Best Places To See Christmas Lights in the Iowa City Area

Even if the weather outside is frightful, taking a drive to see Christmas lights in the Iowa City area can be the perfect, cozy activity to do with your family during the dark evenings of the holiday season. 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.

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 streaming station.

Thank you to our good friends at The Bails Team Urban Acres Real Estate for making this guide to Christmas lights in the Iowa City area possible.


Graphic: Where to see holiday lights in the Iowa City area


Best Places to See Christmas Lights in the Iowa City Area

Click on each title to view individual map locations, or scroll to the bottom for a map of all locations in one!

Iowa City

Spruce Ridge Christmas Lights – 4477 Napoleon St. SE

  • This light display features 18 RGB props and over 50,000 lights that make Christmas music come to life!
  • Thursday November 25 to Sunday December 26. Hours: 5pm-10pm every evening

Rita Lyn Court

Iowa City’s “Christmas Light Street”, aka Sugar Plum Lane, aka Rita Lyn Court!

Holiday on the Lake – West Overlook Campground

  • This drive-thru holiday light show runs nightly from Thanksgiving to New Years Eve and benefits The Bird House hospice home of Iowa City. $10 per car/van, with higher prices for larger vehicles.
  • Monday-Thursday 5:30-8:30 p.m.; Friday-Sunday 5-9 p.m.
  • Wednesdays are walk-through, closed to cars, and $5 per person.

North Liberty

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!

Radcliffe Drive Christmas Lights:  355 Radcliffe Dr., North Liberty

  • Enjoy this musical Christmas light display! Tune in to the radio station listen and listen along to the light show! This house also has a request feature for music — you can vote for the song you want to hear sooner!

Colton Drive South

  • Only runs on non-windy days.

1655 Red Barn Drive “The New Santa House”

  • 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!

845 Jessie Street

  • 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.

An outdoor light display: Christmas lights in the Iowa City area
Enjoy many beautiful displays of Christmas lights in the Iowa City area.

Coralville

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, December 12 from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.. Other activities take place throughout the day and evening.
  • Where to See Luminaria
    Residents and businesses throughout Coralville are invited to light luminaries on their sidewalks. The City and community volunteers will light luminaries on:
    • 5th Street (1st Avenue to S.T. Morrison Park)
    • 12th Avenue (Highway 6 to Oakdale Boulevard)
    • Holiday Road (1st Avenue to 12th Avenue)

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!

Swisher

Hazel Schropp’s House – 2629 120th St. NW

  • Right off the Swisher exit (Exit 10) between Interstate 380 and Highway 965
  • At 95 years old, you’d think putting up all those Christmas lights would be nearly impossible. But not for Hazel Schropp!

Solon/Lake MacBride

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. Tune into the posted radio station on your car radio and watch the show synchronized with the music!

Eastwood Drive


Tiffin

230 Railroad Street

  • Largest display in Tiffin!

Fairfax

Hillview Drive

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

Worth the Drive

  • Mount Pleasant Festival of Lights is Southeast Iowa’s largest Drive-Thru Holiday Light Park. Visitors to the Festival of Lights will enjoy over 100 Holiday Lighted Displays from a gingerbread man, tractors, candy canes, and the holly old elf Santa Claus that fill a 1.6-mile route in the Midwest Old Threshers Campground.
    • November 24-28; December 1-31; 5:30-9:30 p.m.
    • $10 per family vehicle

Blue Creek Christmas – 4942 Blue Creek Ct., Walker

  • Come on out and check out this awesome light show set to Christmas music. Located north of Center Point, it’s free, but they collect donations for charity and give 100% of donations to a different non-profit every year.
    • Over 90,000 lights
    • Over 3 miles of extension cords
    • Tune your car radio to the posted radio station and listen to the music coordinated with the light show!
  • 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, and more. Check the Facebook event for updated dates.

Christmas Lights in the Valley: 140 W. 2nd St., Coal Valley, IL

  • 2 miles east of the Quad Cities Airport, this light display is synchronized to music, transmitted through 89.7 FM radio, so watch from the warmth of your car! Over 30,000 lights, and 12 different songs!

Santa’s Rock N Lights: Living History Farms, 11121 Hickman Rd., Urbandale

  • Santa’s Rock N Lights is an animated drive-thru light show of almost a full mile of nearly 1,000 programmable elements and over 100,000 animated lights dancing to Christmas music. Prices vary by day of the week. Visit their website to purchase tickets.

Jolly Holiday Lights:  Adventureland Resorts, 3300 Adventureland Dr, Altoona

  • Light Up a Child’s Life! One hundred percent of admission fees benefit Make-A-Wish Iowa, which grants the wishes of children battling a critical illness.

Map of All Christmas Lights Locations in the Iowa City Area

Map of Christmas Lights Displays around Iowa City areaUse this Google Map of all locations of Christmas lights in the Iowa City area and see how many you can visit! 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 in the Iowa City area.

About Our Sponsor

A photo of the Urban Acres Bails TeamHiring The Bails Team at Urban Acres Real Estate means you’ll have access to the real estate expertise you need anytime, anywhere. This real estate team includes Mike Bails, Phil O’Brien, Marcy Willier, Chelsey Riggan, Matt VandeBerg, and Briley McAtee. Together, they have over 50 years of combined experience and a deep understanding of the entire residential and commercial real estate picture in the Iowa City area – it’s what they like to call a panoramic view of real estate. If you are ready to buy or sell, give them a call today and tell them Iowa City Moms sent you!


More Holiday Fun in Iowa City

Ultimate Guide to the Holidays in Iowa City | 2021

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.

1 COMMENT

  1. We really appreciate you post this article in the past! Here is our updated information for the coming holiday season!
    The Krumwiede Light Display is a drive-through light show. They feature thousands of lights on buildings and trees, and several storybook character figurines. They 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, and etc.

    The Krumwiede Light Display is FREE admission drive-through to visit. They do encourage DONATIONS to the spotlight non-profit of the night.

    Located at 3708 5th Ave NW Waverly, IA
    (15 minutes from Cedar Falls, 40 minutes from Mason City, 60 minutes from Cedar Rapids, 75 minutes for Ames)

    https://www.facebook.com/Krumwiede-Light-Display-353191458383249

    Lights will be on this year from Dec 1st to Dec 27th. ⭐️ 🌲 ❄️
    Sunday- Thursday’s 5 to 9pm.
    Friday and Saturday’s 5 to 10pm.
    Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 5 to 11pm.

    List of Non-Profits Services Receiving Donations for 2021.
    Friday 12/03 Pathways Behavioral Services – WSR School Based Mental Health Services
    Saturday 12/04 The Larrabee Center
    Friday 12/10 Self-Help International
    Saturday 12/11 All In Mentoring
    Friday 12/17 Fostering Families Together
    Saturday 12/18 Waverly-Shell Rock Area United Way

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