Events taking place in Iowa during November and December, 2011.
Check back for updates!
Information subject to change.
Confirm all information with event organizers before planning your holiday.
Visit www.traveliowa.com for more on the following activities and events,
as well as hotel, tours, parks, and other helpful travel information.
Boone Hospital Festival of Trees and Holiday Open House — Nov 05 to Nov 06, 2011 (Boone) 1015 Union Street. 515.433.8139. www.boonehospital.com
Holiday Open House— Nov 06, 2011 (Burlington) Holiday kickoff in downtown Burlington. For more information, contact the Greater Burlington Convention & Visitors Bureau at 319-752-6365. Burlington Web site E-mail: info [at] growburlington [dot] com
Holiday Open House— Nov 10 to Nov 12, 2011 (Harlan) Holiday shopping preview, recipe walk. Phone: 712.755.2114. www.exploreshelbycounty.com
Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts — Nov 12 to Nov 13, 2011 (Waterloo) Juried fine arts and crafts sale featuring works from more than 60 Midwestern artists. Holiday entertainment, demonstrations, live music, and delicious food. Waterloo Center for the Arts. 225 Commercial Street. 319.291.4490. www.waterloocenterforthearts.org.
Chocolate Walk and Parade of Lights— Nov 17, 2011 (Estherville) For more information, contact the Estherville Area Chamber of Commerce at 712-362-3541. Chocolate treats and holiday open houses at participating retailers. Holiday parade of lights. Downtown Estherville. Phone: 712.362.3541. echamber [at] ncn [dot] net. www.estherville.org
Home for the Holidays — Nov 17, 2011 (Mason City) Festive downtown activities. Visit Santa and Mrs. Claus, enjoy a sleigh ride, decorate holiday cookies. For more information, contact Visit Mason City at 641-422-1663 or 800-423-5724. Mason City Web site E-mail:cvb [at] visitmasoncityiowa [dot] com
Grand Lighting of the Town Square — Nov 17, 2011 (Atlantic) Festivals and events abound in Atlantic, the Coca-Cola Capital of Iowa. Whether it’s a summer concert in the City Park or a top-notch car show, Atlantic has events to appeal to all tastes. The restored Rock Island Depot anchors the historic downtown area and houses the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce. For more information, contact the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce at 712-243-3017, 877-283-2124 orchamber [at] atlanticiowa [dot] com. Atlantic Web site
Holiday Stroll— Nov 19, 2011 (Marshalltown) Lighted holiday parade, lighting display, free entertainment in retail storefronts, buggy rides, Santa Claus. Main Street. Phone: 641.844.2001 www.marshalltownmainstreet.com
Live Greeting Card Windows— Nov 21, 2011 (Algona) Store windows come alive with holiday scenes. Strolling entertainment, horse-drawn wagon rides. Phone: 515.295.7201. vmallory [at] algona [dot] org. www.algona.org
Holiday Hoopla — Nov 25, 2011 (Cedar Falls) The merchants in downtown Cedar Falls kick off the holiday season. Santa will arrive at his workshop. Live music, tree lighting, seasonal characters, fun and food. 206 Main St., Phone: 319.277.0213. www.communitymainstreet.org
Holiday Open House and Lighted Parade — Nov. 25 (Chariton) Retail receptions, live window displays, children’s scavenger hunt, lighted float parade. Chariton Square. Phone: 641-774.4059. charitonchamber [at] iowatelecom [dot] net.
Lighted Christmas Parade — Nov. 25 (Clarinda) More than 75 lighted floats decorate the downtown square. Phone: 712.542.2166. chamber [at] clarinda [dot] org. www.clarinda.org
Holiday Open House and Lighting of the Grotto — Nov. 25 to Nov. 26 (West Bend) Merchant specials, prizes, Christmas lighting at the Grotto of the Redemption. Phone: 515.887.2181. www.westbendiowa.com.
