The Holidays in Des Moines

Embracing Holiday Magic: Thanksgiving and Christmas in Des Moines

The holidays in Des Moines consisting of Thanksgiving marks a time of heartfelt gratitude in Des Moines. Families and friends gather around tables adorned with the bounties of the season, savoring the traditional flavors that define this holiday. From turkeys to pies, local eateries in the city prepare a feast that embodies the essence of Thanksgiving, inviting everyone to indulge in the warmth and richness of this cherished celebration.

Moreover, Thanksgiving in Des Moines extends beyond personal gatherings. It’s a time when the community gets together to ensure that the spirit of gratitude touches every heart. Charitable organizations host drives and events, ensuring that everyone in the city can partake in the joy of a fulfilling meal, fostering a sense of togetherness and kindness that epitomizes the season.

Drake University becomes one of these charitable drives as the members of SAAC reach out to their friends and family of the Bulldog community to donate cans and non-perishable items for those who are in need.

As December arrives, Des Moines transforms into a sparkling winter wonderland, ushering in the spirit of Christmas. The city streets come alive with a symphony of lights, casting a magical glow on storefronts and homes. The historic East Village becomes a beacon of festive cheer as it is adorned with vibrant decorations, creating an enchanting atmosphere that captivates residents and visitors alike.

Families eagerly embrace beloved traditions during Christmas in Des Moines. Visiting Santa at Jordan Creek Town Center, marveling at the whimsical displays at the “Festival of Trees and Lights,” or enjoying the captivating holiday performances at the Des Moines Performing Arts Center are just a few of the magical experiences that create lasting memories for all ages.

In the true spirit of the holidays, Des Moines emphasizes the act of giving back. The city becomes a hub of charitable initiatives food drives, toy collections, and various events aimed at supporting the less fortunate. Residents actively participate, spreading kindness and ensuring that the joy of the season reaches every corner of the community.

The winter holidays in Des Moines are not merely marked by festivities but by the embodying the essence of gratitude, togetherness, and goodwill. The city invites everyone to embrace these sentiments, whether it’s savoring the delicious Thanksgiving meals or immersing oneself in the enchanting lights and traditions of Christmas. Des Moines radiates warmth and joy, creating an inviting and inclusive atmosphere that celebrates the true spirit of the holidays.

Home for the Holidays in Des Moines

Des Moines, Iowa, offers a variety of holiday activities that cater to diverse interests and age groups. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, the city has something special to offer during the festive season.

One of the most iconic holiday events in Des Moines is the “Jolly Holiday Lights” display at Water Works Park. This drive-through light show has been a beloved tradition for years, enchanting visitors with millions of twinkling lights, animated displays, and festive music. Families can pack into their cars and meander through the dazzling spectacle, creating lasting memories and getting into the holiday spirit.

For those who prefer a more traditional holiday experience, the Historic East Village is a must-visit destination. The area transforms into a winter wonderland with charming, independently-owned shops and boutiques adorned with holiday decorations. Stroll through the cobbled streets, enjoy the festive window displays, and find unique gifts for your loved ones.

Downtown Des Moines hosts the “Festival of Trees and Lights” at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center. This event features elaborately decorated trees, wreaths, and holiday displays, each sponsored by local businesses and organizations. The festival is not only a visual treat but also a charitable endeavor, as the proceeds support Blank Children’s Hospital.

To immerse yourself in the cultural side of the season, check out the holiday performances by the Des Moines Symphony and other local theater groups. The Civic Center of Greater Des Moines often hosts special holiday-themed shows, ranging from classic plays like “A Christmas Carol” to festive concerts featuring seasonal music.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Des Moines offers several opportunities to embrace the winter weather. Brenton Skating Plaza, located along the Des Moines River, provides a picturesque setting for ice skating. The plaza is typically decorated with festive lights, and skaters can enjoy hot cocoa and other seasonal treats.

Another outdoor attraction is the Jingle in the Junction event in Historic Valley Junction. This festive celebration includes a tree lighting ceremony, horse-drawn carriage rides, carolers, and visits from Santa Claus. It’s a perfect way to experience the warmth of a close-knit community coming together to celebrate the holidays.

Des Moines also boasts a vibrant food scene, and during the holidays, many restaurants offer special menus and themed events. From cozy cafes serving warm drinks to fine dining establishments with festive culinary creations, there’s something for every palate.

In conclusion, Des Moines, Iowa, has a plethora of holiday activities that cater to a wide range of interests. Whether you’re in the mood for dazzling light displays, cultural performances, outdoor adventures, or culinary delights, the city has you covered. These holiday activities not only bring joy to residents but also make Des Moines an inviting destination for visitors seeking a festive and memorable experience.

Where is Des Moines?

Des Moines is located in Central Iowa. It is also the most populated city in Iowa, with a population of 214,133.

Des Moines’s location is 41.35’27” N latitude and 93.37’15” W longitude. Des Moines’ neighboring cities include Johnston, Altoona, Clive, and Ankeny.

Des Moines is a must-visit destination for those visiting Iowa. The area’s major attractions include the Des Moines Art Center, Iowa State Capitol, Jordan House, and the Wells Fargo Arena.

What Attractions are in Des Moines?

Des Moines Art Center

The Des Moines Art Center is free to the public and is full of modern and contemporary art. Within the museum there is also a restaurant, gift shop, and art studio for education. Established in 1948, there is an extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, modern art, and mixed media.

Iowa State Capitol

Tours of the Iowa State Capitol building are offered Monday through Saturday. The building houses the Iowa Senate, Iowa House of Representatives, and the Offices for the Governor, Attorney General, Auditor, Treasurer, and Secretary of State. During tours, you will get to see the Legislative Committee Rooms.

Iowa State Capitol building with a blue sky with clouds in the background.

Jordan House

The Jordan House is a historic Des Moines home and was an underground railroad station during the antebellum period. You can now take guided public tours through the house on Fridays and Sundays, where you will learn about the Underground Railroad in Iowa and early life in Central Iowa.

Wells Fargo Arena

Wells Fargo Arena is a multipurpose arena that hosts many events weekly. You can find something to attend at Wells Fargo any time of year. Hosting sporting events, conferences, concerts, etc. Wells Fargo is something someone visiting Iowa should definitely look into.

Des Moines Information and History

Des Moines is the county seat of Polk County, and a small portion of the city extends into Warren County. It is located on and named after the Des Moines River, and in 1851 the town was named Fort Des Moines, which was later shortened to Des Moines.

Des Moines lies in the heart of the Corn Belt and, from 1910-1920, expanded rapidly as local coal deposits were developed. The city is also a significant center for the United State Insurance Industry. Also it is well-established in the retail and manufacturing sectors as well. Des Moines also host the Iowa Caucuses and is a great place to learn and experience a political environment.

The city is also home to Drake University, Des Moines Community College, Des Moines University, Grand View University, Mercy College of Health Science, and Vatterott College.

Des Moines is a very family-friendly area and a great place to visit.