2020 has been frightful, but 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.
There are a number of homes and displays in the Iowa City area that have ongoing Christmas light displays. Special thanks to The Bails Team at Urban Acres Real Estate for making this guide possible.
Best Places to see Christmas Lights In the Iowa City Area
This light display features 18 RGB props and over 50,000 lights that make Christmas music come to life! Tune to FM 90.7 and listen to the show in stereo in the comfort of your warm vehicle!
Iowa City’s “Christmas Light Street”, aka Sugar Plum Lane, aka Rita Lyn Court, has teamed up with Table to Table this year to help raise money to serve the hungry, homeless and at-risk populations – at a time when it’s needed more than ever. Take a drive down Rita Lyn Court, check out the Christmas lights, and look for the Table to Table signs on how to Venmo donations to this great organization! ( Venmo: @Table2table )
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 to 9 p.m.
Where to See Luminarias
Residents and businesses throughout Coralville are invited to light luminarias on their sidewalks. 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)
Radcliffe Drive Christmas Lights: 355 Radcliffe Dr., North Liberty
Enjoy this musical Christmas light display! Tune to 97.1 FM and listen to the lights! About 10 songs repeating throughout the night each night and it runs about 30 minutes per show. Check this out through the New Year’s Day. New in 2020: this house has added a request feature for music — vote for the song you want to hear sooner.
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!
Only runs on non-windy days.
Worth the Drive
Mount Pleasant Festival of Lights (multiple dates)
Come and visit the one-mile Holiday Light Drive-Thru Park with over 120 Holiday displays! View 2018’s display via drone on YouTube to get a flavor for the show! The show runs Nov. 19-21 and 25-29. Dec. 2-6 and 9-31. 5:30-9:00 p.m. each night and is located at 405 E. Threshers Rd., Mount Pleasant. It costs $10 per family vehicle.
Blue Creek Christmas: 4942 Blue Creek Ct., Walker, IA (north of Center Point)
Check out this awesome light show set to Christmas music. This show is in its seventh year and it’s free! Bring a donation if you’d like, this year it will go to the Walker and Center Point Fire Departments.
Krumwiede Light Display: 3708 5th Ave. NW, Waverly, IA (2 hours north of Iowa City)
A Christmas display featuring a few thousand lights on buildings and trees, and several storybook character figurines. We have figurines ranging from Frozen, The Lion King, Monsters Inc., Snow White, Kung Fu Panda, Paw Patrol, Shrek, and many more. Storybook characters aren’t the only figurines to make the list. There are also several reindeer, Santa’s, penguins, a nativity scene, a small church, etc.
Christmas Lights in the Valley: 140 W. 2nd St., Coal Valley, IL (2 miles east of the Quad Cities Airport)
Light display synchronized to music, transmitted through FM radio, watch from the warmth of your car! Over 9,000 lights, 12 different songs; 89.7 FM
Santa’s Rock N Lights: Living History Farms, 11121 Hickman Rd., Urbandale, IA
Santa’s Rock N Lights is an animated drive-thru light show. You’re invited to experience the re-imagined layout with themed worlds of light including dinosaur world, over 700 ft of tunnels, and a longer route. Runs nightly Nov. 27 through Jan. 3, nightly from 5 p.m. to 9 or 10 p.m. $24.99/car with up to six people. Additional $5/person above six people.
2020 Jolly Holiday Lights: Adventureland Resorts, 3300 Adventureland Dr, Altoona, IA (1 hour 40 min from Iowa City)
Now through December 30 (Except Dec. 24 and 25), 5:30-10 p.m. nightly. Come celebrate the 25th anniversary of holiday lights at Adventureland Resorts! Bundle up the family and enjoy a 2.5-mile ride through more than 100 magical light displays. 100 percent of admission fees go directly to Make-A-Wish® Iowa! Tickets can be purchased here, as well as at the front gate and Des Moines area Hy-Vee and Casey’s stores. ($20/car).
We hope you all get a chance to get out there and enjoy some of these fun, festive holiday light displays in the Iowa City area. And if you know of any displays that we don’t have on this list, please do us a favor and leave them in the comments so that we can add them!
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More Holiday Cheer
Check out ICM’s Iowa City Area Guide to Family Holiday Activities for a jam-packed listing of virtual and in-person holiday events and celebrations in 2020.
Don’t miss out on a visit with Santa in 2020! Visit ICM’s Santa Sightings guide to learn where you can see the big man in-person or schedule a visit over Zoom.
2020 has been a difficult year for so many. Browse ICM’s Giving Guide for Iowa City area nonprofits, organizations, and charities to learn how you can help this holiday season.
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