Best Places to See Christmas Lights Displays in the Iowa City Area

Even if the weather outside is frightful, taking a drive to see Christmas lights can be the perfect, cozy activity to do with your family during the dark evenings leading up to Christmas. Get the whole family snug in their pajamas, fill up some travel mugs and sippy cups with hot chocolate, and bundle up in the car for a twinkling adventure.

christmas lights displays in the iowa city area

If you’re feeling extra festive, make a game of it. Try out a Christmas light scavenger hunt, and count up how many points you can get as you search for each item on the list. In our family, each of us chooses a special sound to make every time we spot a house with Christmas lights on. (Literally any sound goes, from a cow’s moo to a fake sneeze!) A car full of people making ridiculous noises is enough to send everyone into fits of giggles!

Don’t forget to play some holiday tunes to set the mood! Some houses will coordinate with a specific local radio stations, but for the ones that don’t, you can try 104.5 or 96.1 on your radio or your favorite holiday CD or Pandora station.

Best Places to see Christmas Lights Displays around Iowa City areaBest Places to see Christmas Lights Near Iowa City

Iowa City

1. Spruce Ridge Christmas Lights

4477 Napoleon St SE

“We love holidays, decorating and especially holiday lights! We are excited to bring everyone who takes a couple minutes to stop by and enjoy the excitement of watching AND listening to our holiday light show. Please stop by when you have time to enjoy one of our passions with us!”

New this year:

    • 4 new “mini trees” for a total of 8 mini trees!
    • A couple new songs added to the show line up
    • A paved road! No more gravel mess!

What to know:

    • Park on Napoleon Street in front of the display.
    • DO NOT park in the driveway
    • Please keep your clearance lights on so traffic traveling on Napoleon St can see that you are stopped.
    • Please be alert for and courteous to traffic at all times.
    • Tune your radio to FM 90.7 while viewing the show to listen to the music in stereo.
    • Sunday December 1st through Thursday December 26th

2. Rita Lyn Court

North Liberty

3. 500 Troon Court “The Gingerbread House”

A family favorite every year! You may recognize it as “The Halloween House” as well, because these folks know how to decorate! Plan to park in the cul-de-sac and take a few minutes to see it all–there are a lot of details to notice!

4. Colton Drive South

Only runs on non-windy days.

5. 1655 Red Barn Drive “The New Santa House”

The Santa House has moved to a new location! It was “adopted” by a new family and is now at its new home, but it still has all the same joyful holiday cheer! Plan to get out of your car for this one! Your kids will love to walk along the sidewalk and see the magic up close!

6. 845 Jessie Street “Jessie Street Christmas Lights”

Tune in to the designated radio frequency and listen as you watch! Runs from 5-9 p.m. daily, and offers a 30 minute show.

2019 Show Lineup:
Happy Christmas (War is over)
Wizards in winter – Trans Siberian Orchestra
Do you wanna build a snowman – Frozen Soundtrack
Jingle Bells – BNL
Reflections Intro from EPCOT Fireworks
Reflections of Earth – EPCOT Fireworks music
Youre a mean one Mr Grinch – Burl Ives
All Iwant for XMas is you – Mariah Carey
THX Electrical Failure – No artist
its the most wonderful time – Andy Williams
Git Up – Blanco Brown


7. Aisle of Lights

See how thousands of white paper sacks, each filled with sand and a votive candle, create a magical scene on a winter evening! Miles of luminaria are available for viewing by foot or car. Aisle of Lights is held annually on the second Sunday in December. Light luminarias on Sunday from 5:00 to 9:00 pm. Other activities take place throughout the day and evening.

Where to See Luminarias

1.  Residents and businesses throughout Coralville are invited to light luminarias on their sidewalks.
2. The City and community volunteers will light luminarias on:

    • 5th Street (1st Avenue to S.T. Morrison Park)
    • 12th Avenue (Highway 6 to Oakdale Boulevard)
    • Holiday Road (1st Avenue to 12th Avenue)

8. 12th Avenue

Beginning in December, visit Coralville’s website for a map of all of the favorite light displays in the city, but 12th Avenue is always a good place to start!


9. Hazel Schropp’s House

2629 120th St. NW Right off the Swisher exit (Exit 10) between Interstate 380 and Highway 965

At 93 years old, you’d think putting up all those Christmas lights would be nearly impossible. But not for Hazel Schropp!

Solon/Lake MacBride

10. 1697 Newberry Ave NE

Take Highway 382 all the way down to the beach. It’s the house right across from the Twin View Heights entrance.

Show Sunday-Thursday 4:30-10 p.m. and Friday-Saturday 4:30-11 p.m.

Tune into 101.7 on your car radio and watch the show synchronized with the music!

11. Eastwood Drive


12. 230 Railroad Street

Largest display in Tiffin!


13. Hillview Drive

From Highway 151, turn onto Highland Drive (by the carwash), then take a right on Hillview Drive.

Center Point

14. Blue Creek Christmas

Come on out and check out this awesome light show set to Christmas music. It’s free, but they collect donations for charity and give 100% of donations to a different non-profit every year.

This year, all donations collected by Blue Creek Christmas will be going to the Center Point – Urbana Educational Foundation. This organization focuses on our children’s academic endeavors and provides grant funding to our teachers to help meet needs in their classrooms that would otherwise go unfilled.

What to know:

    • Over 90,000 lights
    • Over 3 miles of extension cords
    • Tune your car radio to FM 97.1 and listen to the music coordinated with the light show!

Blue Creek Christmas lights Iowa Center Point

Map of All Christmas Lights Locations

Map of Christmas Lights Displays around Iowa City area
Google Map of all locations

We hope you take some time to look around this holiday season, and find little bits of beauty wherever you go.

Have a favorite location we missed? Leave a comment with more places to see Christmas lights!

Our Ultimate Guide to Holidays in Iowa City offers answers to all your holiday questions, from Christmas Tree Farms to Santa Sightings and more!November and December family events in the Iowa City areaSanta Sightings: Where to see Santa in Iowa CityChristmas tree farms near Iowa CityService and volunteer opportunities in Iowa City for the holidaysHanukkah Menu and Recipes

Holiday Movie BINGO

Holiday Music Playlist


Lianna is a homesteading mama of three: a sparkly seven-year-old daughter, a joyful five-year-old boy, and a confident three-year-old boy. After graduating from the University of Iowa’s college of education, she started Wondergarten Early Enrichment Home, a multi-age, play-based early childhood program. A self-proclaimed Queen Dabbler, she has a long list of hobbies (from gardening and canning to sewing and painting), and doesn’t mind being only mediocre at all of them. She lives with her husband, mother, three kiddos, dog, cat, rabbits, dwarf goats, and chickens on an acreage in the country. The Cornally family spends their time talking about education, learning how to grow and preserve their own food, and romping around in their woods.



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