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Queue the Festivities! 5 Can’t-Miss Events Coming Up This Week in Downtown DSM

Five Things to Do

Queue the festive ambiance! Downtown Des Moines (DSM) is looking its holiday best and ready to welcome you for another fun-filled week ahead. If you need a date-night idea, family activities, an outing for a group of friends or even a solo getaway for a few hours — take a peep at these five must-experience events happening this week only in Downtown DSM.

Dome for the Holidays

Now – Dec. 30 | Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
Step out of the chilly outdoors and into a warm, winter wonderland at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden where you’ll find festive lights and beautiful, plant-based holiday exhibits. Additionally, you can sign up for holiday-themed events and special activities — perfect for an outing with friends, date night or even fun for the whole crew! The next week's special events include Cocoa and Crafts, Winter Candle Making and Sip and Stroll, to name a few.

Dome for the Holidays

Ballet Des Moines’ The Nutcracker

Thursday, Dec. 7 – Sunday, Dec. 10 | Hoyt Sherman Place
This glitzy production featuring professional Ballet Des Moines dancers follows the traditional story of Clara as she meets the Nutcracker. Looking to add to your experience this year? Explore the Nutcracker Nights package, in partnership with the Surety Hotel, including an appetizer and drinks at Mulberry Street Tavern, one ticket to the ballet, a free drink at Hoyt Sherman Place during intermission and the chance to win a free one-night hotel stay.

Snow Queen in The Nutcracker

Photo Credit: Jami Milne


Can’t get enough of the Sugar Plum Fairies? Consider making it a double-feature weekend! The Iowa Dance Theater will perform their rendition of The Nutcracker on Friday, Dec. 8 and Saturday, Dec. 9 at the Des Moines Civic Center.

Iowa Wild Matchups

Friday, Dec. 8, Saturday, Dec. 9 & Tuesday, Dec. 12 | Wells Fargo Arena
The next week is jam-packed with action on ice at Wells Fargo Arena! Catch the Wild taking on the Milwaukee Admirals over the weekend, followed by gameplay against the Chicago Wolves on Tuesday the 12th. Each gameday includes fun promotions, group theme nights and specials on food or drinks. Don’t miss the Coca Cola Local Concert Series on Saturday featuring Tank Anthony after the game.

 Iowa Wild in Downtown Des Moines

Grupo515 LIVE

Saturday, Dec. 9 | 300 Craft & Rooftop
Grupo515 is a Latino band known for getting the crowd amped up! Made up of four members, these musicians will have you on your feet and dancing in no time at all at one of the coolest nightclub venues with a primo Downtown DSM view. Pro tip: Check out Grupo515'latest singles on Spotify before you go.


Christmas with the Choral Society

Saturday, Dec. 9 | St. Ambrose Cathedral
Here’s another chance to get into the holiday spirit! The Des Moines Choral Society, made of auditioned singers from throughout DSM, will hold its annual holiday concert of inspiring works and seasonal favorites. The choral group will be accompanied by chamber orchestra and piano, with solo performances throughout the show.

Des Moines Choral Society 

Hey! We think you might also be interested in the Peppermint Trail taking place on Saturday, Dec. 9 in a neighborhood adjacent to Downtown DSM: the Avenues of Ingersoll and Grand.

Looking for even more events and happenings? Here's a roundup of five free things to do in Downtown DSM this December! And for additional ideas this holiday season, take a peep at the Downtown DSM buying guides ahead of the holiday season. The North + Central, South, West and East Buying Guides are a curated list of shops, restaurants and services around the region and downtown, 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.