Meander through these displays that feature millions of lights in the shape of trees, snowflakes and more. Most are open throughout the holiday season.
Watch the small town of Atlantic become the "city of lights." The trees on Main Street all come to life with holiday cheer in a tradition the residents of Atlantic are happy to share. Atlantic's Main Street includes so many lighted trees there's really no need for street lights. The lights stay on through the end of the holiday season.
2. Festival of Lights Christmas Display, Mount Pleasant
The Festival of Lights is a light display like no other. The Midwest Old Threshers campground in Mount Pleasant lights up 60 acres of their park in what is described as the largest holiday light display in the Midwest.
3. Jolly Holiday Lights, Altoona
Park the car and set off on foot through the Jolly Holiday Lights, which features over 100 light displays. This Christmas tradition has been celebrating the season for more than 20 years and is now located at the Outlets of Des Moines. Check the event's schedule to enjoy breakfast with Santa, embark on a train ride, capture the memory a the photo booths and more. It's free to experience, but visitors are encouraged to scan the QR codes throughout the shopping center to make a donation. All proceeds from Jolly Holiday Lights benefit Make-A-Wish Iowa.
4. Holiday Lights, Magical Nights, Decorah
Take a trip through Decorah's "tunnel of lights" at their Holiday Lights, Magical Nights show in Pulpit Rock Campground. This Decorah tradition is celebrating its 25th year of keeping winter nights merry and bright for the hundreds of cars that visit each evening. All proceeds from the light display benefit Helping Services for Youth and Families. The lights kick on Thanksgiving night.
5. Symphony of Lights, Clinton
November 26 - December 30
Symphony of Lights in Eagle Point Park in Clinton is like a trip down memory lane. See 40 holiday displays made of over 500,000 lights - like magnificent castles, beautiful blue streams and a gingerbread lodge. The 1.1 mile loop is beaming with holiday spirit. The festivities begin on Thanksgiving and go through the end of December.
The Waverly Light Display started 25 years ago as a humble yard display of string lights and cut-outs, but now it's a Christmas spectacular with choreographed music. So, the light displays literally dance. People from all over the Midwest come to view the light show. The owners donate all proceeds to St. Jude's Research Hospital. The show starts on Thanksgiving and continues through Christmas.
7. City of Christmas Display of Lights, Keokuk
Welcome to the City of Christmas! Proving this is no amateur show, the Keokuk display and holiday festivities in Rand Park began in 1989. Today, the event includes 150 lighted displays with over one million lights with accompanying music playing on the local radio station. Over 20,000 people each year drive through the display, some making several trips to make sure they see it all.
8. Festival of Lights, Carroll
Every holiday season, over 1.5 million twinkling lights are on display at the Festival of Lights in Swan Lake State Park campground near Carroll. Lighted scenes and animated displays delight visitors each night from 5 to 9 p.m.
9. Lights in the Park, Sumner
The display in West Union has thrived for the past 10+ years and has since expanded to nearly four acres at the West Union Recreational Complex. Stroll or drive through the Enchanted Forest that wraps around a pond for a unique winter evening. The lights are on from 5 to 10 p.m. daily through New Year's Eve.
11. Reflections in the Park, Dubuque
Every year, Dubuque's Louis Murphy Park is illuminated with nearly 80 light displays. Open 5 to 10 p.m. every night, visitors can drive or walk through the display, listen to the Christmas carolers and take pictures with Santa.
12. Hickory Hills Holiday Light Show, La Porte City
Black Hawk County Presents its third annual Holiday Light Show. Featuring thousands of lights, whimsical displays and familiar holiday characters, this celebration illuminates the campground with displays designed by many local businesses and organizations. Drive through in the comfort of your own vehicle between 6 and 9 p.m every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in December through Christmas Eve. Admission is $10 per vehicle.
13. Merry-N County Christmas, Knoxville
Head to Marion County Park for this free-will donation drive-through light display. Tune into local radio station KNIA/KRLS 93.5 for holiday tunes to accompany the 75+ light and decoration displays, including an illuminated Historic Village. This exciting sight is presented by Thrive Knoxville and the Marion County Historical Society. Starting in mid November, the display is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 6 to 8 p.m. through Christmas Eve.
14. Winter Wonderscape Light Show, Ames
Announcing its first outdoor walk-through holiday light show, Reiman Gardens is inviting you to explore their brightly immersive light display on the 17-acre site. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening from 5-8 p.m., visitors can walk through brightly lit tunnels, meander through fantasy lights falling like stars, view massive disco balls twirling to laser lights and a wide array of other sparkling wonders. Purchasing tickets in advance is encouraged.
15. Lights at Kennedy, Fort Dodge
Lights at Kennedy is a fun holiday tradition that invites the community to enjoy lighting displays sponsored by various local businesses and organizations. Lighting up Kennedy Park, this drive-through light show is choreographed to music, allowing viewers to fully experience the holiday cheer. Admission is free, though free-will donations are appreciated.
16. Jingle Bright Holiday Lights, Manchester
Thanks to the combined efforts of the Manchester Area Chamber of Commerce and the Delaware County Fairgrounds, the fairgrounds' new drive-through Christmas light display offers a unique way to celebrate the holiday season. Free to the public, this light show features over 30 displays sponsored by local businesses and offers a fun and free experience for families from the comfort of their vehicles.
17. Christmas Acres, Le Mars
Since its creation over 25 years ago, Christmas Acres near Le Mars has become a staple holiday event. Located at Rob and Joyce Scheitler's family farm, this festive display features 181 lighted sculptures, several inflatables, music from 15 speakers and an estimated 200,000 lights Visitors can experience the display on its walking paths as well as enjoy hot chocolate and coffee sold by the Christian Needs Center and baked goods sold by the Scheitlers. The light display is free, though visitors are encouraged to leave a donation for the Christian Needs Center.
18. Little Light of Mine, New Hampton
See New Hampton shine in Mikkelson Park, where a drive-through holiday light display thrills visitors every year. If you want to take a break from the car, visitors can also visit Santa, see the live reindeer or take a horse-drawn wagon ride under the lights. The lights are lit every night from 5 to 10 p.m.
19. Painting with Lights, Oskaloosa
Marking the first display of its kind in Iowa, this holiday celebration illuminates Oskaloosa's downtown buildings with over 200,000 lights. The brilliant display covers all four sides of the town square, offering visitors a short yet scenic drive around the lighted downtown.
20. Holiday Nights 'N Lights, Ottumwa
A holiday tradition for the past 15 years, Ottumwa's Holiday Nights 'N Lights continues to draw visitors from across the Midwest. This mile-long drive through display leads visitors through Greater Ottumwa Park with millions of lights. Tickets are $12 per vehicle at the entrance, $10 advance tickets are available at Elliott Oil Company locations.