Christmas Lights in Des Moines

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Christmas Lights in Des Moines, Iowa 2022

I do not know about you, but driving around and looking at lights is one of my favorite holiday activities. I love to get the kids dressed in their PJs, make some hot cocoa, pack some fun snacks, and set out to look for the best Christmas light displays we can find. This is our favorite activity of the 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.

1801 N.W. Morningside Drive in Grimes

It is one of our family’s favorite holiday displays! You will not want to miss a light show with flashing lights set to music played over your radio.

4118 SW Snyder Blvd, Ankeny, Iowa

Do not miss this synchronized light show at an Ankeny neighborhood home that has been around since 2014!

705 NE Canterbury Dr. Ankeny, Iowa

An impressive light show consisting of almost 7,000 lights synchronized to music played on 89.5 FM. The display is created by a local 17-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 four songs to music. The show runs from 5-9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday nights and 5-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights.

Argo Christmas Lights

Opening December 1 through January 2

Monday – Thursday; 5 to 10 p.m. and Friday – Sunday; 5 to 11 p.m.

Come out and see this Christmas light show! Tune in to 94.7 and listen to a variety of songs all synced to our Christmas lights.


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

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.

Buxton Family Lights

1832 SE Hillside Drive, Ankeny

Nightly 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Come see the Buxton Family holiday light shows! Tune to FM 95.5 to enjoy a variety of family-friendly songs sequenced with their lights. Free! Please be considerate of neighbors: don’t block driveways, and turn off your headlights.

Deck the Halls House for a Good Cause

3608 Ashworth Road in West Des Moines

More than 50,000 lights are hung up at this house and the display took about 120 hours to construct. On the side of the house, you’ll find a box where non-perishable foods, toiletries, and baby items can be dropped off to be donated to DMARC. Kids are also encouraged to drop off their letters to Santa.

Fellowship Community Church

225 North Avenue in Norwalk 

December 10 & 11 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.

First Church of the Open Bible

2200 Beaver Avenue in Des Moines

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

Details have not been released yet.

Frosty Lane

Directly across the street from Gingerbread Lane (listed below)

Gingerbread Lane, Ankeny

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

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.

Jolly Holiday Lights


November 25 – January 1, 2023. Closed December 24, 25, and 31.

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.

Lights of Hope

Lutheran Church of Hope; Jordan Creek

November 27 – December 18

6 to 9 p.m.

Experience the joy of Advent with a FREE, self-guided drive through Hope’s parking lot filled with dazzling lights and Christmas displays. All are welcome!

Help them fill the shelves of local food pantries by bringing nonperishable food items, like canned meat, peanut butter, canned fruit, cereal, and rice! A special drop-off location will be located in Hope’s circle drive, where items can be placed in the designated boxes each night. 

Miracle on 86th Street

Memorial Tree Park in Urbandale

More than 50,000 lights are up now through January 9 located at the Charles Gabus Tree Memorial Park next to the Urbandale Public Library. Bring your smiles for fun photo opportunities and the kids will have fun climbing + playing all over the fun wooden train⁣. Families will enjoy ice skating in the community skating rink + other events happening all season long⁣. Take a look at a small glimpse of the fun.

Magical Nights of Lights

Pickard Park; 2205 E 2nd Ave. Indianola, IA 50125

Friday/Saturday nights at Pickard Park from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. from November 25 – December 17.

Free-will donations from cars will be split among Kiya Koda Humane Society, Heal House & Helping Hand Food Pantry.

Prairie Ridge Church

825 NW 36th St., Ankeny, Iowa

Check out this synchronized light show. Dates have not been announced yet.

Santa’s Rock N Lights

Living History Farms

Most nights November 25 – January 1, 2023

5:10 to 8:30 p.m.

Santa’s Rock N Lights is an animated drive-thru light show. You’re invited to experience the reimagined layout with themed worlds of light including the dinosaur world, over 700 feet of tunnels, and a longer route. Purchase tickets here.

Snider’s Animated and Musical Holiday Lights Display

Madrid, Iowa at 611 South Market Street

This holiday lights display is put on by brother and sister team Nick Snider and Sarah Carr. This light show is from 7 to 10 p.m.

Uptown Shopping Center

4100 University Avenue, Des Moines

Celebrate the student-designed holiday lights with Franklin Area Neighbors and Uptown Shopping Center.

Venzke Animated Christmas Display

1335 N.E. Milan Ave in Ankeny, just off 36th Street

With a new and different theme each year, you will not want to miss this fun Christmas display!

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 Wonderscape Holiday Light Show

Reiman Gardens

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings in December.

5 to 8 p.m.

Winter Wonderscape Holiday Light Show is back for its second year and better than ever with our outdoor walk-through holiday light show featuring a variety of immersive light displays throughout the entire 17-acre site. Don’t miss our new and improved features and elements including motion and music. Walk through brightly lit tunnels, meander through fantasy lights falling like stars, view massive disco balls twirling to laser lights, and enjoy a twenty-foot-wide fountain of lights and a wide array of other sparkling wonders. The kids will enjoy lighted sculptural forms including Peter Rabbit, the metamorphosis of the luna moth, penguins cavorting on skis, sleds, and ice skates, and a giant lighted snowflake.

On your way out through the main building, don’t miss the RG Express Holiday Train display in the Hughes Conservatory! Visitors young and old will be enchanted by this custom-built garden-scale train, which was created by Applied Imagination, an internationally recognized company whose train displays meld botanical design and architecture.

Purchase tickets here.

BONUS! Ankeny, Iowa Christmas Light Displays Map

Many of the Des Moines area Christmas light displays are located in Ankeny, Iowa. I have created an interactive map just for YOU! Take a night and drive through Ankeny, Iowa and take in all the twinkling lights.


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!

2 thoughts on “Christmas Lights in Des Moines

  1. 705 canterbury is super lame. avoid it

  2. Avatar Elizabeth Buxton says:

    Check us out at Buxton Family Lights on Facebook – we have a fully synchronized light show in Ankeny. 3rd year running!

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