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Holiday Light Displays: Waverly & Beyond

Dancing Lights. Quirky & Cute Characters. Glowing Snowmen, Angels, and Gingerbread Men.  Santa (and the Grinch!) of course… it all adds up to Holiday Cheer.

Christmas Light displays bring the wonder and awe of Christmas a little closer – no matter your age.  While you #sleepwiththecows during the Holiday season take an evening to enjoy the sparkling lights near the GuestBarn.

** Photos & Experiences are from 2020 visits but will be updated when possible & necessary.**

Holiday Light Display

Northeast Iowa Area Light Displays


Only 20 minutes from the GuestBarn, Waverly, home of Wartburg College, has 3 impressive private displays + a neighborhood community who does it right!  Check them all out & then grab dinner in Waverly!

I have them listed in the order I would suggest doing them when starting at the GuestBarn!

Santa's Workshop Lights Display

Krumwiede Light Display

  • Location: Located on the west side of Waverly, first you’ll pass the airport and then at the natural curve in the road take a right (you’ll see the HUGE light trees).
  • The Lights: I’m not sure how they get the lights on their huge trees, it’s impressive.  Most of the display is incredible wooden characters that have lights shining on them.
  • The Highlight: You’re sure to find you favorite character because there is over 100 options!  We spotted a “life-sized” Clifford, Lighting McQueen, the Grinch, the Sesame Street gang, and more!
  • The Drive: Two-way traffic on a gravel road with a small turn-around after the lights. The display is on both sides of the road.
  • The Extras: Can you think of a character you didn’t see?  Make a suggestion and drop it off in the box in the turnaround area.  You can also drop a donation to different area non-profits here.
  • Bonus: Don’t miss the hay bale characters as you leave!
  • The Let-Down: There were quite a lot of people when we went so we felt we had to keep moving and didn’t get to take in every character. You may want to plan for multiple drive-bys if you want to catch them all!!
  • Pro Tip: Roll down you windows to hear the music playing!
  • Know Before You Go: Check Facebook for the latest updates!

Neighborhood Street lined with white lights

Hickory Hills Neighborhood

  • Location: From Krumwiede’s Display head east on 5th Ave and stay on it when the main road wants to curve to drive by Bartel’s Nursing Home.  Take a left on 12th St and then after you’ve gone up the hill you’ll take a left on Park Ave.
  • The Lights: The community effort here is amazing!  The street is lined with lights for as far as you can see!
  • The Highlight: I loved the classy look of the white lights all around the neighborhood – one beautiful street had lots of small lit Christmas trees.
  • The Drive: You’re in a neighborhood so watch accordingly for parked cars along the road…. there’s only 2 entrances in/out onto 12th St so meander about without fear of getting lost.
  • The Let-Down: There’s always a few folks who don’t participate in something like this.  But most of the neighborhood has some lights… I mean you don’t want to be “that guy”.
  • Pro Tip: Go on a Thursday night from 5-7pm and tune into local radio station, KWAY, at 99.3 for Christmas music!

House with lots of Christmas lights

Waverly Lights

  • Location: Head to 103 Eliasen Ave, Waverly, IA, which is located by the soccer fields in Waverly. It’s on a corner and you won’t miss it!
  • The Lights: A SUPER impressive 20 minute light show not to be missed!
  • The Highlight: The music that was chosen is perfect… enjoy!
  • The Drive: This is in the middle of a neighborhood so expect congestion. Find a spot but expect that as cars come & go you may want to move around to get better angles.
  • The Extras: Feel free to get out and walk under the light tunnels – the music is playing outside too so you won’t miss a thing!
  • The Let-Down: It’s too bad there’s not more room for more people to view this amazing light show but they have done a great job with the space they have!
  • Pro Tip: Be courteous to others by turning off your headlights when parked and thoughtful of the neighbors by not blocking their driveways.
  • Know Before You Go: Check Facebook for the latest updates!

