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Fun Things To Do in Des Moines This Weekend

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Fun Things To Do in Des Moines This Weekend: December 9th – 11th

Every weekend there are amazing Things to do in Des Moines, Iowa! We have created a list of what we think are the most fun, most interesting family events in the Des Moines area this weekend – so you can have the best time together!

The page will be updated every week so be sure to come back and see what great kids’ events we have coming up for the weekend in Des Moines. Take a look at our full FREE, extensive event calendar to plan your weeks and days in Des Moines, Iowa.

Winter Wonderscape Light Show 

Thursday, December 8th – Saturday, December 10th

5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Reiman Gardens – Ames, IA 50011

Visit Reiman Gardens this holiday season and get glowing! Walk their grounds and discover tons of light displays that will leave you filled with awe and holiday cheer! The Winter Wonderscape Holiday Light Show is open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings in December. Visit their website to purchase your tickets!

The Nutcracker by Ballet Des Moines 

Thursday, December 8th – Sunday, December 11th

12/8 – 7:00 PM

12/9 – 7:00 PM

12/10 – 1:00 PM & 7:00 PM

12/11 – 1:00 PM & 5:00 PM

Hoyt Sherman Place – Des Moines, IA 50314

Join Ballet Des Moines as they introduce a new cast of characters into the annual holiday tradition of The Nutcracker.

The mission of Ballet Des Moines is to enrich lives through inspiring dance performances, inclusive education and outreach programs, and innovative community partnerships.

Friday Funday – Hansel & Gretel 

Friday, December 9th

10:00 AM – 10:45 AM 

1:00 PM – 1:45 PM

Des Moines Community Playhouse – Des Moines, IA 50312

Join the Des Moines Community Playhouse on Friday, Dec. 9, 2022, for Hansel and Gretel. In December’s featured story, Hansel and Gretel are lost in the woods, looking for holiday decorations for their tiny house, when they come upon a delicious confectionary candy cottage. They just want to taste a little bit and go home, but Ginger, the silly witch, has other ideas. Showtimes run approximately 45 minutes in length. Purchase your tickets HERE!

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Holiday Promenade 

Friday, December 9th

5:00 PM – 9:00 PM

East Village, Des Moines, IA

Historic East Village is full of holiday cheer during the Holiday Promenade

The Holiday Promenade is an exciting, free celebration full of holiday-themed activities, entertainment, shopping, and family-friendly fun. East Village retailers, restaurants, and attractions are encouraged to remain open until 9 p.m. and there are various activities happening each Friday during the ongoing Friday event!

Peppermint Trail | The Avenues & Roosevelt Cultural District 

Saturday, December 10th

6:00 AM – 10:45 PM

Ingersoll Avenue – Des Moines, IA

The Peppermint Trail is a new event happening this holiday season hosted by The Avenues of Ingersoll & Grand and Roosevelt Cultural District. Your favorite local shops, restaurants, and businesses will be featuring peppermint or holiday-themed specials and decor at each stop along the Peppermint Trail!

Winter Wonderland at Center Grove 

Saturday, December 10th – Sunday, December 11th

 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM 

Center Grove Orchard – Cambridge, IA 50046 

Winter Wonderland is back at Center Grove Orchard!  Stroll through the scenes of the season, grab a gourmet hot chocolate, visit Santa, and enjoy festive games! 

Sip & Shop with Santa 

Saturday, December 10th

2:00 PM – 5:00 PM 

Copy + Paste DSM -Des Moines, IA 50309

Not a fan of the mall? Shop local and visit Santa at Copy + Paste this Saturday, December 10th! There will be some snacks and beverages provided for shoppers! Check out their new book loft, and special deals, and hang with everyone’s favorite big guy in red!

Home for the Holidays Indianola 

Saturday, December 10th 

5:00 PM – 9:00 PM 

Downtown District – Indianola, IA 50125

Indianola Downtown warmly invites you Home for the Holidays! The square will be transformed with the dazzling lights, sights, sounds, and smells of the season. Take a horse-drawn wagon ride, hang out with Santa, join in on a carol or find a treat just like your grandma used to make. Bring your Christmas list and find the perfect gift at one of the many beautiful boutiques!

Synchronized Lights & Nativity Scene 

Saturday December 10th – Sunday, December 11th

5:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Fellowship Community Church – Norwalk, IA, 50211


The church property will be covered in 80,000+ LED lights synchronized to Christmas music. A live nativity with real animals will also be a part of the event. Take in the sights and sounds of this event from the comfort of your vehicle…free cookies & hot chocolate will be brought to you!

Cast members of the live nativity will be in the neighborhood to greet those heading toward the event and will be giving out free candy canes! This is a FREE event; however, donations are accepted and will be used to assist local families in need. For more information, and to view a drone preview video, visit Fellowship Community Church’s website.

Skate with Santa at RecPlex 

Sunday, December 11th

3:30 PM – 5:30 PM

MidAmerican Energy RecPlex – West Des Moines, IA 50266

Enjoy a special holiday opportunity to take to the ice at the RecPlex with Santa! Grab the kiddos and the camera so you can capture pictures and skate around with Santa.

$7 admission $4 skate rental


Des Moines, Iowa, Santa, Christmas, holidays, holiday season, events, Santa Clause
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Molly Johnson

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