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One of my very favorite holiday traditions is our family’s Light Night. We always pick a night during Christmas when we put on our pajamas, grab a warm drink, and load in the car to drive around and look at Christmas lights. While some favorite neighborhoods seem to raise the bar each year, a local light destination where we park and walk around an illuminated winter wonderland always seems like the exclamation point to my holiday feelings.
No matter where you live in Arkansas, Christmas light displays are illuminated. Arkansas Parks and Tourism keeps a comprehensive list of collections across Arkansas, but don’t forget to check the website or social media channels of your nearby cities or Chambers of Commerce for more local details.
Photo used with permission from Arkansas Parks, Heritage and Tourism.
GloWild at the Zoo | Little Rock
See the zoo in a new way with 50 illuminated creatures, including dinos, this year. In addition, cultural experiences help the zoo environments come to life with life and animated animals. Viewing the figures and lantern festival is a great family outing for entertaining out-of-town guests through Jan. 1.
Lights of the Delta | Blytheville
This drive-thru light experience brings magic to the Arkansas Delta. Hayrides and Photos with Santa are available through reservations. Visitors pay by the carload, whether in a single-family vehicle or a small bus. Over 6 million lights and more than 50 motion light displays illuminate the former Ecker Air Force Base at the largest Christmas light display in the Midsouth Region.
White River Wonderland | Batesville
Do not miss visiting the Christmas Capital of Arkansas. Last year, 48,000 vehicles drove through the incredible display that ranks as a top idea for Hallmark holiday movie scenes. <link article> As a matter of fact, more than 45% of their visitors come from out of state. And this year, the Skating Rink is back for families to enjoy together.
Holidays at Harding | Searcy
Some of Arkansas’ most beautiful spots are among her college campuses, and Harding hosts a lovely holiday season. A walkable light display is part of the City of Searcy’s Holiday of Lights tour. And don’t forget the Searcy Tour of Homes and the Living Nativity while you are in town for the World Championship Chocolate Gravy Cookoff. Christmas concerts on campus round out the holiday festivities.
Lights of the Ozarks | Fayetteville
Northwest Arkansas’ premier light experience. Historic Downtown Fayetteville begins its glow Nov. 18 and will stay lit through Jan. 1. Experience the magical lights with street entertainers, glow balloons and hot chocolate. The lights are part of a free public display from the City of Fayetteville, open from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Winter Garden Festival | Hot Springs
Nestled in a quiet section of the Ouachita Mountains, Garvan Woodland Gardens provides a unique backdrop for a sacred Christmas lights display. From the canopy of native trees to rock bridges and bluffs to the open fields spring often illuminates with early bloomers colors explode each evening from Nov. 19-Dec. 31.
Finney’s Christmas Wonderland | Crossett
An “as seen on TV” light display represents that special South Arkansas glimmer. Sam Finney and his family expand their display each year which now covers a half-mile loop. Finney handcrafts the motion displays, many coming from scenes he imagined as a kid. The display is free, but donations are invested back into the displays.
Enchanted Land of Lights and Legends | Pine Bluff
Founded nearly 30 years ago, Enchanted is Arkansas’ largest light display featuring 240 motion displays in Pine Bluff’s Regional Park. The drive-thru display is free and open through Dec. 31.
Let it Glow Tour of Lights | Magnolia
Merrytime in Magnolia comes to life the weekend following Thanksgiving and continues through Dec. . A central feature is the Southern Arkansas University campus, where the lights on Overstreet Hall transform the campus into a holiday postcard. After you stroll the campus, don’t miss the Traylor Wilson Gardens and Courthouse square.
Coulter Celebration of Lights | Mountain Home
A mixed driving and walking light experience throughout the campus of Arkansas State University Mountain Home. The alumni association hosts a 5k fun run under the lights each year. Visit the website for details about special features throughout December, including hot chocolate bombs, musical guests, and special visits from the North Pole.
Follow the Arkansas Tourism Trail of Lights page for continual updates on Christmas light displays throughout the season.
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