Lighted Holiday Parade — Nov 26 (Burlington) A holiday tradition in downtown Burlington. For more information, contact the Greater Burlington Convention & Visitors Bureau at 319-752-6365. www.growburlington.com. E-mail: info [at] growburlington [dot] com
Celebrate with Sinterklaas — Nov 26 (Pella) The Dutch Santa arrives in Pella for a Volks Parade, breakfast and party. Historical Village. Phone: 641.628.2409
Quad City Arts Festival of Trees — Nov. 18 to Nov. 27 (Davenport) Giant helium balloon parade on Nov. 19, holiday pops concert, lighting displays, decorated trees at the RiverCenter. www.quadcityarts.com/FOT/festoftrees.asp
Holiday Celebration — Nov 25 to Nov 27 (Red Oak) Holiday events for all ages. Phone: 712.623.4821. 712.623.4822. chamspec [at] redoakiowa [dot] com. www.redoakiowa.com
Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra featuring Rockapella — Nov 27 (Iowa City) Start your holiday season with Keith Lockhart, the Boston Pops, and vocal powerhouse Rockapella, plus a special visit from Jolly Ol’ St. Nick and an audience sing-along. A Hancher event at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. 1 Elliott Drive. Phone: 800.426.2437. 319.335.1160. hancher-box-office [at] uiowa [dot] edu. www.hancher.uiowa.edu/events/boston.html.
Christmas Open House — Nov 27 (Guttenberg) Christmas festival, retail specials, refreshments, caroling. Phone: 563.252.2323 guttenberg [at] alpinecom [dot] net. www.guttenbergiowa.net
A Don´t Hug Me Christmas Carol — Nov 17 to Nov 30 (Amana) Folk singing fun in this holiday show at the Old Creamery Theatre. November 17-20, 25-27, 30. 39 38th Ave. Phone: 800.352.6262. boxoffice [at] oldcreamery [dot] com. www.oldcreamery.com.
Wonderful World of Christmas Parade — Dec 01. (Cherokee) Santa Claus leads a parade of lighted floats down Main Street. Main Street. Phone: 712.225.6414. info [at] cherokeeiowachamber [dot] com. www.cherokeeiowachamber.com
Living Windows — Dec 01 (Burlington) More than 60 downtown windows feature carolers, choirs, a live Nativity, storytellers. See Santa and Mrs. Claus, enjoy free horse-drawn trolley rides and lots of complimentary food and hot beverages. Phone: 319.752.6365. www.growburlington.com
Jingle and Mingle on Main — Dec 01 (Cedar Falls) Join the merchants in downtown Cedar Falls for this holiday kickoff. Horse-drawn trolley rides, retail sales, samples and more. 206 Main Street. Phone: 319.277.0213. www.communitymainstreet.org
Jingle Bell Holiday — Dec 01 (Grinnell) Santa Claus, festival of trees, caroling, lighting of the city’s holiday tree. Phone: 641.236.6555. exec [at] grinnellchamber [dot] org. www.grinnellchamber.org
Main Street Lighted Christmas Parade — Dec 01 to Dec 02 (Oskaloosa) More than 70 lighted floats, concert, Festival of Christmas Delights, decorated window contest and more. Phone: 641.672.2591. www.oskaloosachamber.org
1st Fridays Art Walk – Holiday Extravaganza — Dec 02 (Fairfield) Enjoy art exhibits, food and music around the square. The best display of gingerbread houses in Iowa, horse-drawn carrage rides, gallery tours, animated windows, strolling singers, shops full of holiday fun and a vendor mall. Phone: 641.233.8883. fairfieldartwalk [at] gmail [dot] com. www.fairfieldartwalk.org
Holiday Lighted Parade — Dec 02 (Charles City) Lighted floats and Santa Claus on parade. Main Street. Phone: 641.228.2335. info [at] charlescitychamber [dot] com. www.charlescitychamber.com.
