Towns across Iowa are twinkling with cheerful lights and enchanting decorations for another season of holiday festivities. Gather together with your friends and family to enjoy spectacular light displays and spirited festivals, and start your own holiday tradition!
ALTOONA. Jolly Holiday Lights. Celebrate more than 20 years of holiday lights at Adventureland! Bundle up the family and enjoy a 2.5-mile ride through over 100 magical displays. Proceeds go to Make-A-Wish Iowa. Iowa.Wish.org. Through Dec. 30.
AMANA COLONIES. Tannenbaum Forest. Featuring Santa, St. Nick’s Café, live reindeer, kids’ corner, carols, 40 live Christmas trees, and a 17-ft. German-style Christmas pyramid. Festhalle Barn, 622 46th Ave. FestivalsInAmana.com. Through Dec. 17.
BOONE. Santa Express. Enjoy hot cocoa and meet Santa on this holiday train ride. With songs and stories. Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad. (800) 626-0319 or BSVRR.com. Through Dec. 17.
CEDAR RAPIDS. Brucemore Holiday Mansion Tours. Enjoy the seasonal splendor of glowing trees, a dining room set for Christmas dinner, stunning mantel arrangements, and the grand staircase garland adornment. Brucemore.org. Thursdays through Dec. 28.
CEDAR RAPIDS. Snowshoe at Indian Creek Nature Center. Enjoy the winter beauty on the trails. Snowshoes available to rent in both adult and child sizes—and when there is at least 5 inches of snow. (319) 362-0664.
CEDAR RAPIDS. Czech Ornament Personalization with Marj Nejdl. Master Czech Folk Artist Marj Nejdl will be on hand in the Museum Store to personalize ornaments, including the 2017 Limited Edition NCSML Ornament. Check the schedule first at NCSML.org. (319) 362-8500. Through Dec. 16.
DAVENPORT. Giant Advent Calendar. The German American Heritage Center building turns into a giant advent calendar, as a new window lights up each day at 5 p.m. (563) 322-8844. Through December 24.
KEOKUK. City of Christmas Lights Display. Enjoy a sparkling Christmas wonderland in Rand Park. N. 17th & Park Lane. (319) 524-1127. Through Dec. 26.
MOUNT PLEASANT. Festival of Lights Christmas Display. Drive through over a mile of lighted displays at Midwest Old Threshers, including a huge animated toy factory. OldThreshers.org. Through Dec. 31.
PELLA. Saturday Cocoa & Carriage Rides. From 11 a.m.–3 p.m., stop by the free hot cocoa bar (with all the fixins) at Franklin & Main St., and enjoy a carriage ride starting at the Information Windmill (11 a.m.–4 p.m.). Saturdays through Dec. 23.
OTTUMWA. Holiday Nights ’n’ Lights. Greater Ottumwa Park is filled with a spectacular light display. Proceeds go to local nonprofits. (641) 814-5900. HolidayNightsnLights.com. Through Dec. 29.
VILLAGES OF VAN BUREN COUNTY. Christmas in the Villages. Ongoing holiday events, including open houses, soup suppers, Santa visits, a home-lighting contest, an Enchanted Forest walk in Cantril, a Christmas Parade, candlelight services, concerts, and more. VillagesOfVanBuren.com. Through Dec. 31.
WEST BRANCH. Tales of the Sea Christmas. View an exhibit of Christmas trees, each decorated with an oceanic or nautical theme. Herbert Hoover Presidential Library. (319) 643-5301. Through Jan. 7.
WEST DES MOINES. Jingle in the Junction. Thursdays 5–9 p.m., the businesses and streets of Valley Junction are lined with over 150,000 twinkling lights. Enjoy free horse-drawn carriage rides, Santa, and caroling. ValleyJunction.com. Through Dec. 14.