Arkansas Christmas Lights 2021 | Family Activities

11 Arkansas Christmas lights and family activities in the central Arkansas area. Take your family exploring this winter season.

We love searching for Christmas lights with our kids! To get in the car for no reason at all except to sip on hot chocolate, listen to classic Christmas music and search the neighborhoods for the best light displays.

The music can range from Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, to Straight No Chaser and the 12 days of Christmas. Either way 3 out of the 4 of us are jamming along and the other one will just have to wait till December 26th when we stop the Christmas music madness.

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Since we’ve been stationed here for several years now, we’ve finally figured out where we like to start our Arkansas Christmas lights, tour. So get in the car and buckle up. Because you have some exploring to do.


Harding University – Searcy, Arkansas

The Christmas lights display at Harding University, starts the end of November and lasts until the New Year. These lights are magical! Walking around you are in awe at the beauty of the trees draped in white twinkling lights. It was something we had stumbled upon after visiting the Living Nativity in Searcy and I’m so glad we did!

Christmas lights at Harding University in Searcy Arkansas

Be sure to check the Holiday calendar of Searcy, AR, as well, where you’ll see Santa in town square and other happenings throughout the month of December.

Christmas lights and wreath at Harding University.

The Living Nativity – Searcy, Arkansas

The Living Nativity is one popular spot to visit during the holiday season. Just driving by and seeing the lit torches in front of a grand stone wall entrance, gives you a clue as to why.

But don’t let the traffic scare you off. They know how to handle a drive-thru crowd. Once you enter their parking lot, you are in queue and get to put your car in park and watch a movie they have on display on the side of the church wall. Bring hot chocolate, books, games or enjoy the movie in front of you. It can take some time to get in but if you come early, it’s not that bad.

The Living Nativity entrance with lit torches.

Driving through the stone gates you are transported back into Biblical times. The homes made of clay, donkeys, palm trees, camels and live actors going about their business as they shop for goods at the market. This drive-thru isn’t very long, so take your time. Roll down the windows and listen to the world around you.

The Living Nativity in Searcy, Arkansas.

Be sure to check their website for times and dates. This Living Nativity is only open two weekends starting the beginning of December.

Make two rights as you exit and you’ll only be a couple of minutes away from the lights at Harding University. So be sure to stop by and enjoy them both.

Skating at Spring Park – Searcy, Arkansas

Have you been ice skating at Spring park yet? Right in downtown Searcy, you’ll find Spring park and an outdoor pavilion with skating rink. For just a few dollars per person, you can rent skates and see just how good your balance is.

Enchanted Forest Trail of Lights – Sherwood, Arkansas

The Enchanted Forest Trail of Lights is a drive-thru light display over a mile long. This drive-thru experience is free of charge but they do allow for donations at the end of the trail. Each guest receives a candy cane and warm holiday wishes as you exit the grounds. Traffic can be a bit much, but if you leave early and follow the new signs to the trail, you might just miss the holiday rush.

Little Rock Zoo – GloWild

With over 30 silk covered lanterns placed throughout the Little Rock Zoo, GloWild is a fun family experience for all ages. Walk along a 1.4 mile path past lions, peacocks and a swimming whale just to name a few. Take a ride on the Diamond Express Train or hop over to the Over the Jumps Carousel ride. This event is an after hours event that begins at 5:00pm and goes till 9:00pm.

You can purchases tickets online at Little Rock Zoo GloWild. Be sure to visit their FAQ for more information.

Garvan Woodland Gardens Wonderland – Hot Springs, Arkansas

This event is a little different from years past but boasts just as much fun. Unlike other years, this Wonderland event takes place during normal business hours from 10am-6pm. Allowing you to enjoy a brisk walk to the end of the point, or linger at the Evan Children’s Adventure Garden.

Purple dragon at Garvan Woodland Gardens.

Beware of the purple dragon making his home on the front lawn garden. His purple scales and mirror image make this one friendly looking beast. Walk among the fairies flying over the path and make your way past beautiful silk waving high along the trees.

Fairy and mushrooms on display at Garvan Woodland Gardens.
Wonderland display with purple silk in the trees canopy's.

Further down the path you walk into an underwater garden full of coral, squid, and fish. The adventure doesn’t stop there so be sure to visit this beautiful wonderland this holiday season.

Squid in the Wonderland exhibit at Garvan Woodland Gardens.

Mid-America Science Museum Dino Lites – Hot Springs, Arkansas

If you’ve ever been to the Mid-America Science Museum, than you know about the awesome DinoTrek Trail. But during this holiday season the trail gets a bit more festive with holiday lights. Bring your family to enjoy this path from 5pm-7pm Friday and Saturday evenings in the month of December.

Dinosaur at the Mid-America Science Museum.

Hot Springs Historic Lights Display

Hot Springs is always a fun place to take the family for a nice day on the town. And the Hot Springs Historic Lights display this time of year does not disappoint. Visit historic Bathhouse Row with its gorgeous light display spanning from the Arlington Lawn to Hill Wheatley Plaza.

Before you go, head over to the Arlington Hotel lobby to see their giant Gingerbread House! This tradition has be ongoing for almost 40 years, and this year it hits 11 feet tall at the reindeers on Santa’s sleigh.

Light Up Conway – Arkansas

If you’re the kind of family that enjoys searching the neighborhoods for the best Christmas lights, then the homes participating in Light up Conway is a great place to start. Explore the town for home displaying the best Christmas decorations. You can find a map of participating homes here. Be sure to cast your vote for your favorite festive home between December 13-20 for a chance of them winning a $500 prize.

Roger Plaza – Conway Arkansas

Downtown Conway is always a great place to explore, with its delicious restaurants, antique stores and boutiques. Over at Roger Plaza, located at 757 Oak St. you’ll find a ferris wheel, horse and carriage rides and miniature train rides.

Christmas tree and ferris wheel at Roger Plaza in Conway Arkansas

Also located at Rogers Plaza is Santa’s mail box! All letters complete with return address will receive a letter from Santa! But be sure to get your letters in no later than December 16th.

Letters for Santa drop box in Conway Arkansas.

Arkansas State Capitol – Downtown Little Rock

Although the Big Jingle Jubilee has passed, you can still find the state capitol building lit up through the holiday season. With the hours extended for the holidays, be sure to head inside for a closer look at this beautiful historic building.

Searching for holiday lights is one of the many fun things to do with young kids and family of all ages. Although I’m sure there are other great holiday displays happening in the central Arkansas area, this is the perfect place to get started.

So make yourself some hot chocolate to go, and explore what your town has to offer this holiday season.

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