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Event Info

Make Holiday Lights at the Lake your favorite holiday tradition as you drive or walk through West Overlook Campground. This third annual community event boasts just over one mile of large and animated lighting installations including a dazzling animated tunnel and many glittering arches and holiday characters.  Curated by our committee with the help of professional lighting company, Winterland Inc., the picturesque setting of West Overlook Campground is transformed into a winter playland. Watch as polar bears dance through Santa's ranch. Delight at our giant poinsettia pot and forest, cheer on your favorite winter sports, and watch the campground characters sled, chase eachother and play. Enchanting "Memory Lane", boasts a colorful array of uplit trees and serves as a memorial for loved ones lost. Returning for a third year are crowd favorites, "Nighthawks", "Giant Waving Santa", The Tunnel of Lights and many, many more!

Operating Hours
(open nightly)

Sun, Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs

5:30pm-8:30pm

Friday and Saturday

5:00pm-9:00pm

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The Event Route

Location

West Overlook Campground

West Overlook Rd. NE

Iowa City, Iowa

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Parking/Waiting

Helpful Suggestions

We are humbled by all the support from our local and surrounding communities.

We have a few helpful hits and suggestions to consider before heading out to the event:

  • We accept cash only at the door. If you prefer to pay with a credit card please visit our ticketing site.

  • Wait times on Friday and Saturday evenings, and the week before Christmas, may be a bit longer than weekday nights. On some of our busy evenings a line may form in the West Overlook Day use parking lot. Portable restrooms will be available in the upper and lower parking lots if the need arises. We appreciate your understanding and patience with our volunteers! In 2022 we were able to keep wait times below 20 minutes! 

  • We anticipate it will take you about 15 minutes to drive through the route. Walking nights (every Wednesday between Thanksgiving and New Years Eve) it takes an average of 45-60 minutes to walk the entire route, however, we encourage our walking guests to spend as much time as they wish in the campgrouond during operating hours!

  • The lights are not set to a specific radio or music station. We suggest making a playlist of your favorite holiday music, or tune into one of the local stations that plays holiday music around the clock.

  • Upon arriving at the ticket house, we suggest putting your vehicle headlights in the low beam or parking settings. Unfortunately, you can not turn your headlights off completely.

  • On walk-through Wednesdays holiday music plays throughout the campground. We welcome you to bring your favorite warm beverage to sip on as you stroll.  You're welcome to stay as long as you would like during operating hours. We have complimentary parking in the West Overlook Day Use parking lot. Pedal Power is also available to give complimentary rides to guests who would like to enjoy the open air atmosphere of the walk-through event without walking.  Gate closes at 8:30. In efforts to enhance safety and convenience, ticketing and entrance for Walking Wednesday will now take place in the West Overlook Day Use area. Our helpful elves will be on site to direct traffic!

  • Santa Claus is a close personal friend of the Holiday Lights at the Lake Committee and stops by our event every Wednesday and Sunday until Christmas. If you catch him on a Wednesday night, he's usually available for photo opportunities and may even have Mrs. Claus with him!

  • Bring your letters to Santa and drop them in the mailbox at the ticket house at the start of the event route. We will make sure he gets them in time for Christmas!

  • All proceeds benefit The Bird House, Hospice Home of Johnson County.

  • This event is run 100% by community volunteers! We thank you for your patience and always appreciate your feedback. Please send any comments to holidaylightsatthelake@gmail.com

GIANT WAVING SANTA THANKS!

We are so thankful for The Army Corps of Engineers and all their help! We couldn't do this without you!

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