Glimpse of Christmas Past — Dec 02 to Dec 03 (Amana) The Amana Heritage Museum gives a glimpse into communal Christmas celebrations from over a century ago through song, poetry and storytelling. 705 44th Ave. Phone: 319.622.3567. www.amanaheritage.org
Taste of Christmas — Dec 02 to Dec 03 (Bloomfield) Sample goodies, collect recipes and shop for the holidays. Phone: 641.664.2309. blmfdmainstreet [at] netins [dot] net. www.bloomfieldmainstreet.com
Christmas in Atlantic — Dec 03 (Atlantic) Lighted parade, fireworks, Santa in his log cabin, horse-drawn carriage rides. Seven blocks of white Christmas lights. Phone: 712.243.3017. chamber [at] atlanticiowa [dot] com
Christmas Dinner at Phelps House — Dec 03 (Burlington) The Des Moines County Historical Society presents an elegant dinner in a beautiful Victorian home at the top of Snake Alley. Phone: 319.753.5880
Afton Community Club Extravaganza — Dec 03 (Afton) Holiday shopping and crafts. Phone: 641.347.5224. www.aftoniowa.com
Dysart Christmas on Main — Dec 03 (Dysart) Pancake breakfast, tree lighting and festival of trees, Santa, children’s events, hayrides. Phone: 319.476.4949. www.dysartiowa.com
Holiday Open House — Dec 03 (Elkader) Browse the shops for holiday ideas, enjoy a play at the 1903 Opera House. Phone: 563.245.2857. elkader [at] alpinecom [dot] net. www.elkader-iowa.com
Hometown Christmas — Dec 03 (Fredericksburg) Retail special events, food. Main Street. Phone: 563.237.5725
Exira Festival of Lights — Dec 03, 2011 (Exira) See the lighting of one of the largest Christmas trees in southwest Iowa. Soup supper, cookie walk, and a visit from Santa. Phone: 712.268.2187
Holiday Open House at Effigy Mounds National Monument — Dec 03 (Harpers Ferry) Effigy Mounds National Monument. Phone: 563.873.3149
Nature’s Noel — Dec 03 (Honey Creek) Learn how to make a twig wreath decorated with natural materials. Instruction, materials, and refreshments supplied. Pre-registration required. Hitchcock Nature Center. 27792 Ski Hill Loop. Phone: 712.545.3283. 712.328.5638. www.pottcoconservation.com
Lighted Christmas Parade and Soup Supper — Dec 03 (Ogden) Phone: 515.275.2821. 515.275.4466
A Berry Merry Christmas — Dec 03 (Strawberry Point) Games and activities for children, businesses open for holiday shopping, carriage rides, lighting of the tree in Inger Park. Phone: 563.933.4417
The Forgotten Carols — Nov 25 to Dec 04 (Elkader) Christmas in story and song. 207 North Main. Phone: 563.873.2378. tickets [at] icsbbs [dot] com. www.operahouseplayers.com
No Place Like Creston for the Holidays — Dec 01 to Dec 04 (Creston) Lighted parade Thursday, quilt show Thursday-Saturday, festival of trees Thursday through Sunday. Tour of homes Sunday. Phone: 641.782.7021. chamber [at] crestoniowachamber [dot] com. www.crestoniowachamber.com
Traer Holiday Happenings — Dec 02 to Dec 04 (Traer) Lions Club Soup Day, craft show, holiday activities. Phone: 319.478.2298. www.traer.com
Olde Tyme Christmas — Dec 02 to Dec 04 (Oelwein) Visit with Santa and hear stories and read by Mrs. Claus. Enjoy craft show, chili cookoff, lighted parade, carolers, dancers, festival of trees, chocolate walk. 25 W. Charles. Phone: 319.283.1105. 319.350.9526. ocad [at] oelwein [dot] com. www.oelwein.com
Christmas by the Lake — Dec 02 to Dec 04 (Clear Lake) Horse-drawn carriage and vintage trolley rides, strolling Dickens’ characters, craft show, festival of trees, lighted parade, fireworks over the frozen lake. Phone: 641.357.2159. www.clearlakeiowa.com
