A- A+

Downtown DSM is Bursting with Holiday Cheer! 5 Can’t-Miss Things

Five Things to Do

December 15, 2023

Downtown Des Moines (DSM) is just bursting with holiday cheer this week, with tons of opportunities for family-friendly festive entertainment! And if you’re looking for something beyond holiday celebrations, you’ll also find live music, shopping, basketball action and more. Plus, take a peek at our list of five free events in December

Adé & the Soul Brothers

Friday, Dec. 15 | Pura Cocktail Bar & Lounge
Enjoy this musical treat of soul, funk, jazz, reggae and R&B. Make your dinner reservation to reserve your table in advance so you can enjoy the show while you eat, or stop in for drinks and skyline views throughout the evening! Music begins at 7 p.m.

Ade and the Soul Brothers

Downtown DSM Holiday Markets + Shopping

Holiday Promenade

Opportunities to See Jolly Old St. Nick

Although the University of Iowa’s Hy-Vee Hawkeye Showcase basketball doubleheader is sold out, you can still be part of the excitement! Snag a spot at one of these local sports bars to watch the big game on TV and enjoy the energy in Downtown DSM all night long.

Free Movie Night: Elf

Saturday, Dec. 16 | Science Center of Iowa
Capital City Pride invites you and your crew to enjoy this free, family-friendly event! The movie “Elf” will be showing on the big screen, with free snacks and drinks also provided. Additionally, explore the first-floor exhibits at SCI while you’re here!

Elf Movie Night

Hey there! We think you might also be interested in Hide & Seek Ornaments You Keep, continuing now through Sunday, Dec. 17. As you eat, drink and be merry around Downtown DSM, be sure to look for a hidden ornament created by several local artists — free to take home if you find one! (Please limit one ornament per family.)

Holiday Open House

Saturday, Dec. 16 | World Food Prize Hall of Laureates
You’re invited to a free holly jolly celebration at the World Food Prize — complete with caroling, hot cocoa and other holiday treats, and a visit with Jolly Old Saint Nick. Explore the art, architecture and exhibits on display showcasing Iowa’s contributions in food and agriculture around the world. Non-perishable food donations can be donated on-site as well, to benefit individuals who are food insecure around the community.

WFP Holiday

If you're attending any of these events ahead of the holidays, check out these holiday deals for foodies and a list of the best gifts from downtown businesses, too!

For these upcoming events and more, find tips on Downtown Des Moines (DSM) parking and navigation. For additional upcoming events, visit the Downtown DSM events calendar. Plus, follow @downtownDSMUSA on Instagram for more epic, things-you-just-can’t-miss happening around Downtown.

Greater Des Moines Partnership

DSM USA is the regional identifier for Greater Des Moines (DSM). DSM USA is a bold statement to the world: This is a welcoming, diverse and vibrant community with affordable and accessible amenities for residents and businesses. This regional identifier is the result of significant quantitative and qualitative research. The Partnership will champion the DSM USA message, and encourages its Investors, its more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and DSM USA Ambassadors to help share the region's story with One Voice.