Welcome to our Christmas City!
It's in our nature to....Celebrate!
Wild Lights - Lights at the Lake - Lafayette Lights - Santas Around The World
We have done Christmas right for over twenty years. The Trail of Lights began as a small local attraction in our Zoo, and has now expanded throughout the community as a national attraction. Great Bend’s light displays are a one-of-a-kind Folk Art, built by the hardworking hands of city workers and area artists.
Families from all over come to enjoy what the city has to offer, everyone, from toddlers to seniors, will have a fascinating time. The children will be delighted ice skating and visiting Santa. Find the most unique Christmas gifts to take back home when you shop at the Christmas craft mall and local retail stores.
The Santa Fe Trail isn't the only famous trail running through this charming central Kansas town. During the holiday season, the Trail of Lights makes Great Bend glows. Make the Trail of Lights a holiday tradition.
Start your Trail of Lights adventure at the Twelve Days of Christmas display, a lighted love letter brought to life in Veteran's Park. The park also features Santa and his elves, and lots of landscape lighting magically reflected in the lake. Free, drive-through display. Then make your way to the astounding Wild Lights where you can see dinosaurs roaming and elephants splashing in the water at the Brit Spaugh Park. Be sure to head to the Courthouse Square downtown to the Lafayette Lights display, where you can visit shops, local restaurants, and Christmas attractions like an "iceless" skating rink, Santa World and the Christmas Craft Mall.
Don't miss the lighted Nativity and take a drive through Great Bend's residential area - the private displays will amaze you. For a real treat, drive south on Main Street and look to your right as you cross the Arkansas River Bridge. You'll see a little old-fashioned village lighted for Christmas - the Barton County Historical Village (private group tours are available.)
Santas Around the World
Do you Believe in Santa Claus? You will after your visit to Santa World. Twenty-two life-sized Santas handcrafted by a local artisit are a real treat.. Wonder through the Santas and learn their fascinating stories. Each Santa has his (or her) own unique story and elaborate costume. Specially-decorated trees, flowers,and accessories compliment each Santa. Here is just a sample of the Santa representation.
France's Pere Noel left gifts in wooden shoes for good children. Pere Fouchette, left switches used for whipping the bad children.
Brazil's Vovo Indo (Grandpapa Indian) comes from the rain forest and is the traditional bearer of gifts.
China's Christmas Old Man , Dun Che Loa Ren, comes during the Holy Birth Festival (Shen Dan Jeh). He fills stockings with gifts from his wicker basket.
Note: Visitors are also offered iPods for an around the world tour of Santa World. Admission is charged.
Calendar of Events
Visitors will find lots to celebrate during the holiday season in Great Bend; concerts, open houses, art gallery and museum reception. A variety of hotels, restaurants, and shops make Great Bend the perfect holiday destination. Click Here to be directed to the Calendar of Events.
Trail of Lights Sample Itinerary
Welcome to Great Bend! Your first stop will be at your hotel .Check into your comfortable hotel, stretch your legs and get ready for a splendid day full of holiday spirit. (scroll down for holiday lodging specials)
Lunch: Forget fast food, try one of our outstanding and spectacular examples of local cuisine. Dining list available by calling the CVB office or by viewing the dining page under the Stay tab on this website.
Shafer Gallery and Morrison Chapel
245 NE 30th Rd
Trees and Art. Enjoy a tour through the beautifully decorated trees and displays at the Shafer Gallery on the Barton College campus. This beautiful gallery absolutely glows during the holidays. View outstanding art by area artists a midst whimsically decorated trees and special displays.
Downtown and Shopping!
Christmas Craft Mall: 1709 Main Street
Spend some time at the Christmas Craft Mall and stroll through downtown Great Bend where you will enjoy shopping for everything from candles to ornaments, clothing to hand made Santas, Kansas products to jewelry, and much more. (Insider's Tip: If shopping isn't your thing, there are two amazing coffee shops downtown where you can sip something delicious and check your e-mail).
Courthouse Square/Downtown Attractions
See the Kansas Quilt Walk, over-sized decorated birdhouses, and go ice skating on the synthetic skating rink in the Courthouse Square. There is a lot of fun waiting to unfold in our Courthouse Square and downtown Great Bend.
Santas Around the World:
1221 Main Street
A visit to Santa World is a must as part of your Trail of Lights experience. These life sized Santa from around the world are locally crafted and breathtakingly beautiful.
Eat and be Merry!
A variety of dining options are available to you on our Dining page including those small locally owned favorites.
Hit the Trail!
Spend the evening on touring the Trail of Lights. There is a map available to help make your tour easy and FUN!
Head for your hotel with visions of Christmas lights dancing in your head.
To make your experience as easy as possible, we have provided a map of the trail with the major attractions located. Now don't be fooled, you will see beautiful lights and displays along the entire drive, not just in the appointed areas on the map. To download this map click on the link. Trail Map .
Holiday Lodging Specials
America’s Best Value Inn - $55 Single or Double
3500 10th Street
Best Western Angus Inn - $60 Exterior, $65 Interior
2920 10th Street
Days Inn - $55 Single or Double
4701 10th Street
Highland Hotel - $60 Single or Double
3017 10th Street
Travelers Budget Inn - $40 Double
4200 10th Street
Travelodge - $50 Single
3200 10th Street
Download the Holiday Group Tour Planner
3007 10th Street Great Bend, KS 67530 | (620) 792-2750 or (877) 427-9299 | firstname.lastname@example.org