Arkansas Trail of Holiday Lights Continue to Shine

December means the Trail of Holiday of Lights in Arkansas. More than 60 communities around the state take part annually, brightening the holiday season for all to see. Plot your course now to see as many of the sparkling communities as you can.

The Trail of Holiday Lights brochure is available both online at and in printed version. Printed copies are available at all Arkansas Welcome Centers and at participating Shell, Subway, Bank of America and Best Western locations. You can also request a copy by calling 1-800-NATURAL or e-mailing [email protected].

Whichever version you prefer, get a copy and start planning your trip or trips. New this year in the electronic copy is a promotion where we need your input, and suggested travel itineraries for the different areas of the state. Take one trip or take them all. There’ll be lights, lights, and more lights waiting for you. Watch our winter wonderland video, and then come up with a name for our Holiday Hog. You can even see him in person at several celebrations around the state.

Suggested Itineraries

These suggested routes include one day and overnight trips so you have a variety to choose from. Not only will you see the lights of Christmas shine, there are also suggestions for additional things to do while you’re in the area.

Northwest Arkansas
Twenty-one communities in the Northwest Arkansas area are participating in the Trail of Holiday Lights and the events run the gamut from the huge Lights of the Ozarks in Fayetteville, complete with live camel rides, to ice skating at the outdoor rink in Bentonville. In Jasper you can get a look at “Arkansas Reindeer” — the elk living around the Buffalo National River. Fort Smith offers miniature train rides, while Ozark has horse and buggy rides.

North Central Arkansas
In North Central Arkansas, Batesville shines with over a half-million lights throughout downtown. Ark. 178 and the city limits of Bull Shoals will be twinkling, as will Cotter and Gassville. The striking Cleburne County Courthouse in Heber Springs is decked out again this year, as is the historic court square in Mountain View. If you’re in town on the appropriate dates in Mountain View, available in the brochure, you can listen to the glorious sounds of Caroling in the Caverns at Blanchard Springs.

Northeast Arkansas
One of the largest light displays in The Natural State is based in the Northeast corner of Arkansas. The Lights of the Delta are Blytheville’s contribution, with six-million sparklers and more than 48 major motion displays. The drive-thru covers 40 acres; hayrides are also offered. Santa will have bags of candy for every good little boy and girl in Corning that comes to see him during their holiday celebration. Newport will be welcoming performers from the historic Palace Theatre in Manchester, New Hampshire, as they present “A Christmas Carol.”

Southwest Arkansas
The Southwest area boasts 13 events along the trail. Courthouses, town squares, parades, city parks, and streets will be glowing for the season. Historic Washington State Park lights its preserved cityscape with luminaries and offers candlelight tours. Hot Springs festoons its historic downtown with lights, while Garvan Woodland Gardens features more than four-million lights. A 50-foot-tall rose tree stands as the garden’s focal point. InPrescott you can have breakfast with Santa, while in El Dorado you can drive under one of the largest man-made Christmas trees in Arkansas.

Central Arkansas
New in Little Rock is the light show at the First Security Amphitheater in Riverfront Park that will be choreographed with animation and music. The River Lights in the Rock will once again be in holiday colors. Both Sherwood and North Little Rock’s Burns Park have drive-through displays. Conway’s 54-foot community tree will be glowing again this year in the downtown area along with special sales offered by the merchants. Sherwood’s annual lights through Sherwood Forest feature a mile of displays and the Santa Express while Jacksonville offers its annual setting downtown aglow. The Saline County Courthouse in Benton is lighted for the season and offers a gazebo for visits with Santa.


Submitted by the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism