Holiday Special Events Guide

SPECIAL HOLIDAY EVENTS DES MOINESThe holidays are right around the corner in Des Moines! Get in the holiday spirit with Des Moines Performing Arts and all the seasonal shows they have to offer including the wonderful, Cirque Dreams Holidaze, December 22 and 23!
Cirque Dreams Holidaze is the perfect show for you and your family to see. This annual tradition wraps a Broadway-style production around an infusion of contemporary circus arts. For 90 minutes, you can immerse yourself back into the dreams you had as a kid while your children enjoy the spectacular show before them!
Cirque HolidazeCirque Dreams Holidaze is at the Des Moines Civic Center on Friday, December 22 for a 7:30 p.m. show, and Saturday, December 23 for three show options at 11 a.m., 3 p.m., and 7 p.m.
The performance will be fun for all ages, from the aerial circus acts to the original music score with seasonal favorites, there is something everyone will love.
Enhance the holiday season for the whole family and purchase your tickets today at
To learn more about all of the offerings from Des Moines Performing Arts, connect online.

More Holiday Special Events in Des Moines

Make your holidays extra magical this year with special events all around the metro!

Nov 24 – Dec 24, Dec 26 – 31 | Holiday Hullabaloo

Where: 10320 Hickman Rd. Clive
What: Holiday Hullabaloo is an indoor, immersive, family-friendly holiday experience that will surprise and delight guests of all ages. Featuring a wide range of activities and entertainment, your entire family will be mesmerized.

Nov 24 – 26 | Festival of Trees & Lights

Where: Iowa Events Center
What: The 40th Annual Festival of Trees & Lights will feature beautifully decorated trees, special performances from local music and dance groups, visits with Santa, a scavenger hunt, fun crafts and activities, and the chance to be inspired by impactful stories of children cared for at Blank Children’s.

Nov 25 – Dec 18 | Santa Express

Where: Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad
What: Join in for what has become a tradition for families across the Midwest. Take a ride on the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad’s Santa Express, a journey that will take you from Boone to the North Pole, and return. Santa passes through the train, greeting children, and passing out a special gift.

Nov 30 – Dec 2 | Kerstmarkt: Pella’s Dutch Christmas Market

Where: Molengracht Plaza, Pella
 Experience a Dutch Christmas Market in Pella, Iowa! This festive event will be held in conjunction with Pella’s Christmas Tour of Homes. Inspired by outdoor markets in the Netherlands, this cozy market will fill you with holiday cheer.

Nov 30 – Dec 3 | Christkindlmarket Des Moines

Where: Principal Park
The goal of this German-inspired Christmas market is to educate and entertain the community by exposing them to European-style foods, products, and fun. Featuring regional vendors, European foods, and activities for kids and adults alike.

Dec 2 – Dec 17 | A Charlie Brown Christmas

Where: Des Moines Playhouse
The classic animated television special A Charlie Brown Christmas comes to life in this faithful stage adaptation in which Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the rest of the gang discover the true meaning of Christmas.

Dec 7 – 10 | The Nutcracker

Where: Hoyt Sherman Place
What: Join Ballet Des Moines for the quintessential holiday tradition, The Nutcracker. This glittering professional production follows the magical story of Clara, her Nutcracker, and their extraordinary journey.

Dec 9 | The Peppermint Trail

Where: The Avenues of Ingersoll & Grand and the Roosevelt Cultural District
What: Celebrate the season with shopping and dining specials at your favorite local businesses in The Avenues of Ingersoll and Grand and the Roosevelt Cultural District. Enjoy free holiday trolley rides, visits from Santa Claus, window displays, gingerbread contests, carolers, sweet treats, and more!

Dec 21 | Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical

Where: Des Moines Civic Center
What: The beloved TV classic soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. Come see all of your favorite characters from the special including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius, and, of course, Rudolph, as they come to life.

Looking for more festive fun in Des Moines? Check out these holiday guides.

Where to See Santa

Where to See Christmas Lights

Christmas Tree Farms

Shop Local Holiday Gift Ideas

Experience Gift Ideas

Holiday Treats 


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