With Thanksgiving just behind us, Johnson County is already spreading seasonal cheer with extravagant Christmas decorations and holiday light shows.
So load up your loved ones in the car and check out these six places to see the Christmas spirit on full display.
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Holiday Lights at the Lake
The Bird House Hospice Home for Johnson County holds its first Holiday Lights at the Lake.
Coralville Lake West Overlook Campground will be decorated in holiday-themed lighting for the community to drive or walk through. There will be more than 30 large and animated lighting installations to see, including large archways made of strings of lights.
The light show is a fundraiser for the nonprofit Bird House.
Holiday Lights at the Lake is Monday through Thursday from 5:30-8:30 p.m., and Friday through Sunday 5-9 p.m. Wednesday evenings are walk-through only. The light display will be available through New Year’s Eve.
$10 per car
$20 per large van or limo
$30 per minibus
$50 per charter/party bus.
$5 per person on Walk-through Wednesdays
Only cash is accepted at the gate. You can pay online by visiting the Bird House’s website.
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Radcliffe Drive Christmas Lights
Radcliffe Drive Christmas Lights returns to North Liberty with its musical lights display.
Located at 355 Radcliffe Drive, people can visit the lights and enjoy the holiday tunes paired with the display by tuning in to 97.1 FM. Each night, about 20 songs will play, and people can vote on which Christmas classics they want to hear through a link on Radcliffe Drive’s Facebook page.
In previous years, Radcliffe Drive Christmas Lights held fundraisers, including last year’s North Liberty Community Pantry fundraiser. To stay up to date on this holiday light show’s plans or to check out its playlist, visit the Facebook page.
The show will go through Dec. 26, and it is open from 5-9 p.m.
Coralville Aisle of Lights
While Aisle of Lights isn’t a holiday-themed light show, it is a display worth checking out in December.
Bonus: It’s one you can actively participate in.
The Aisle of Lights will be held on Dec. 12 from 5-9 p.m. and can be attended by car or foot. That evening, sidewalks will be lined with white paper bags lit by a candle inside.
While residents and businesses are encouraged to light their own, lights will be on display at:
Fifth Street (First Avenue to S.T. Morrison Park)
Twelfth Avenue (Highway 6 to Oakdale Boulevard)
Holiday Road (First Avenue to 12th Avenue)
This annual tradition began 41 years ago, according to Coralville’s website. To create your own light, the city will be providing bags and sand — to steady the candles and bag — starting Dec. 6. Bags will be available at the Coralville Recreation Center and City Hall, and sand will be available at the Aquatic Center’s parking lot.
And starting in December, visit Coralville’s website to see its Holiday Lights Map, which will list addresses in the city with holiday displays to check out.
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The Santa House began in Coralville, but was adopted by residents in North Liberty to continue its tradition of brightly lit Santa Clauses and holiday decorations on display.
The Santa House is located at 1655 Red Barn Drive. According to a post on its Facebook page Friday, the Santa House has not been completed yet but will be soon, so check back for updates.
The Tannenbaum Forest light display returns to Amana Colonies.
More than 40 Christmas Trees will be decorated in lights, all housed inside Festhalle Barn for people to visit. The barn will be decorated for the holidays, and will feature several areas to take pictures at.
Tannenbaum Forest is open Friday through Sunday through Dec. 19. It’s free to attend, but donations are encouraged, which will benefit the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.
Spruce Ridge Christmas Lights
This light display is also music-based, pairing holiday classics with a light show featuring more than 50,000 lights.
The light display is located at 4477 Napoleon St. in Iowa City.
Spruce Ridge Christmas Lights will run through Dec. 26 from 5-10 p.m. daily.
Paris Barraza covers entertainment, lifestyle and arts at the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Reach her at [email protected] or (319) 519-9731. Follow her on Twitter @ParisBarraza.
This article originally appeared on Iowa City Press-Citizen: Holiday, Christmas lights to see near me in Johnson County