Lights, Santa, Action! Jolly Holiday Lights is back Nov. 27th-Jan. 3rd

The Buzz is an ongoing Visit Altoona feature sponsored by Polk County. Thank you to Polk County for supporting the Altoona community and helping us promote local businesses and events!

For the past 25 years, driving through the stunning light displays of Jolly Holiday Lights has been a tradition for thousands of families. Now, the beloved event is back at Adventureland in Altoona, and it’s bigger and brighter than ever.

This year’s event features 2.5 miles of holiday magic, with more than 100 light displays and a cast of colorful characters (including the infamous “Leg Lamp” from A Christmas Story).

And while the displays themselves are magical, the best part is that all proceeds go to Make-A-Wish® Iowa, which uses the funds to grant the wishes of children with critical illnesses. In 2019 alone, more than 23,500 vehicles attended, raising enough money to grant wishes for 80 children.

“I think I speak for everyone when I say that Jolly Holiday Lights is one of the best events of the year,” says Altoona Mayor Dean O’Connor. “It’s the perfect tradition for the holidays—festive, fun, magical, and it’s all about giving back.

“We can’t wait to see the impact of this year’s event.”

Jolly Holiday Lights: Event Details

When: The course is open Nov. 27-Jan. 3rd, every day from 5:30-10PM. (Note: the lights are closed Dec. 24-25 and Dec. 31)

Where: Adventureland, 3300 Adventureland Drive, Altoona, IA

Admission: $20 per car, $40 per limo/minibus, $70 per chartered bus

Tickets: Buy tickets online or pick them up at any Des Moines-area HyVee or Casey’s, the Make-A-Wish Iowa office or the front gate at the event.

Tip: Weekends get pretty busy at Jolly Holiday Lights. If you don’t want to wait in line, you might want to head over on a weekday.

Get the fun started with the annual Tour De Lights 1.5-mile run/walk/bikeride!

Can’t wait for the lights? Neither can we. Join us at Adventureland for the annual Tour De Lights event Nov. 21st from 4:30-8PM, where you can run, walk or bike 1.5 miles of the Jolly Holiday Lights displays. All proceeds benefit Make-A-Wish® Iowa.

Register, make a donation and read the safety guidelines here.

Note: Masks are required for entry to the Tour De Lights, and social distancing will be observed.

Blog Revised on 12/14/20: Jolly Holiday Lights is extending festivities through January 3rd. The Lights are closed Dec. 24-25 & Dec. 31