The season is upon us and it’s time to celebrate! From Little Rock to Fort Smith, and from Monticello to Jonesboro, holiday lights are being strung and festivals are joyously attended. Every city and town across the Natural State makes Christmas special with decorative beauty and good cheer. There are also towns in Arkansas that make the most of December by being festive every day of the month–and these are the Christmas towns you should definitely visit!
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
Located at the former Ecker Air Force Base, the Lights of the Delta festival in Blytheville is one of the Mid-South's biggest holiday light festivals. Covering nearly 40 acres, Lights of the Delta displays over 6 million Christmas lights and features nearly 50 displays.
Every Thursday & Friday throughout December you can reserve and take a tour of P. Allen Smith's gorgeous holiday home at Moss Mountain Farm. Visitors can get a perfect photo opportunity at the Gingerbread House on the premises as well as enjoy a festive holiday lunch.
18. Heber Springs
In addition to a festively decorated downtown area and friendly faces everywhere you go around town, Heber Springs has something very special for the holidays. Beautiful trumpeter swans flock annually to Magness Lake and remain throughout Christmas until February, making the holidays especially scenic for nature watchers.
Arkansas has a great number of Christmas tree farms, but the historic Blackburn homestead in Hindsville (open on weekend afternoons and evenings until Christmas) is home to the must-visit War Eagle Christmas Tree Farm. You can select the perfect fresh, pre-cut Christmas tree for your home while enjoying delicious handmade cinnamon rolls and fresh coffee. Have a look at the festive lights and Christmas arts and crafts while you're there!
The Greenwood Trail of Lights, a large display of holiday luminaries, is held at Bell Park throughout the month of December. A live nativity will be featured December 14-15 and 17-18. Special holiday events are held for families and children on December 6, 13, 20, and 22nd from 6 pm to 8 pm.
Just north of Crossett on 123 Goshen Road you'll find a Christmas Wonderland featuring close to a million lights, snow machines, animated holiday scenes, a drive-through tunnel of lights, and many more attractions the family will love. Take a ride on the carousel or have a chillingly great time on Snowball Mountain at this popular festival!
14. Pine Bluff
Pine Bluff will be celebrating the town's Enchanted Land of Lights and Legends for its 19th time this year. The festive array of over 250 light displays will be open to the public throughout December from 6 pm to 9 pm. Located at Jefferson County Regional Park, the event covers nearly a mile of holiday lights and animated decorations.
The Mena Art Gallery, located at 607 Mena Street, will be celebrating the season throughout December. The gallery's Christmas Show features a vast array of affordable holiday gifts you'll love browsing.
Historic downtown Pocahontas is absolutely brilliant with Christmas lights twinkling everywhere around the square, even illuminating the 1872 Old Courthouse. Pocohontas's Christmas parade will be held on December 3; the Randolph County Heritage Museum will also be hosting Mrs. Santa's Kitchen, serving deliciously festive baked goods.
11. Historic Washington
Take a walk through Historic Washington during the holiday season and you'll imagine you've taken a trip back through history. The village is beautifully decorated with candlelit streets and historic holiday period decorations such as evergreens and magnolia. Tours are offered during the entire month of December during both day and night.
Rogers has to be experienced during the holiday season. The entire downtown area takes on a new glow with holiday décor and lights of every color in windows. While you're in town, be sure to take a tour through the 1895 Hawkins House decorated in an early 20th century Christmas style.
9. El Dorado
El Dorado's Main Street is always a beautiful sight to see. During the Christmas season it's a true must-visit location. Old world Christmas meets modern style as decorations brighten the doorways of local shops, restaurants, and boutiques.
The Enchanted Forest Trail of Lights in Sherwood is a mile-long driving experience that will really put you into the spirit of the season. In addition to a complimentary candy cane for all, everyone can delight in the illuminated displays of Santa as well as the Sherwood Express.
Bentonville's Lawrence Plaza changes from a summertime splash zone to a fun-filled ice skating rink every Christmas. The whole town itself takes on the joyous Christmas spirit as well; caroling at the Walmart Museum is a popular event too!
6. Mountain Home
It doesn't get much better than an Ozark Mountain Christmas! Mountain Home hosts several holiday events and festivals throughout the month of December. Enjoy delicious fudge, baked goods, and even good old fashioned holiday music on your visit up in the hills.
5. Fairfield Bay
It's all about the prettiest and most creative Christmas trees at Fairfield Bay's Festival of Trees (located at the Fairfield Bay Conference Center). Holiday merry-makers are invited to walk through this magical forest of trees and gather inspiration for their own displays at home. There's even the Community Giving Tree where visitors can assist families in need and fulfill the true reason for the season!
Searcy has a lot to offer when it comes to the holiday season! The Gordon House is decorated in old-world Christmas style as it would have been in the late 19th century. The town also hosts a very popular and realistic drive-through living nativity display of over 200 volunteers.
3. Eureka Springs
Once the Eureka Springs Christmas parade is held (December 4th to be exact), you know it's time for this fairy tale town to really shine! The entire town of Eureka Springs becomes a Victorian Christmas village with a hint of new-school festiveness. This is the perfect time of year to enjoy the town's award-winning fudge, candy, and other sweets. Eureka Springs is also the perfect place to go holiday window-shopping and perhaps pick up something tasty or unique for a friend or loved one.
The award-winning Lights of the Ozarks festival in downtown Fayetteville is anticipated and well-loved each year! Come take in the spirit of the season with a pony or carriage ride as you tour this enchanting display. This magnificent event featuring a half-million Christmas lights can be enjoyed throughout the entire month of December.
1. Hot Springs
The Spa City is transformed into a twinkling world of wonder this time of year. Enjoy complimentary hot chocolate and marvel at the brilliance of 4 million holiday lights every evening at Garvan Woodland Gardens from 5 to 9 pm throughout December. Nearly seventeen acres are transformed into one grand extravaganza of an animated holiday display.
So many homes around Arkansas are worth a visit for their lovely Christmas decorations. Stores are full of incredible baubles to deck the halls or to decorate your tree. If you’re traveling Arkansas this month, be sure to take time to visit one of these awesome Christmas towns in addition to wherever the road takes you. Leave a comment about these towns and your favorite towns across the Natural State that fill you with the holiday spirit!