Candy canes, Christmas Trees, hot cocoa—there are so many wonderful things that bring about the joy of the Holidays. But none may be as magical and warm as the soft glow from a strand of Christmas lights. Something within those mini bulbs of light captivates children and adults alike. One might say it is the magic of Christmas itself twinkling out of those multi-colored menageries. Whatever it is, the Holidays are just not complete without a trip to your local Christmas light display, and we have compiled a list of Arkansas’s best and most magical places to see them!
White River Wonderland-Batesville
Right on the White River, this show features millions of lights and welcomes thousands of visitors each year. Admission is free, and visitors are welcomed to walk, drive, or take a carriage ride through the impressive lights displays. They even offer ice skating!
Visit their site to learn more: Christmas Capital of Arkansas™ | Experience Independence County in Arkansas (batesvilleareaalliance.com)
Enchanted Forest Trail of Lights-Sherwood
Throughout the holiday season families can drive through the enchanted forest of Sherwood. This light trail has over a mile of twinkling holiday scenes! Admission is free (donations are encouraged) and guests will receive a free candy cane, too.
Be sure to check out their website for dates and times.
Lights of the Delta-Blytheville
The Mid-South’s largest holiday lighting festival, boasting over 6 million lights, 48 major motion displays in a 1.5 mile drive through—all for just $10 per vehicle (half price on Tuesdays!) There is also a hayride and photos with Santa, for an additional fee. The concession stand offers hot chocolate, popcorn, souvenirs and their unique Lights of the Delta ornaments.
Learn More at: Lights of the Delta-Home
Lights of the Ozarks-Fayetteville
Each year The City of Fayetteville Parks and Recreation Department spends over 2000 hours decorating the Downtown Square with over 500,000 LED lights that can be enjoyed nightly through New Year’s Day, weather permitting. Visitors can drive around the square, or park and take their time walking through the twinkling displays.
The lights illuminate the square each evening from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. and remain on through January 1, 2022. Winter treats, hot cocoa, and festive music make the Lights of the Ozarks an event that cannot be missed.
Be sure to check out their website for more information.
Garvan Gardens Wonderland-Hot Springs
Long time known for their incredible Holiday art displays, Garvan Gardens has a new daytime art installation that will be perfect for continuing these traditions. Wonderland is an art installation in the Gardens focusing on 9 main areas with different themes in each space reflecting the spirit of winter and the holidays. Guests can enjoy new worlds as they wander the Garden grounds.
Wonderland begins Saturday November 20th and will run until December 31, 2021. The Garden is open daily from 10am to 6pm except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Tickets may be purchased on site: adults $15, children ages 4-12 $5, children 3 and under free, dogs $5. Online tickets may be available at a later date. As always, Garden admission is free to members with a current membership card and photo ID.
Check out additional information: >Upcoming Events at the Botanical Gardens – Garvan Gardens Calendar of Events
The Arkansas State Capitol-Little Rock
The state’s holiday season officially begins with the annual Christmas lighting ceremony at the Arkansas State Capitol on the evening of Saturday, December 7.
The Big Jingle Jubilee Holiday Parade will make its way down Capitol Avenue and end at the State Capitol. At dusk, dignitaries will flip the switch and illuminate the Capitol with around 100,000 lights outlining the building. The grand lighting ceremony concludes with a fireworks show above the gleaming Capitol dome. Lighting and fireworks will begin after dark, approximately 6 p.m.
Afterward, families can venture inside the Capitol to discover magnificent decorations that are perfect backdrops for family photos.
Read more here: Arkansas State Capitol Building Lighting Ceremony | Little Rock
Enchanted Land of Lights and Legends-Pine Bluff
Boasting the State’s largest drive-through of holiday lights, Pine Bluff hosts 1.3 miles of more than 240 displays, many of which are animated. Admission is free, although donations are accepted at the end by volunteers. Enchanted Land of Lights & Legends always opens on the third Tuesday in November and welcomes drive through visitors nightly from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. through December 31.