Three Festive Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in Des Moines

The holiday season is upon us in Des Moines, and what better way to celebrate than blasting Mariah Carey and heading out to some festive events! We’ve compiled a list of our three favorite activities to do when the weather gets a little colder. From the coziest date night spot to window shopping with the girls, to finding a cheerful holiday-themed nightcap, you’ll be sure to find your new favorite holiday tradition in the metro!

Holiday Promenade in Historic East Village

Fridays in November and December feel a little bit more joyful in Historic East Village during Holiday Promenade. For five weeks, special events include visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus, hot chocolate bars, and deals at the local shops. Restaurants, retailers, and attractions are open late until 9pm to make the most of the festivities. Holiday lights up and down Grand + Locust streets join the gleaming Capitol dome for the most picturesque winter scene. 

Dome After Dark at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

Escape the cold at Dome After Dark; a weekly winter event that brings colorful lighting to the tropical conservatory at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. Open later than usual from 6-10pm, you can stay as long as you’d like to wander through the warm wonderland. Drinks + small bites are available for purchase as you walk through the greenery. This event is a great girl’s night out or romantic date night spot.  “I get to spend every day here, but it’s nice to just take in the garden from a different light”, said Director of Horticulture, Aaron Harpold. Admission is $12 for adults, and free for members! The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden is located at 990 Robert D. Ray Drive.

Holiday Pop-Up Bars

As the nights get longer, the bars get brighter in Des Moines. Listed below are three of our favorite holiday-themed pop-up bars we hope you’ll try.

Exile Brewing Company transforms their taproom into SnowGlobe Christmas Themed Bar + Brunch spot. You’ll feel nostalgic as your eyes wander throughout the abundant décor throughout the bar area. New this year: holiday portrait sessions on November 14th and 21st to get your perfect holiday card shot. Reservations for the photo shoot, as well as regular dining + drinking are required, and they fill up fast on weekends! Exile Brewing Company is located at 1514 Walnut Street.

The Nice List is actually Secret Admirer in disguise. Escape the hustle and bustle of downtown to this cozy little boiler house-turned-bar. Colorful string lights + tinsel cover the space, with holiday tunes to set the mood. The tasty drink menu includes specials named after hit holiday movies. Secret Admirer is located at 110 SW 5th Street.

Good News Darling, sister establishment to Secret Admirer, spices things up during the holidays by turning into The Naughty List. This edgy bar scene is made complete with warm drink specials, faux pine trees, and red mood lighting throughout. Good News Darling is a “speakeasy” style spot located at the back of Hello Marjorie, at 717 Locust Street.

Which activity was your favorite? Share this article with someone you want to attend these events with!