Where to find holiday lights in Anchorage

December in Anchorage shimmers with holiday lights. Find glittering downtown displays, sparkling special events, and oversized only-in-Anchorage exhibits. Whether you’re searching for a fun family excursion or an enchanting evening out, these Anchorage lights displays help make the holiday season merry and bright.

  1. Town Square Park: The holiday lights display in the heart of downtown Anchorage includes the massive decorated Christmas Tree in Town Square Park. It’s a colorful backdrop for an informal family portrait, and the perfect destination for an evening stroll around downtown. Park a few blocks away, pick up a cup of hot chocolate en route, and enjoy the lights on the walk to see the tree at Town Square Park. 

  1. Anchorage Museum: The lawn of the Anchorage Museum twinkles with lights during the winter holiday season. Admire the lights from the museum’s tree-lined walkways, or bring a to-go picnic from a local restaurant – benches along the way offer places to pause and enjoy the sights. 

  2. Downtown Anchorage (various locations): The Anchorage City of Lights project includes light displays at multiple businesses, parks, and other public places throughout downtown Anchorage. Plot a route around the neighborhood, see the show, then end the evening with a takeout dinner or hot drink. Click here to see an interactive map. 

  3. Zoo Lights: The iconic Zoo Lights event at the Alaska Zoo offers an outdoor holiday lights walking tour intertwined with the traditional zoo experience. Follow the illuminated trails around the zoo, enjoying festive displays perfect for the whole family. This event requires tickets in advance; click here for details.

  4. Alaska Botanical Garden Holiday Lights: The Alaska Botanical Garden’s Holiday Lights exhibit brings a different kind of color to garden beds covered in snow for the winter. Stroll garden paths sparkling with botanical-themed light displays, illuminated archways, and glowing greenhouses. This event requires tickets in advance; click here for details.

  5. Star on the Mountain: Sparkling over the Anchorage Bowl from a mountainside above Arctic Valley Road, the Star on the Mountain is a beloved Anchorage tradition that marks the unofficial start of the holiday season when it switches on in November. Read more. 

  1. Government Hill Christmas Tree: Towering over Government Hill, this massive holiday lights display is visible from downtown Anchorage and beyond. 

  2. Bright up the Night Holiday Lights Display: A short drive north of Anchorage, this dazzling drive-thru at the Alaska State Fairgrounds makes for a sparkling holiday road trip.  

  3. Bonus - Northern lights: These aren’t your traditional holiday lights, but the aurora can definitely brighten up the winter season. Check the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ aurora forecast for clues about the time and date of the next show.