Light displays are one of my favorite things about the holiday season. Besides driving around the city and seeing which neighborhoods decorate the best, there are many great public displays in Arkansas. Here are a few of my favorites. I also have a list of residential light displays (and great neighborhoods to drive through).
An Arkansas resident won the Great Christmas Light Fight in 2015. His display will be active for the 2016-17 holiday season, if you want to check it out.
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Garvan Gardens (Hot Springs)
Garvan Gardens, located in Hot Springs, decorates for the holidays like no other place. The large gardens showcase more than 1.7 million holiday lights featuring butterflies & garden scenes, holiday scenes and more. Admission is $6.00 for Adults, $4.00 for Children 6 to 12. Nov 17-Dec 30. It is worth the price of admission. I think it's the best display in the state.
Bonus: While you're in Hot Springs, be sure to check out bathhouse row's lights and the great indoor decor at the Arlington Resort Hotel.
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The Arkansas State Capitol (Little Rock)
While the lights on the Capitol are a must see, if you've never been inside the Capitol for the holidays, check it out too. They have it nicely decorated every year. Starts the first weekend in December, after the parade. The Capitol lighting is the only time you'll ever see fireworks over the capitol (if the weather holds). The lighting ceremony is a great way to kick off the holiday season.
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Finney's Christmas Wonderland won the "Great Christmas Light Fight" in 2015. This is a privfate residence, and most of the decorations are hand crafted. The display has over over 1 million mini LED lights, 100 floodlights and 100 LED incandescent lights. The display takes him six weeks to put together and has been growing in Crossett for 30 years. It spans 2 acres of property. It's quite a drive from Little Rock, but worth it. There's no admission fee.
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The Promenade at Chenal's Animated Christmas Tree
The Promenade has a great Christmas display in the center of the shopping center with an animated tree that flashes a light show to music. The tree gives several shows an hour. Located at 17711 Chenal Parkway.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Enchanted Forest and Holiday Trails of Lights (Sherwood)
From November 30 to December 30, visit Sherwood Forest for a 1.5 mile drive-thru stretch of holiday lights. Displays for the trail are provided by the Sherwood A&P Commission, businesses and individuals. You can drive through from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. No admission fee, donations accepted.
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This is Arkansas' largest drive-thru holiday light display. Over a mile of lights, totaling over 150 displays, some of which are animated. It's open from 6-9 pm nightly from November 17 - December 30 at Pine Bluff's Regional Park. No admission fee, donations accepted.
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Northern Lights (North Little Rock)
North Little Rock has a 20-foot tree made of LED lights at the City Services Building (120 Main St.).
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Here, Candy Cane lined streets lead to more lights, a nativity and animated light shows in Pochontas, Arkansas. You can see these lights the last two weeks of December. No admission fee.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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This is a unique light display because you get to see them from a miniature train. The Holiday Express runs November 30 to December 23 (excluding Sundays) from 5:30pm-8:30 p.m. This steam engine is the only one of its type in the US and only runs a few times a year. There are also more than one million lights on Garrison Avenue in downtown Fort Smith.
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Lights of the Ozarks may be a long drive, but Fayetteville's downtown square comes to life with 450,000 lights. Events around the square include carriages, camel and pony rides. Special days for choirs and parades. Cocoa and coffee served. From November 16-December 31.