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Christkindlmarket Des Moines Returns to Principal Park

2021 Christkindlmarket Des Moines

Christkindlmarket Des Moines (CDM) will add an extra day to festivities and return to its annual location, Principal Park, this year after an in-person hiatus in 2020, where a virtual marketplace and curbside pickup took the place of the traditional market. The four-day event will connect visitors to the German-style Christmas market where vendors offer authentic European foods and gifts from wooden huts made by local high school students.

About Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2021

CDM attendees will find all sorts of European gifts at the downtown Des Moines (DSM) event, including the following:

  • Steins
  • Nutcrackers
  • Handmade Ornaments
  • Holiday Foods + Candies (Gingerbread, Strudel, etc.)

In addition to shopping, several cultural events and activities will take place over the course of the market. These include live musical acts, Weihnachtswald (Christmas Forest with silent auction benefiting local nonprofits), a children’s lantern procession announcing the arrival of St. Nikolaus and the Christkindl (Christmas angel), Krampuslauf (a parade featuring the Krampus creature), access to a variety of beers and Glühwein and more!

Market Hours

In 2021, CDM will be open at the following times and dates:

  • 5 – 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2
  • 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 3-4
  • 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5

The event is free to attend. Parking is also free at Principal Park parking lots between SW 2nd and SW 3rd Streets.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, CDM welcomed 50,000 visitors, 30 vendors and 100 entertainers. You can view a video of highlights below:


Christkindlmarket Des Moines is eager to welcome back visitors to Iowa’s premier German-inspired Christmas market in Downtown DSM.

Find more information at christkindlmarketdsm.com.

Downtown Des Moines (DSM) is a growing, vibrant community that offers the energy, sophistication, housing and attractions of a burgeoning city with a brilliant future. It’s also easy to visit with plentiful and affordable street and ramp parking options.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership calendar of events is a one-stop resource for activities taking place throughout the region. Find networking information for Greater Des Moines (DSM) businesses or events specific to Downtown DSM.

Iowa European Cultural Connection

Suzanne Hull HeadshotMike King Headshot Suzanne Hull and Mike King work alongside a team of volunteers to produce Christkindlmarket Des Moines, an outdoor, German-inspired Christmas market celebrating its sixth year in 2021. Produced by Iowa European Cultural Connection, a 501c3 tax exempt nonprofit, the festival is a family tradition for many in Greater Des Moines (DSM).