Arkansas December 06, 2016
The Christmas Lights Road Trip Through Arkansas That’s Nothing Short Of Magical
Welcome to the holiday season, Arkansans. The halls are decked, the lights are bright, and the light displays are—well, they really are stunning. I’d say the light display situation in the Natural State calls for an amazing holiday road trip, wouldn’t you? This road trip I’ve designed for you (you’re welcome and Merry Christmas) is a compilation, a greatest hits of Arkansas’s coolest light displays that you absolutely need to see this season. You’re going to start at Garvan Woodland Gardens and end at Fayetteville’s Lights of the Ozarks, but those two are just the bookends on a whole stack of holiday awesome. So grab your keys and get your kids and your grandma and your neighbors and pile in the car, because no one should miss these lights.
This trip will take you about five and a half hours, and
you can find your itinerary here.
1. Garvan Woodland Gardens (Hot Springs)
How about we start with 4.5 million lights spread across 17 acres in the most impressive botanical garden in the Natural State? Garvan Woodland Gardens offers just that. The admission for adults is $15, for kids 6-12 it’s $5, and 0-5 year olds are free. You’ll find Garvan Woodland Gardens at 550 Arkridge Road in Hot Springs. The light display will be open until December 31st from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. They’re closed on Christmas Day, however, so don’t go then.
2. Hot Springs National Park
Since we’re already in Hot Springs, we’re going to head on down to Bathhouse Row to see the incredible lights set up in Hot Springs National Park. Don’t forget to stop by the Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa to see their enormous gingerbread house and tree. The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa is located at 239 Central Avenue in Hot Springs National Park. You’ll definitely be able to find the rest of the lights from there. This one is free to see. Thanks, Hot Springs.
3. Arkansas State Capitol Building
If you want some fireworks, you need to get in the car right away, because the fireworks happen at the state capitol building on December 3rd immediately following the Big Jingle Jubilee Holiday Parade. You should also check out the enormous tree under the rotunda there. Even if you can’t make it on December 3rd, you want to drive by anyway, because seeing our capitol building glowing with Christmas cheer is something Arkansans shouldn’t miss. The Arkansas State Capitol Building is located at 500 Woodlane Street in Little Rock.
4. Downtown Paris
Hey, you should think about staying the night in Paris. More specifically, you should think about staying at the Lodge on Mount Magazine. What you don’t want to miss in Paris is the adorable downtown district and the absolutely stunning display at the Logan County Courthouse. This place is on the Arkansas Trail of Holiday Lights, and for good reason. You’ll find it at 25 West Walnut Street in Paris.
5. Hodo’s Christmas Light Show (Van Buren)
This family light show is set to music on a station you can play in your car. The Hodo family does this every year, totally free of charge. It kicked off on Thanksgiving and will run until December 27th. This one has a religious theme, but you’ll find Santa and his reindeer there too. You can see it every night from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Hodo's Christmas Light Show is located at 1205 Woodland Creek Circle in Van Buren.
6. Stewart Family Christmas Display (Fayetteville)
Congratulations on making it all the way into the Ozarks! You’ve made it to the penultimate stop on our spectacular Christmas adventure. You’ll find 375,000 lights and more than 250 inflatables at the Stewart Family Christmas Display. This display has been going for thirteen years now, and it just keeps getting better and better. This family home has become a must see destination for winter wonderland enthusiasts. The Stewart Family Christmas Display is located at 4423 Wyman Road in Fayetteville.
7. Lights of the Ozarks (Fayetteville)
We’re ending on a high note, friends. The Lights of the Ozarks is hands down one of the best holiday light extravaganzas in the Natural State. Lights of the Ozarks takes place on the Fayetteville Square, and you’re going to love the nearly half a million lights there. The lights stay on until 1 a.m., so you’ve got plenty of time to head on over there after you visit the Stewarts’ place. Walking through the magical wonderland of lights is free, but you may want to bring some cash for the camel rides, reindeer viewing, carriage ride, and pony rides. That’s right, Lights of the Ozarks is a whole lot more than gorgeous lights. The festival runs until December 31st. You’ll find the Fayetteville Square at the intersection of Block, Mountain, East & Center Streets in Fayetteville.
To find even more incredible light displays, click
here. You’ll find a holiday train ride you’ll want to take here, and more about Lights of the Ozarks at this link.