Make a list, check it twice, and head out to see Santa. From the traditional mall Santa to festivals and events, if your family loves a trip to see Santa, this is your time.
Is this your child’s first trip to Santa, or has it been a tricky situation in the past? Check out our tips for a tear-free Santa visit.
We’re thrilled to share this guide of Where to See Santa in Des Moines with you!
Photos with Santa in Des Moines
When: November 4 – December 24, hours vary
Where: Santa’s Wonderland, 1000 Bass Pro Drive N.W., Altoona
Get a free photo with Santa and enjoy free kid’s crafts and activities. Advanced registration is required.
When: November 17 – December 24, hours vary
Where: Sephora Court, lower level, 101 Jordan Creek Parkway, West Des Moines
Take photos with Santa and create magical moments for you and your family. Reservations are encouraged.
When: November 24 – December 24, hours vary
Where: 1551 Valley West Drive, West Des Moines, Lower Level of Valley West Mall
Catch a ride on the kid-sized train before seeing Santa. Walk-ins welcome, but reservations encouraged.
Santa Sightings in Des Moines
November 11 & 12 | Meet Santa at Homemakers Furniture, 15500 Hickman Rd, Clive
11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Share your wish list and get a photo with Santa! Bring a camera or smartphone to take your photos at the Santa experience. One of Santa’s helpers will be there to assist you if needed.
November 17 | Brenton Skating Plaza Opening Night
5 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Get ready to kick off the winter season with a magical evening of ice skating, laughter, and holiday joy with special guest, Santa Claus. He’ll be making a jolly appearance to spread holiday cheer and take some early gift requests.
November 23 | A Night Under the Lights
4 p.m. Waukee Centennial Park
A festive parade followed by dinner, festive drinks, and hot chocolate. Don’t miss Santa at the shelter after the parade. Bring food items to donate.
Photos with Santa | Holiday Hullabaloo, 10320 Hickman Rd, Clive
Starting November 24.
Nov 25, Dec 2, 9, 16, 23 | Breakfast with Santa, Holiday Hullabaloo, 10320 Hickman Rd, Clive
Let kids tell Santa their Christmas wishes and capture the moment with a photo with Santa. Decorate a sugar cookie, listen to a holiday story, and enjoy a buffet breakfast. Reservations required.
Fridays – Sundays, November 25 – December 18 | Santa Express
Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad, 225 10th St., Boone, IA
Take the family on a ride to the North Pole. Enjoy drinks and a visit from Santa on the ride.
November 25 – December 23 | Brunch with Santa
Center Grove Orchard, 32835 610th Ave, Cambridge
Kids can share their wishlist with Santa on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Pre-purchased tickets are required and include brunch and a time slot to visit with Santa.
November 26 | Christmas in Olde Town, Altoona Area Historical Society, 104 2nd St. SE, Des Moines
2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Enjoy a hot chocolate bar, a smores station, a coloring contest, crafts, entertainment, and a visit from Santa!
December 2 | Waukee WinterFest, Waukee Triangle, Ashworth Dr & 6th St, Waukee
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Bring on the holiday cheer with your friends, family, and neighbors at Waukee’s free, annual WinterFest celebration. Free soup, cookies, and hot cocoa. Activities and of course, Santa!
December 2 | Breakfast with Santa, The Outlets of Des Moines
8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
This ticketed event is the perfect opportunity for children to share their wish lists with Santa and enjoy a delicious breakfast from Early Bird Brunch and mini cinnamon rolls from Cinnaholic. The event is in the food court at the Outlets of Des Moines.
December 2 | Skate with Santa, The RecPlex in West Des Moines
12:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Get on the ice at the RecPlex during public skate to skate with Santa. Registration required.
December 2 | Teddy Bear Tea, The Tea Room
9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Meet Santa in person and capture the moment with a keepsake photograph. Delight in holiday crafts, cookie decorating, hot chocolate bar for kids, and a hosted bar included for mom and dad.
December 2 | Jingle Bell Stroll
Gray’s Lake Park
2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Walk along a festive holiday-themed loop, enjoy games and craft stations, visit Santa Claus for a memorable photo, listen to festive holiday music, sip on delicious hot chocolate, and more.
December 4 | Grimes Holiday Celebration, South Sports Complex, 750 S James St., Grimes
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Santa and Mrs. Claus are coming to Grimes! Join them for this Drive-Thru event! Bring the kiddos to see Santa and enjoy activities including trivia, goodie bags, a tree voting contest, and holiday lights and music.
December 9 | Santa in the Garden, Ted Lare Design Build & Garden Center
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Santa is coming to town and he’s stopping by the Ted Lare greenhouse to spread holiday cheer. Plus the elves are putting together festive crafts and games for the kids to enjoy.
December 16 | Santa at Big Grove Brewery
12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Meet the big man himself and take pictures. Enjoy hot cocoa for the kids and a delicious craft beer brew for the adults! No tickets or reservations required.
Where’s your favorite place to see Santa in Des Moines?
We work hard to ensure the accuracy of this information. However, you should always call ahead to confirm dates, times, locations, and other information before heading to an event or activity.