Festival of Trees and Lights : A Holiday Tradition


I remember when I was little going and checking out all the cool trees at the Festival of Trees and Lights each year.  And now I can share that same Holiday tradition with my kiddos.

About the Festival of Trees and Lights:

In 1984 the Festival of Trees & Lights made its debut in Des Moines, and since that time families and friends of all ages have eagerly awaited this fun-filled event to kick-off the holiday season. With beautifully decorated trees, a fun-filled children’s area, food, entertainment and special events, “Festival” has become a central Iowa tradition.

Purpose of Festival

  • To develop support and community appreciation of Blank Children’s Hospital through a community – wide holiday event.
  • To promote community volunteerism in support of Blank Children’s Hospital.
  • To provide revenue to support the Child Life and Advocacy & Outreach programs at Blank Children’s Hospital.

What’s at the Festival?

  • Beautifully decorated trees.
  • Neighborhood Forest with custom decorated trees available for purchase through a silent auction.
  • Special performances from children’s choirs, local music groups and dance teams.
  • Scavenger hunt among the trees for kids.
  • Children’s area with crafts and activities!
  • People’s Choice Award – vote for your favorite decorated tree at Festival!
  • Photos with Santa, children’s train, shopping and much more!
  • Each child who brings a new or slightly used book for the Book Forest receives a free ticket for a children’s activity.
  • Food & Bakery items – enjoy Jaarsma pastries, fresh baked cookies, hot chocolate, special Festival blend coffee, sandwiches, hot dogs, popcorn and much more!
  • Festival Family Flick – Fri., Nov. 28 – 6 to 8 p.m.
    This new family event will show the holiday movie “Elf” on the big screen! Attendees will receive free popcorn during the movie. No pre-registration required. No additional cost – just regular admission to Festival is required. Come ready to laugh and celebrate the holiday season!


Wed., Nov. 26 – 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Thurs., Nov. 27 – 1 to 7 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 28 – 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 29 – 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 30 – 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Veteran’s Memorial Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center
833 5th Street, Des Moines


$5 at event
Children 2 & Younger: Free

Discounted pre-sale tickets are available for $3 from Nov.1-25. Click here to purchase tickets now.


  1. Kate

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