Prelude to Christmas — Dec 02 to Dec 04 (Amana) Enjoy extended shopping hours on candlelit streets in the village of Amana. Follow the Gingerbread trail. Visit the Craft Bazaar and Cookie Walk. Enjoy live music, refreshments and demonstrations. Phone: 800.579.2294. www.festivalsinamana.com
Amana Colonies Christmas Haus Tour — Dec 03 to Dec 04 (Amana) Visit with homeowners as you tour Amana Colonies homes – both century-old and contemporary – decorated for the holidays. Shop the Art Guild’s Kolonie Kristmasmarkt. Phone: 319.622.3678. www.amanaartsguild.com
TnT Holiday Explosion — Dec 03 to Dec 04 (Toledo) Pancake breakfast, Santa, children’s activities, lighted parade, chili supper. Phone: 641.484.6661. tama [dot] toledochamber [at] yahoo [dot] com. www.tamatoledo.com
Old-Fashioned Country Christmas — Dec 04 (Missouri Valley) Visit with Santa and his elves, take a hayrack ride, decorate homemade cookies, do crafts and play games. At Wisecup Farm Museum. 1200 Canal Street. Phone: 402.689.5481. 712.642.4516. wisecupfarmmuseum [at] hotmail [dot] com. www.wisecupfarmmuseum.com
It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas Tour — Dec 04 (Charles City) Visit decorated homes and Festival of Trees. Phone: 641.228.2335. info [at] charlescitychamber [dot] com. www.charlescitychamber.com
Cedar Falls Historical Society Christmas Walk — Dec 04 (Cedar Falls) Museums sparkle and shine with holiday decorations and the music of the season. The Victorian Home and Carriage House Museum, the George Wyth House, along with the historic Cedar Falls Woman’s Club will offer refreshments, entertainment, and horse-drawn trolley rides. 303 Clay Street. Phone: 319.266.5149. www.cfhistory.org
It’s a Wonderful Life in Whittemore – A Walk Along Broad Street — Dec 04 (Whittemore) Christmas treats, door prizes, Santa, seasonal music. Phone: 515.884.2265. whitcity [at] ncn [dot] net. www.whittemoreiowa.com
Madrid Christmas Extravaganza and Holiday Lighted Parade — Dec 05 (Madrid) 304 S. Water Street. Phone: 515.795.3930. cityofmadrid [at] iowatelecom [dot] net. www.madridiowa.com
After Hours Holiday Reception — Dec 08 (Leighton) Complimentary wine tasting paired with festive holiday nibbles. Tassel Ridge Winery staff will share wine and food pairing recommendations for your holiday events. Browse gift shop or create a custom gift basket. Reservations required. 1681 220th. Phone: 641.672.9463. www.tasselridge.com
Sac City´s Lighted Christmas Parade — Dec 08 (Sac City) Phone: 712.662.7316. www.saccity.org
Christmas Greetings on Main — Dec 08 (Waverly) Live Christmas windows, Santa, ice sculptures, horse-drawn trolley, free hot cocoa. Downtown Waverly. Phone: 319.352.4526
Taste of Clarinda — Dec 08 (Clarinda) Sample favorite holiday recipes and collect recipe cards for your home collection as you stroll and shop the Clarinda businesses. Phone: 712.542.2166. chamber [at] clarinda [dot] org. www.clarinda.org
Hometown Christmas — Dec 09 (Marcus) Holiday kickoff with festival of trees, lighting contest, merchants’ mall, chili feed and bake sale. Phone: 712.376.2680. www.marcusiowa.com
Tuba Christmas — Dec 10 (Mason City) More than 100 tuba, baritone, and euphonium musicians from across the state perform Christmas carols. Southbridge Mall. Phone: 641.423.6688
