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Holiday Light Displays Around the Metro 2017

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Nothing says “Holiday Spirit” like grabbing a snack and some hot cocoa, then jumping in the car to take in the lights and sights of the season!  In and around the Des Moines metro, the choices are plenty when it comes to areas for your tour de lights.  We’d like to take this opportunity to highlight just a few of our faves! 

First up, the obvious: Jolly Holiday Lights in its 2nd year at a new location!  Drive through Adventureland to enjoy one of Central Iowa’s most beloved traditions!  Oh, and don’t forget a stop at Santa's Wish Shop where you can talk to Santa, get a snack or even snag some stocking stuffers! See link for admission prices and hours.

Next, we recommend planning a drive through of a few well-known Beaverdale neighborhoods!  Beaverdale Lights is a show of about 50 homes on Ashby and Wallace Avenues east and west of Beaver Avenue.  Some of these are historic homes with some serious holiday cheer!


One of the more popular light displays on this list, the entire Historic Valley Junction area, comes out with lights, Christmas icons, and tons of holiday cheer. They turn it on full force with more than 100,000 holiday lights strung around the shopping district.  You’ll want to get out of your car and walk around to take it all in!

While you’re out and about in Des Moines, see to it that your tour involves a drive to the Gingerbread House at 200 North Main Street in Grimes.  This is where Bob Jordan and his family set up their elaborate indoor and outdoor display every year. And just to put this one in perspective, the Jordan’s have so many lights that they beginning the decorating process in October!  A show said to use more than 1,000 feet of drop cord, the 2010 show used 127 plastic snowmen and 74 Santa Claus statues. The family gives all proceeds to the Special Olympics – a win, win in our book!

Up for just a little longer drive? Ted Lare Garden Center in Cumming is a great spot to see beautiful holiday lights. The garden center is decorated with thousands of twinkling lights, including their large metal cactus by the front doors of the Center. Put the kids in their jammies, turn up the Christmas tunes and make the drive. They’ll be asleep when you get home!

Looking to stay a little closer to home, Ankeny friends?  Our town is proud to feature several well-lit neighborhoods known for their festive-ness and magnificent light displays! 

Perhaps the most popular is the famous Gingerbread Lane on Richland Court and the nearby Richland and Rio Circles. Rumor has it that Santa, Mrs. Claus, and four elves will be making an appearance on weekend evenings and collecting donations for the Food Bank of Iowa from 6-8pm. These neighbors have a story to tell and do so using lights and decorations! 


Called the city’s best kept Christmas light secret, some homes in The Country Club division boast beautiful displays and lots of holiday spirit, as well!

Of course, the well lit and decorated homes in and around Ankeny are too numerous for us to mention all.  But we want to know…Where have you found the best light displays and festive decorations?  We’ll be checking the comments and making sure to take your advice!

2017 Ankeny Holiday Event Round-Up

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Tis the season to spend time with family, friends...and your community!  Lucky for you, Ankeny is a town with lots of really special Holiday events happening soon, making that quality family/friend/community time a reality!  Below you will find a list of a few of our favorite must-see and do special events.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Mayor’s Tree Lighting

Kick off the Holiday Season at the third annual Mayor's Tree Lighting! New Location and addition of a fireworks finale for 2017!

Gary Lorenz, Ankeny Mayor and the City Council invite the community to the third annual Mayor’s Tree Lighting on Friday, Dec. 1, 6 – 7 p.m. This free event will be held at AMP located at 715 W. First St.

The Mayor’s Tree Lighting is an opportunity to come together as a community to kick off the holiday season. Mayor Lorenz and the Ankeny City Council will welcome guests at AMP starting at 6 p.m. The event will feature kids’ activities, an ice carving demonstration, music, Iowa Wild slap shot hockey and more. At 6:50 p.m. Santa will arrive to help the Mayor with the official tree lighting and the event will close with a spectacular fireworks finale. 

After the fireworks, Santa will travel to Porch Light Coffeehouse, 417 SW Third St., for a meet and greet until 8 p.m. Families are encouraged to return to Uptown Ankeny on Saturday for Christmas in Uptown, starting at noon.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Ankeny Historical Society Christmas Cookie Sale

Need Christmas cookies, but don’t feel like doing the baking?


Christmas in Uptown Ankeny - Santa’s Treasure Hunt

See Santa and Mrs Claus at the Historical Society Barn, take your own pictures and get your token for the treasure hunt. Then stop into the Uptown businesses with a Santa Stop Sign for your treasure bag. Treats, specials, shopping, gift wrapping and horse drawn wagon rides.

Holiday Ho Ho Home Tour


Take a magical tour of six Ankeny homes that will be all decked out for the holidays. Each home will have their own unique decorations, style and appetizers to share! This annual event will benefit the Ankeny Service Center. 100% of all proceeds will be used to help those in the Ankeny and northern Polk County area. Get in the spirit and purchase your ticket today. This is an adults only event (ages 16+) tickets are also available at the door. The number of tickets is limited so don't delay! Ho Ho Ho!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Ankeny Community Chamber Luncheon

This event is open to the public and requires tickets in advance.


Kick off the holiday season with the Ankeny Area Chamber's annual Christmas Luncheon! Join Ankeny Area Chamber members, their employees, and the community to celebrate the holiday season together. Enjoy lunch as musical entertainment and holiday cheer fill the air.

Is there someone that cannot make the event? Bring them back a Lunch To Go and share part of the festivities!

December 8 – 17

Ankeny Community Theatre’s production of A Christmas Chaos


The Royal Shakespeare Company hasn't arrived as promised to perform their stirring rendition of "A Christmas Carol." An intrepid band of hapless actors and technicians must put together their own production in only seven hours! The play is a hilarious backstage comedy that pokes fun at the classic novel and everything that can go wrong with a theatrical production. Written by Michael Wehrli.

Family Seasonal Comedy - Rated G for All Ages
Director: Scott Nielsen
Assistant Director: Lynn Arterburn

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Santa and Mrs. Claus visit the Library

Take your little ones for this event at our local library.  Let them visit with Mr. & Mrs. Claus, make a craft, watch a movie, and more from 6:00-7:30pm.

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