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.
In Newton, Iowa. Enter Agnes Patterson Memorial Park from North 4th Avenue East, follow the marked path, and then exit onto E 31st St N.
November 25 – January 1
The light display will open the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 25, and remain open through Jan. 1, 2021. Those wishing to view the lights should enter Agnes Patterson Memorial Park from North 4th Avenue East, follow the marked path and then exit onto E 31st St N. For 2020, the display is a drive-thru event only and everyone is asked to remain in their vehicles at all times.
417 SE Lawrence Dr Ankeny, IA 50021
Monday – Thursday 5 to 10 p.m.; Friday – Sunday 5 to 11 p.m.
Come out and see this Christmas light show! Tune in to 94.3 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
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.
December 6 – December 25; 5 to 9 p.m.
This year may be different due to the pandemic, but we still invite you to come and drive through our Christmas light show with your family while listening to your favorite Christmas songs. You will be given a family goody bag and have an opportunity to take a picture with Santa Claus while you social distance in your car. The light show will run nightly from 5-9 PM until Christmas day.
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.
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.
Directly across the street from Gingerbread Lane (listed below)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lutheran Church of Hope
December 21 – 24
5 to 9 p.m.
Come to Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines for an unforgettable JOURNEY to the LIGHT — a can’t-miss, one-of-a-kind Christmas drive-thru experience! As you embark on this spectacular journey through Hope’s parking lot, you’ll be invited to roll down your windows, turn up the heat, and enjoy the journey! Interactive kid’s activities are available and will be handed out as cars with children enter the parking lot (bring some crayons!) … but this isn’t just for kids. From your car, you’ll encounter all of Hope’s best Christmas worship traditions, and you’ll experience the Christmas story in brand-new ways — dazzling light shows, live Christmas music featuring Jon Mero and our talented Worship Band, and a cast of hundreds living out the story of the Messiah’s birth, from Old Testament prophets to radiant angels, to the shepherds and the sheep … and of course your pathway thru the parking lot leads to a living manger scene and a glimpse of heaven! The entire event is FREE and all are welcome!
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.
Madrid, Iowa at 611 South Market Street
This holiday lights display is put on by brother and sister team Nick Snider and Sarah Carr.
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 Road in Des Moines
Jump in the car and drive down the street in the Waterbury neighborhood. It truly is a magical experience!
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.
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.