I first started getting excited about Christmas this year, when I visited ‘Reflections in the Park’, it was like Christmas being thrown up on me and I thought it was AWESOME. ‘Reflections in the Park’ is a drive thru Christmas Light display held in Louis Murphy Park in Dubuque, Iowa to raise money for Hillcrest Family Services.
The driveway to the park is COVERED with Christmas lights. You stop at a little entrance booth to pay the $10 fee per vehicle ($8 if booked in advance). The volunteers hand you a ‘program’ booklet, candy canes for each passenger and tell you to turn your radio station onto a certain channel that plays Christmas music and then turn your headlights off while you drive through the park. An all round sensory experience!
There are over 80 light shapes on display which are donated by various local companies. For example there are lawn mowing Santas, concrete mixer trucks, chevy pick ups and the Dubuque Town Clock, along with all the usual festive shapes! My favourite was a 200ft drive thru tunnel of lights, it was hypnotising!
I visited on a drizzly November week day evening and we had the park to ourselves. I made my other half drive, while I sat in the back seat of my car, with both windows down, so I could ping pong between each window to take photos and videos! Having it to ourselves meant we were free to go along at our own speed. We could stop as often as we liked…and I even made him reverse at one point because I wanted to go back to one of the displays for a photo! It took us around 15 minutes to drive round the park, this included my photo stops. Without these, we would have been done a lot faster. If the money wasn’t going to charity, it would be expensive for how quick the experience is. My other half said it’s even better if you visit during the snow as the lights reflect on the white ground, so there may be a return visit on the cards!
Location: Louis Murphy Park, Dubuque – Iowa
Cost: $10 ($8 in advance)
Open: November 24th 2016 – January 1st 2017
Times: 5pm – 10pm
I remember when I was a kid my parents would drive us around town to go and look at Christmas lights on houses. ‘Reflections in the Park’ is definitely something we would have gone to if there was something similar in my hometown in the UK! If I loved it as an adult, I think children would find this magical!