Now that Thanksgiving is here, the holiday season has offically kicked off. The Des Moines Area is full of holiday events and fun for the whole family. Below are some dates and information for some of the area's best seasonal events.

  • What would the holiday season be without shopping? On November 27th, The annual Rockin' Shoppin' Eve at Jordan Creek Town Center means that stores will open at 12:01 a.m. for holiday shopping. Free coffee and live entertainment will keep you awake.
  • On December 3rd and 10th, Shops will stay open late during Valley Junction's Holiday Open House. The businesses in Historic Valley Junction and the streets will be lined with more than 150,000 twinkling lights.
  • If holiday crafts interest you then you will want to visit Adventureland from Nov. 27-29th they will host more than 100 craft vendors.
  • On Dec. 5th, West Glen Town Center hosts Sip and Shop, with a tree lighting on Nov. 21, carolers on Dec. 5 and visits from Santa and carriage rides both days.
  • It's the 18th and final year for Dutch Christmas in the Country, which features 55,000 lights and twelve structures that make up a Dutch Village. Starting Nov. 27 through Dec. 31 visit this amazing event which runs 5:15-10:30 p.m. Nov. 23-Dec. 31. To get there, take Highway 163 east to Pella, take exit 40 and follow the signs. Admission is free.
  • From Dec. 1-18 go back in time 150 years and visit Merry Christmas to All: A Thomas Nast Christmas in Ames. Celebrate the season and the timeless images of Thomas Nast, and experience an authentic founding farm Christmas. Visitors will see traditional holiday decor and hear Christmas songs from the 19th century while touring the 150 year old Farm House  Farm House Museum, Knapp-Wilson House, Iowa State University, 1810 Lincoln Way, 290 Scheman Building, Ames, IA 50011, (515) 294-3342
  • Don't forget that animals need help this season as well. The Animal Rescue League is hosting “Home for the Holidays” Open House and Frosty Paw Boutique. Visitors can explore the adoption area and meet adoptable pets ready for new homes, and shop the Frosty Paw Boutique, located in Mapes Auditorium. Everything from art work, pet supplies, makeup, jewelry and food items will be available for early holiday shopping. There will also be a raffle for a chance to win some fabulous prizes all while helping the animals at the ARL. Animal Rescue League, 5452 N.E. 22nd St., Des Moines, IA 50313
  • If theatre is your thing, mix together a batch of fruitcakes, dozens of Christmas trees, a chickenpox epidemic, two southern spinsters, an estranged old man, a runaway boy, and a Christmas hog, and youve got the recipe for a fun holiday show. This moving story of understanding and reconciliation provides a heaping helping of holiday warmth and Christmas cheer. Admission: $15  Ames Community Theaterof Recreation Service, 120 Abraham Drive, Ames, IA 50014