Trail of Holiday Lights

Northwest Itinerary C

A Victorian Light Show

The Victorian architecture of Eureka Springs in Carroll County makes one feel like he or she is in a scene from “A Christmas Carol.” Alongside architecture that’s distinctly Victorian, Christmas lights have a charming old-world feel in this Ozark mountain town. Plus, there is a citywide light display contest for both commercial and residential properties. There’s no doubt this is an enchanting place to spend some time in the holiday season. Walking down Main Street and the surrounding neighborhood is guaranteed to evoke some holiday cheer–one can spend hours admiring house after house decked out in festive décor.

The December 3 weekend is a particularly festive time to be there, but you’ll find special events to be a part of throughout the entire season. There’s plenty of lodging to choose from – historic hotels, bed and breakfast inns, motels, cabins, safari tent camps and treehouses, just to name a few.

Day 1
  1. Head downtown for some fabulous shopping. Lunch options are in walking distance, sprinkled amid the storefronts full of art, jewelry, clothing, leather, kites, magic tricks, and more.
  2. Looking for some fun and free entertainment? The Christmas parade rolls through these downtown streets from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, December 2.
  3. Enjoy dinner and drinks in the historic downtown before heading off to bed.
Day 2
  1. Visit Thorncrown Chapel, designed by renowned architect E. Fay Jones. This architectural marvel in the woods is a great location to start your day.
  2. Take the 32nd annual Tour of Homes from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, December 2.
  3. Next, visit The Great Passion Play to see their lights display from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. You can see the Christ of the Ozarks statue illuminated for the holidays from November 24 through December 31.
Day 3
  1. After breakfast, take time to drive through this lovely mountain town and stop at additional shops and antique stores all over town.
  2. Before heading out of town, make sure to see the big cats at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. It takes in abandoned, abused, and neglected big cats, including tigers, lions, leopards and cougars. Bam Bam the bear makes his home there too.

For more information on Eureka events, contact Mike Maloney at 479-253-7333 or visit For the Passion Play, call 800-882-7529 or visit

Day 1: Eureka Springs Christmas Parade
Day 2: Thorncrown Chapel
Day 2: Great Passion Play
Day 1: Eureka Springs Christmas Parade
Day 3: Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge