NE Canterbury Dr. Ankeny, Iowa

An impressive light show consisting of more than 5,000 lights synchronized to music played on 89.5 FM. The display is created by a local 16-year-old who was previously recognized by KCCI, The Des Moines Register, and the Ankeny Living Magazine. The teen built all the electronic parts and sequenced three songs to music. The show runs from 5-9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday nights and 5-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights.


Ashby and Wallace Avenue just East and West of Beaver Avenue

A bunch of homes competes to put on the biggest and best display of lights every year. This year, the Beaverdale Neighborhood is going out with a bang by having a light contest! Take a look at all the details here.

Brook Run Village

Brook Run Drive, Des Moines

November 28th through December 25th

Brook Run Village has more than 50 homes decorated. With many featuring a themed tree. Three entrances to this development will take you on a holiday light-filled journey. A synchronized light show on Springwood Lane, a tribute to Candy Land, and Santa’s Seaside Crossing are just a few.

Fellowship Community Church

225 North Avenue in Norwalk 

December 12 – 13 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

FREE drive-thru event with 70,000+ LED lights synchronized to Christmas music on their property! Live Nativity with animals and FREE bakery cookies & cocoa brought to your car. Cocoa & cookies made & distributed with all food safety & COVID precautions observed.

First Church of the Open Bible

2200 Beaver Avenue in Des Moines

December 1 – January 1; Dusk until 10 p.m.

The First Church of the Open Bible will have an impressive outdoor light display synchronized to music, which you can listen to by tuning in on your radio. Signs are displayed with the station.

Gingerbread Lane, Ankeny

SE Richland Ct 50021, just off of SE 8th- accessible by SE Delaware or Hwy 69

Check Facebook page for starting date.

Gingerbread Lane is a long tradition on Richland Ct. Santa & Mrs. Claus will be out on the weekends collecting canned goods for the Food Bank of Iowa. Watch their FB page for schedule updates and reminders.

Historic Valley Junction

The holiday tradition you love is back and better than ever. 150+ local businesses will shine under the warm glow of 125,000-holiday lights, and you’ll enjoy a shopping and dining experience unlike any other in our metro. Exciting details coming soon, presented by Veridian Credit Union. Valley Junction wears masks for safety this holiday season.

Hometown Holiday Aglow

The recommended route is Westbound on SW 3rd from S. Ankeny Boulevard. Continue through the AMP and exit onto W. First Street.

November 20 – January 1

Animated LED light displays will line SW 3rd Street in Uptown and extend through the Ankeny Market Pavilion. In addition to these dazzling displays, you’ll find twinkling tree trunks, lightly lined rooftops, eye-catching window displays, snowflakes galore, and loads of lit trees.

Jolly Holiday Lights


November 27 – December 30

5:30 to 10 p.m. 

Jolly Holiday Lights is back at Adventureland. Bundle up the family and enjoy a 2.5-mile ride through more than 100 magical light displays. Admission fees go directly to Make-A-Wish® Iowa! Jolly Holiday Lights is a drive-through holiday light display that is set up annually by Make-A-Wish Iowa. $20 per car. The lights are closed on December 24 & 25. 

Santa Rock ‘N Lights

Living History Farms

November 27 – January 3

5 to 10 p.m.

Experience over 700 feet of tunnels in this drive-thru animated light show! Enjoy our techno rainbow tunnel and themed worlds of light including dinosaur world. You can feel safe in this socially distanced, touch-free experience from the safety of your car. Online reservations are required.

Tour de Lights


November 21

4:30 p.m. 

Don’t miss your chance to go through Jolly Holiday Lights before it opens to the public! Preview the lights as you run, walk, bike, or skate through the displays. Start and register at Doc & Leone’s Diner for the 1.5-mile route. Don’t forget to stop by the Wish Shop for cookies and cocoa.

Waterbury Luminaries

Waterbury Road in Des Moines

December 24

Jump in the car and drive down the street in the Waterbury neighborhood. It truly is a magical experience!

Windsor Heights

South of Hickman Road, Franklin Avenue, Marylynn Drive and 72nd Street

About 120 homes participate in Windsor Heights Foundation’s annual holiday lighting contest each year. You will not want to miss this neighborhood all lit up for the Holiday season.

Winter Wonderland

Reiman Gardens

Thursday – Saturday; December 3 – January 2

5 to 8:30 p.m.

Reiman Gardens is pleased to announce its first outdoor walk-through holiday light show featuring a variety of immersive light displays throughout the entire 17-acre site. Walkthrough brightly lit tunnels, meander through fantasy lights falling like stars, view massive disco balls twirling to laser lights, enjoy a 20’ wide fountain, and a wide array of other sparkling wonders. The kids will enjoy lighted sculptural forms including Peter Rabbit in the Edible Garden, the metamorphosis of the luna moth, penguins cavorting around the lake on skis, sleds, and ice skates, and the Campaniling kissing polar bears. Exit through the Hughes Conservatory to see the RG Express holiday train! Visitors of all ages will be enchanted by this custom-built garden-scale train. Purchase tickets here.

Erin Huiatt

Erin is a reliable resource and stepping stone for women and families to find support and make connections within our community. She wants families to feel confident to reach out and ask for help and advice to get pointed in the right direction. She enjoys traveling and exploring with her two children in tow!

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