You are currently viewing Time to get out and take in some activities this holiday season.

Time to get out and take in some activities this holiday season.

Tis the Season to get out and enjoy the sights and sounds of Des Moines. Whether you are enjoying some shopping, viewing the holiday lights, or getting some outdoor exercise, here are a few of our favorite holiday activities.

Gingerbread Lane

In Ankeny, Iowa, drive through Gingerbread Lane, a long tradition of seeing the lights, reading the story of the Gingerbread Man, and donating canned goods for the Food Bank of Iowa. MORE INFORMATION>


Ballet Des Moines will perform two weekends in DSM this year. On Dec. 10-12, catch the shows at Hoyt Sherman Place in Downtown DSM. See the show at the Staplin Center in West Des Moines on Dec. 17-18. MORE INFORMATION>

Santa Express

Bring the family, and enjoy a ride from the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad’s depot to the North Pole (and return). En route, you will hear the story of Santa’s Scenic Valley Ride, and take part in other fun, family activities. Experience what has become a tradition for families from across Iowa, and beyond.  MORE INFORMATION>

Jingle in the Junction

On Thursdays, Nov. 18, Dec. 2, Dec. 9, and Dec. 16, head to Historic Valley Junction for Jingle in the Junction from 5 until 9 p.m. The first night will kick off with a Santa-led parade and all events will include Santa and Mrs. Claus appearances, ice carvings, carolers, horse-drawn carriage rides, and more. MORE INFORMATION>

Brenton Skating Plaza

At Brenton Skating Plaza, you can take in the downtown views, get some aerobic exercise and fit in some fun on the ice with friends and family. It’s the perfect way to spend a few hours in Downtown DSM during the winter season. MORE INFORMATION>

Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden 

Always a balmy atmosphere, even on a cold winter day, it can feel like summer. During the holidays is Dome After Dark or enjoys Sundays during the winter, where there is blues music being played. Dancing, drinks, food, and flowers in perfect temperatures at the botanical gardens. MORE INFORMATION>