Holiday Shows in Des Moines

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Holiday Shows in Des Moines 2022

The holiday season is truly a special time of year to catch a holiday musical or show in Des Moines, Iowa. You can make it a date night or you can include the entire family. Go to dinner at your favorite downtown Des Moines restaurant, catch your favorite holiday show filled with Christmas music, then a drive to see the Jolly Holiday Lights. You can definitely create a great holiday tradition! Whether it is listening to Christmas carols live or taking in the talented performing arts, there is a show for all ages. Take a look at this year’s list below and create a new Christmas tradition this season.

Des Moines, Iowa, shows, concerts, The Nutcracker, holiday music

Baby Shark Live!: The Christmas Show

Stephen’s Auditorium in Ames

November 12 at 2 p.m.

Splash along with Baby Shark and Pinkfong as they journey into the sea for the Holidays to sing and dance through some of your favorite songs in Baby Shark Live!: The Christmas Show! Purchase tickets here.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Stephen’s Auditorium in Ames

November 29 at 6:30 p.m.

A Charlie Brown Christmas Live On Stage encompasses each of your favorite scenes from the original animated television show, with more fun, more music, and more finding the true Christmas spirit. After the final bow, the show crescendos into a celebration of holiday music as the Peanuts gang sings traditional Christmas songs and carols. Purchase tickets here.

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Des Moines Playhouse

December 2 – 18. Various times. Purchase tickets here.

Cinderella dreams of a better life, away from her horrible stepmother and stepsisters. With the help of her Fairy Godmother, she attends the ball at the Royal Palace and meets the Prince. Updated for contemporary audiences, this Cinderella not only falls in love but also inspires the Prince to care for every corner of the kingdom. Cinderella is a hilarious take on the classic romantic fairy tale with Rodgers + Hammerstein’s favorites including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible,” and “Ten Minutes Ago.” You’ll have a ball!

Irish Christmas in America

Des Moines Civic Center

December 5 at 7:30 p.m.

This family-friendly performance features lively instrumental tunes on fiddle, flute, uilleann pipes, harp, and bouzouki, along with thrilling Irish dancing. In addition, evocative photographic images provide a backdrop to some of the rich historical traditions of Ireland. Take a memorable glimpse into the enchanting spirit of Christmas, as the finest traditional artists from Ireland, bring you a fun-filled start to the holiday season of 2022. Purchase tickets here.

Pentatonix: A Christmas Spectacular

Wells Fargo Arena

December 8 at 6 p.m.

Pentatonix is coming to Wells Fargo Arena on December 8, 2022. Pentatonix has a brand new holiday album “Holidays Around the World” available Friday, October 28. Purchase tickets here.

Ballet Des Moines Presents The Nutcracker

Hoyt Sherman Place

December 8 – 11

Multiple showings. Check out dates, and times and purchase tickets

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.

Iowa Dance Theatre: A Christmas Carol

Des Moines Civic Center

December 9-18

2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. showings

A Christmas Carol has been a holiday tradition for Iowa Stage, and to celebrate our move to the Stoner we are creating a new version, with all new sets, to delight holiday audiences with the timeless tale of Scrooge’s ghostly visitations and Yuletide change of heart. Purchase tickets here.

Christmas with the Choral Society

St. Ambrose Cathedral 

December 10 at 7:30 p.m. 

Another grand tradition in Des Moines. Do not miss The Choral Society this Christmas season. The one you come back for, year after year. Attend an inspiring program of great works and seasonal favorites, all in celebration of the Christmas spirit. Together with a chamber orchestra, piano, and soloists, the Des Moines Choral Society will fill the cathedral with the joy of the season! Purchase tickets here.

The Nutcracker Ballet

Stephens Auditorium 

December 10 & 11

1 pm & 7:30 pm; 1 p.m. 

This classic holiday fairy tale has come alive on stage at Stephens Auditorium each December since 1981.

This annual Iowa State Center production features choreography by Robert Thomas and Miyoko Kato Thomas of the Robert Thomas Dancenter (in Ames). More than 200 local dancers from surrounding central Iowa communities participate with guest principal dancers performing the roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier.

The Nutcracker Ballet tells the story of a young girl, a heroic prince, and the fantastic dream they share. From the opening party scene to the last tinkling notes of Tchaikovsky’s famous score, a festive holiday spirit permeates the entire performance. Purchase tickets here.

Runaway Christmas

Franklin Junior High

Various dates and times. View here.

An amazing story ballet performance by the students of Grace Ballet & Acrobatics to uplift and inspire you about the love of our Heavenly Father.

‘Tis the Season with The Beach Boys

Des Moines Civic Center

December 15 at 7:30 p.m.

The 2022 holiday tour will feature a mix of holiday classics from The Beach Boys’ 1964 Christmas album as well as songs from The Beach Boys co-founder and lead singer Mike Love’s holiday album, Reason for the Season.  Featuring an array of new holiday songs and Christmas classics ranging from bright guitar and horn-filled pop and rock and tracks to softer traditional carols and ballads, Reason for the Season was produced by Sam Hollander (One Direction, Panic! at the Disco, Train) and Steve Greenberg (Hanson, AJR) and features artists including Hanson as well as Love’s children Ambha, Brian, Christian, and Hayleigh Love. Purchase tickets here.

Shaun Johnson & the Big Band Experience

Hoyt Sherman Place

December 16 at 7:30 p.m.

A swingin’ holiday show fronted by Shaun Johnson – a Top 5 Billboard vocalist and lead singer of Tonic Sol-fa! Purchase tickets here.

Tonic Sol-fa Holiday Show

Hoyt Sherman Place 

December 17 at 7:30 p.m. 

The Emmy-award-winning Acappella quartet brings a brand-new holiday show to life. Enjoy the humor and soulful vocals that make this performance a Christmas tradition! Purchase tickets here.

Michael W. Smith Christmas

Hoyt Sherman Place

December 22 at 7 p.m.

Balsam Hill presents A VERY SPECIAL CHRISTMAS with Multi-Platinum, Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Michael W. Smith. Smith is excited to be back on tour this Christmas season where he and his very special guest and friend, Michael Tait, will bring you a night of his biggest Christmas hits and traditional favorites. We hope you’ll join us for a Christmas celebration that you will never forget. Purchase tickets here.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical

Des Moines Civic Center

December 22 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The beloved TV classic RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER 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 in RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: THE MUSICAL. It’s an adventure that teaches us that what makes you different can be what makes you special. Don’t miss this wonderful holiday tradition that speaks to the misfit in all of us. Purchase tickets here.

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas

Des Moines Civic Center

December 23 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER CHRISTMAS by Chip Davis has been America’s favorite holiday tradition for over 35 years! 

Grammy Award winner Chip Davis has created a show that features Mannheim Steamroller Christmas classics in the distinctive Mannheim sound. The program celebrates the group’s recent anniversary of 35 years since the first Christmas album and includes dazzling multimedia effects performed in an intimate setting. Experience the magic as the spirit of the season comes alive with the signature sound of Mannheim Steamroller at the Des Moines Civic Center. Purchase tickets here.


Erin Huiatt

Erin is a reliable resource and stepping stone for women and families to find support and make connections within our community. She wants families to feel confident to reach out and ask for help and advice to get pointed in the right direction. She enjoys traveling and exploring with her two children in tow!

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