As another holiday season gets underway, towns across Iowa are twinkling with cheerful lights and enchanting decorations for special festivities. Gather your friends and family together to enjoy spectacular light displays and spirited festivals, and start your own holiday traditions.
ALTOONA. Jolly Holiday Lights. A 2.5-mile car ride through over 100 magical displays at Adventureland. 100 percent of admission fees go to Make-A-Wish Iowa. Iowa.Wish.org. Through Dec. 30. (Closed Dec. 24, 25)
AMANA COLONIES. Tannenbaum Forest. Featuring Santa, St. Nick’s Café, live reindeer, carols, 40 live decorated Christmas trees, music, and a 17-ft. German-style Christmas pyramid. Festhalle Barn, 622 46th Ave. FestivalsInAmana.com. Through Dec. 22.
BOONE. Santa Express. Enjoy hot cocoa and meet Santa on this holiday train ride, with songs and stories. Fri.–Sun., Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad. (800) 626-0319 or BSVRR.com. Through Dec. 22.
CEDAR RAPIDS. Brucemore Holiday Tours. Enjoy 13 glowing trees, a dining room set for Christmas dinner, stunning mantel arrangements, and the grand staircase garland. Wednesdays through Saturdays through December 28. Music in the Mansion. Enjoy your tour with live music on Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Brucemore.org. Through Dec. 29.
DAVENPORT. Kall Christmas Lights. Tune your radio to 107.1 FM and watch a music-synchronized lights display. Shows every half hour, 1852 Westminster Circle. @KallChristmasLights. Holiday Lights at Fejervary Park. Davenport Parks and Rec partners with Luminous Harmony Light Shows for an interactive light display. (563) 328-7275. Through Jan. 4.
DUBUQUE. Central Express Pop-Up Shops. Fridays 5–8 p.m. and Saturdays 12–4 p.m., Central Ave. Corridor hosts Holiday & Arts pop-up shops. Music and activities. Through Dec. 21. DowntownDubuque.org.
IOWA CITY. Horse-drawn Trolley Rides. Free rides 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. on Saturdays at Hills Bank & Trust. RSVP in person at 11 a.m. (319) 354-0863. Santa Saturdays. Get your pic with jolly St. Nick. 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m., FilmScene, 118 E. College. ICFilmScene.org. Through Dec. 21.
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. North Pole Express. Hop the train with Midwest Central Railroad, followed by a Santa visit in the caboose and hot cocoa and cookies. MCRR.org. Through Dec. 15. 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.
OTTUMWA. Holiday Nights ’n’ Lights. Greater Ottumwa Park’s spectacular light display. Proceeds go to local nonprofits. HolidayNightsnLights.com. Through Dec. 28.
PELLA. Historical Village Christmas Walk. View grand Christmas displays throughout 22 buildings in Pella Historical Village. Enjoy a complimentary coffee, Saint Nick cookies, and hot beverages in the Village Dutch Bakery, 507 Franklin St. Monday–Friday 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Through Dec. 30. Carriage Rides & Hot Cocoa Bar. Various Fridays and Saturdays, downtown Pella. Through Dec. 21. VisitPella.com.
VILLAGES OF VAN BUREN COUNTY. Christmas in the Villages. Ongoing holiday events include a Festival of Trees, open houses, soup suppers, Santa visits, wagon rides, an Enchanted Forest walk, a live nativity play, glassblown ornament making and demonstrations, a New Year’s Eve Sing, and more. VillagesofVanBuren.com. Through Dec. 31.
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. 19.