House decorated with Christmas Lights & Displays

Voves: North of Waverly

  • Location: Head north out of Waverly on 1st St past Nestle, over the bridge, and past St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Take the first right on 200th St (the Bremer County Engineer sheds are here).  Find this place about a mile down on the left. Come to the electric transformer? Too far!
  • The Lights: This display isn’t on the “map”… yet. But it’s worth a quick drive-by!
  • The Highlight: Santa & his reindeer up on the rooftop!
  • The Drive: It’s located on a gravel road.  Since it’s not known about there’s not much traffic so you can feel like you can take your time!
  • The Let-Down: No information & details online. I hope they keep creating & start a Facebook page because I think they have the start of something great!
  • Pro Tip: After driving by use the Transformer station drive to turnaround and head back!

Surrounding Communities

Want more?  Make an entire evening out of light hopping and head out to these great small Iowa towns!  Unlike those in Waverly, these are all created by the entire town.

Holiday Lights Display


  • Location: Located at the City Park look for the lighted display sign on 1st St (93) that runs through Sumner.  Then follow the pointing snowman!
  • The Lights: This display is nestled into the park “just right” – not too spread out and not too crowded as you drive around.
  • The Highlight: The musical lights display seemed encompassed at least half the park with dancing and singing snowmen & trees… one of the best!
  • The Drive: Entirely one-way traffic, with a small parking lot for smores and pull-offs to enjoy the light shows!
  • The Extras: We enjoyed hot cocoa & smores and got to chat with Santa as we were leaving and he was heading to his “workshop”.
  • Bonus: There’s even and extra radio station & 12 Days of Christmas pull-off!  Plus candy canes & a scraper from a local business when we arrived.
  • The Let-Down: We missed where to go our our first go-around as the display sign didn’t have an arrow.
  • Restrooms: Near the s’more & hot cocoa shelter.
  • Pro Tip: If you head north on Pleasant Ave or V62 you’ll find another drive-thru display by the Pool!
  • Know Before You Go: Check Facebook for the latest updates!

Holiday Lights Display Sign

West Union:

  • Location: Located at the West Union Recreation Center.
  • The Lights: The Rec Center is on a hill making these lights seem impressive from a distance!
  • The Highlight: The ball diamond fences make great light canvases for Santa’s workshop, a church, and more!
  • The Drive: The first part is two way traffic with a pull-off for the walking path but the back opens up into parking lots with plenty of space.
  • The Extras: Although we drove through on a Friday night there wasn’t any volunteers around to answer questions or provide any other extras.
  • Bonus: A beautifully lite walking path only accessible by walking… we had fun getting “up close” to the lights!
  • The Let-Down: Although the radio station is playing festive Christmas Music, not lights are dancing.
  • Restrooms: A Porta-Potty has been placed near the walking path parking area.
  • Pro Tip: Looking for a great place to get engaged?  The lighted path (and a gazebo!) are beautiful… but a sign about where to send your engagement photo might give your secret plan away!
  • Know Before You Go: Check Facebook for the latest updates!

Holiday Display Entrance Sign

New Hampton:

  • Location: Located at Mikkelson Park at the east end of New Hampton.
  • The Lights: Largely a collection of individual displays from community businesses, organizations, and clubs with more general lights tying it all together in a larger park.
  • The Highlight: A musical dancing light show can be seen if stopping at the first parking lot.
  • The Drive: It is all one way traffic although the middle winds around the outside edge of the parking lot, which makes the light display feel spread out.
  • The Extras: We spotted the Grinch himself at one display stealing all of Santa’s packages!!!
  • Bonus: I loved the agriculture groups, businesses, and individuals who had displays here… we saw lots of farm animals, corn, and even a combine!
  • The Let-Down: Because there were Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides we attended lots of people parked toward the entrance of the park and blocking some of those displays.  And you had to make sure you were extra aware of pedestrians!
  • Restrooms: We saw restrooms near the parking lots in the middle of the loop.
  • Pro Tip: You’ll be asked to turn off your lights… just remember to turn them back on!
  • Know Before You Go: Check Facebook for the latest updates!

On your way or during your stay we hope you’ll enjoy these Holiday Light Displays!  Don’t miss your chance to spend Christmas with the Cows… check our availability here!

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