Want to find out where communities are celebrating the holidays in light and sound? You’ll find everything you need to know at your fingertips on our special Arkansas Trail of Holiday Lights page.
The new interactive page on the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism website promotes the annual statewide event that begins the week of Thanksgiving and runs through the first week of the New Year. Cities and towns across The Natural State offer lighting ceremonies, parades, festivals and outdoor activities to celebrate the Yuletide season.
The Trail of Holiday Lights page includes a comprehensive map of light displays around the state, with driving directions and a search feature that allow the user to build their own seasonal swing through participating communities.
The Holiday Lights page provides much more than just information. An e-card creator allows visitors to use photographs from around Arkansas or to include their own Facebook or Instagram photos in a holiday e-card. They can include special messages and share those creations with friends on Facebook or through email.
Another feature is an Instagram feed of user-submitted photography. Pictures taken in the popular photo-sharing app Instagram and given the hashtag #arklights will appear on the page. Take a picture of your favorite light display in Arkansas and share it with fellow light lovers!
Additionally, there’s a Facebook page where photographs from visitors and from Instagram will be displayed, along with the latest information about light displays and news concerning event changes.
Visit the Trail of Holiday Lights page and the facebook.com Trail of Lights Facebook page to learn more about this dazzling statewide event.
Here are a few of the events happening around central Arkansas:
Garvan Woodland Gardens Holiday Lights
540 Arkridge Rd., Hot Springs
Nov. 17-Dec. 31
Open nightly 5-9 p.m. More than 1.8 million brilliant bulbs transform approximately 15 acres into a memorable, animated holiday display. New this year is a 50-ft. animated rose tree, the centerpiece of a musical animated display, complete with Santa, reindeer, elves, and additional Christmas trees surrounding it. Complimentary hot chocolate. Golf cart tours $10 per person. Special rates for group of 20 or more must be reserved two weeks in advance. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas days. Purchase tickets online at garvangardens.org. Admission is $10 adults; $5 children 6-12; age 5 and under free. For more information visit www.garvangardens.org.
2012 Saline County Celebration of Lights
Saline County Courthouse, 200 N. Main St., Benton
Nov. 19-Jan. 1
Christmas parade on December 4 at 6 p.m. to officially light the courthouse; free pictures with Santa six nights during December plus cookies, cocoa and holiday entertainment including Christmas karaoke! Admission is free. For more information contact Holly Beaver at 501-303-5640 or visit salinecounty.org.
Sherwood’s Enchanted Forest Trail of Holiday Lights
Sherwood Forest, 1111 W. Maryland, Sherwood
Nov. 26-Dec. 30
Sherwood’s Enchanted Forest Trail of Holiday Lights offers over 92 lighted displays. This drive-thru trail of lights is over a mile long. Admission is free. Donations are welcome. Everyone receives a candy cane. For more information contact Amy Jackson at 501-833-3790.
Home Town Holiday Lights in Burns Park
Inside Burns Park, Lights start at Softball Fields, North Little Rock
Nov. 26-Dec. 30
One-mile of Holiday Lights; classic lighting displays of the past along with new state-of-the-art LED Lights. Admission: $5 per Car, $10 per Van, $15 per Bus. For more information contact Travis Young at 501-753-7307 or visit www.nlrpr.org.
Historic District Christmas Lights
629 Central Ave., Hot Springs
Dec. 1-Dec. 31
Historic Bathhouse Row and Downtown Hot Springs celebrate the holiday season with lights and decorations. Admission is free. For more information contact Jimmy Sample at 800-543-4320 or visit www.hotsprings.org.
The Big Jingle Jubilee Parade and 74th Annual State Capitol Lighting Ceremony
Robinson Center Music Hall, 426 West Markham, Little Rock
The Big Jingle Jubilee and Capitol Lighting are an Arkansas Tradition.
The parade features floats, marching bands, animals, and two very special grand marshals — Mr. and Mrs. Claus. The parade comes west on Capitol Avenue, ending at the front of the State Capitol where Secretary of State Mark Martin will throw the switch to light up the building at sundown. Visit with Santa in the Rotunda and hear Arkansas performers singing Christmas songs. ARVEST Ice Skating Rink is open Nov. 17-Jan. 6 in the River Market District. For more information contact Angela Rogers, 501-835-3399 or visit holidaysinlittlerock.com.
The Promenade at Chenal Celebration Lights
The Promenade at Chenal, 17711 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock
Join The Promenade at Chenal Saturday, December 1; noon-6p.m. to kick-off the 5th Annual Celebration of Lights. This year features a 26-foot animated tree synced with music from the Trans Siberian Orchestra, Santa and Mrs. Claus, giveaways and more. The tree is lighted every night at 6 p.m. Admission is free. For more information contact Bethany Siems at 501-821-5552 or visit www.chenalshopping.com.