Prairie Christmas at Living History Farms — Dec 10 (Urbandale) Holiday open house with a prairie feel. Historic homes decorated for the season and bustling with party preparations and music. Horse-drawn wagon rides to the General Store and the church for an old fashioned holiday social with music, games, tree trimming and Santa Claus. Children’s crafts, holiday shopping. 11121 Hickman Rd. Phone: 515.278.5286. www.livinghistoryfarms.org
Bloomfield Holiday Celebration — Dec 10 (Bloomfield) Meet Santa, stroll the historic downtown square and tour the community’s beautiful home holiday light displays. Phone: 641.664.2309. www.bloomfieldmainstreet.com
Lynne Rothrock’s Christmas Cabaret — Dec 09 to Dec 11 (Amana) An eastern Iowa holiday tradition. Join Lynne and special guests Ron DeWitte, Cory Johnson and Meg Merckens in for music and comedy. 4709 220th Trail. Phone: 319.622.3222. 319.622.3225. www.iowatheatreartists.org
Holiday Open House Weekend in McGregor/Marquette — Dec 10 to Dec 11 (McGregor) Extravagant light displays, horse-drawn carriage rides, retail open houses. Phone: 800.896.0910
Wartburg Community Symphony Orchestra Concert — Dec 11 (Waverly) Festive celebration of an American Christmas with carols, sing-alongs, popular tunes and special surprises for the whole family. Neumann Auditorium. Phone: 800.772.2085. www.wartburg.edu/symphony/
Snackin’ with the Clauses — Dec 11 (Des Moines) Spend the afternoon with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Des Moines Botanical Center. Photos, crafts, snacks and a scavenger hunt. 909 Robert D. Ray Drive. Phone: 515.323.6290. www.botanicalcenter.com
Holiday Open House in Historic Valley Junction — Dec 01 to Dec 15 (West Des Moines) Streets are lined with thousands of lights. Auction of decorated wreaths, free horse-drawn carriage rides, merchant events and specials, caroling, holiday food vendors and photos with Rudolph. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be listening to wishes at the West Des Moines Community Center. December 1, 8, 15. Phone: 515.222.3642. www.valleyjunction.com
Tannenbaum Forest — Nov 25 to Dec 18 (Amana) A forest of decorated, live Christmas trees inspires holiday wishes while you visit with Santa and his reindeer. See the 16-foot handcrafted Weihnacht’s pyramid and the handcarved Nativity. 220th Trail. Phone: 800.579.2294. www.festivalsinamana.com
A Don’t Hug Me Christmas Carol — Dec 01 to Dec 18 (Amana) Folk singing fun in this holiday show at the Old Creamery Theatre. December 1-4, 7-11, 14-18. 39 38th Ave. Phone: 800.352.6262. www.oldcreamery.com
Pella Historical Village Christmas Walk — Nov 12 to Dec 31 (Pella) Celebrating our 31st year of Christmas in the Village. Tour the 20 buildings “dressed up” for the holidays. Complimentary coffee time in the Dutch Bakery. Closed Sundays and Thanksgiving Day. 507 Franklin Street. Phone: 641.628.2409
Pella Christmas in the Country — Nov 24 to Dec 31 (Pella) Country light display with 55,000 lights. Daily viewing. 210th Avenue. Phone: 641.628.2626
Christmas in the Villages — Dec 01 to Dec 31 (Keosauqua) A variety of holiday activities throughout the county, including a festival of trees, Christmas High Tea, food, bake sales, crafts, Santa visits. Phone: 800.868.7822. www.villagesofvanburen.com
POW Nativity Scene — Dec 04 to Dec 31 (Algona) Large Nativity scene built by German prisoners of war. www.algona.org
Photographs courtesy of www.traveliowa.com