Light displays are one of the best parts of the holiday season in Arkansas, and driving to see various neighborhood Christmas lights all around the state's capital city makes for a festive evening. But there are also stunning public displays in and near Little Rock, from holiday cheer lighting up the capitol building downtown to festive events stretching all the way to Fayetteville.
Note some events were altered or canceled for 2020, so see below and event websites for details.
The Arkansas State Capitol
The 2020 parade was canceled, but a firework show will take place along with the Capitol lighting on December 5.
As part of a tradition taking place since 1938, the state Capitol building of Arkansas in Little Rock is ablaze with must-see lights for the holiday season all through the month of December. Also, the inside of the Capitol is decorated for the holidays, and you can look around during regular business hours. The free event starts with the Little Rock Big Jingle Jubilee Holiday Parade, then the lighting followed by a fireworks display, a performance by the Gospel Mass Choir, storytime for the kids, and visits by Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Enchanted Forest Trail of Lights in Sherwood
Visit Sherwood Forest in Sherwood, Arkansas, about a 15-minute drive from Little Rock, for a drive-through stretch of holiday lights spanning more than 1 mile (1.6 kilometers). The numerous light displays will be shining brightly from 6 to 9:30 p.m. every night between November 20 and December 30, 2020, and each guest receives a candy cane. Enter the free exhibit via the Sherwood Sports Complex on Bear Paw Road.
Enchanted Land of Lights and Legends in Pine Bluff
About 45 minutes from Little Rock is the Jefferson County Regional Park in Pine Bluff, where the 24th annual Enchanted Land of Lights and Legends event takes place. More than 240 displays brighten the area every evening from 6 to 9 p.m. starting November 17 and going through December 31, 2020. Enjoy 1.3 miles (2.1 kilometers) of lovely lights. There is no charge for the event.
Lights of the Ozarks in Fayetteville
For 2020, the parade, carriage and pony rides, and pictures with Santa were canceled, and the lighting night for the Lights of the Ozarks was changed to a virtual event broadcast KFSM/5 news on November 20, 2020.
Lights of the Ozarks may be a long drive—it's nearly three hours from Little Rock—but it's worthy of a holiday weekend getaway. Fayetteville's downtown square comes to life with about 400,000 LED lights starting November 20, 2020, and sparkling each evening from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. through January 1, 2021. Food trucks, hot chocolate, holiday treats, and music make this a memorable event.
The Promenade at Chenal Animated Christmas Tree
Events at the Promenade at Chenal were canceled in 2020.
There is a great Christmas display in the center of the Promenade at Chenal shopping center each year with animated lights that flash in coordination with the music. Usually, you can catch the light show and live performances hourly in the evenings from approximately November 30 to December 29.