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Top Five Things to Do this Holiday Season in Downtown DSM

Top Five Things to Do this Holiday Season in Downtown DSM

November 9, 2017

The 2017 holiday season is gearing up and that means Downtown Des Moines (DSM) is about to become a lively place where wintery attractions are ready to welcome you. With four miles of climate-controlled skywalks, no matter the weather, you can hurry to your destination in comfort or dash quickly into a Historic East Village restaurant to warm up.

The holidays are a busy time and we don’t want you to miss out on the opportunity to celebrate with Santa, hold hands on the ice or finish up your holiday shopping.

Top Five Holiday Atttractions & Events

  1. Downtown Winter Farmers’ Market

Nov. 17-18 and Dec. 15-16, 2017  |  Capital Square and Kaleidoscope at The Hub

The Downtown Winter Farmers’ Market brings 130 entrepreneurial vendors from across the state so that you can stock up on gifts, food items and more this holiday season. Winter vendors will be offering art and craft items, artisan food, baked goods, cheese, drinks, flowers, plants, prepared food, meat and eggs, produce, wine and even Christmas trees. Get the scoop on all things Downtown Farmers’ Market here.

2. Brenton Skating Plaza

November 2017 – March 2018  |  Historic East Village

Downtown DSM’s first open-air outdoor ice skating facility is a must-see attraction each holiday season. If you haven’t been, 2017 is the year to take a few spins on the ice. Just ask our own Colleen Murphy, who started a new family tradition last year with a visit to The Plaza! Located along The Principal Riverwalk, Brenton Skating Plaza even offers special holiday hours so you can enjoy Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s on the ice. Did you know? The skating rink holds up to 220 skaters!

3. GuideOne ImaginEve!

Dec. 31, 2017  |  Hy-Vee Hall

The largest kid-friendly New Year’s Eve party will countdown to the New Year at a respectable 8 p.m., with a fireworks show to follow, still plenty of time to get the whole family to bed on time once the celebration is done. The free event offers bounce houses, games, costumed characters and a Tween Zone for ages 10 and up. All children must be accompanied by an adult. If you’re looking to eat beforehand, check out restaurants and dining options for a mid-day meal and enjoy Downtown DSM’s culinary offerings before the “big” kids head out to celebrate.

4. Holiday Shopping at the 2017 Holiday Promenade

Nov. 17, 2017  |  Historic East Village

With extended hours, the Holiday Promenade is the perfect event to start (or complete, if you’re an early shopper) your gift shopping this holiday season. The Holiday Promenade, from 5-9 p.m., is the kick-off event of the season, marking the start of Brenton Skating Plaza’s ice skating season, free horse-drawn trolley rides, carolers strolling through the neighborhood, live ice sculpting and a tree-lighting with Santa! Located between the Iowa State Capitol and The Des Moines River in Downtown DSM, the Historic East Village is easy to get to and features independent stores offering everything from allspice to velvet coats and plenty in between. Parking is a breeze with more than 1,000 on-street parking spots available and the entire district is walkable. Find out where to park here.

5. Christkindlmarket

Dec. 1-3, 2017  |  Cowles Commons

This German-inspired market welcomes vendors of handcrafted wares and European foods, as well as polka bands, choirs and bell ringers, reminiscent of the first Christkindlmarket in Munich in 1310. This will be the second year for the free event, which drew more than 25,000 to Downtown DSM last year. In 2017, find gingerbread ornaments, clothing, candles, artisans and imported goods such as steins and nutcrackers. Watch this short video showcasing the 2016 event.

Want to learn about other things to do in Downtown DSM? Check out even more attractions and events here. For more holiday events, visit our Downtown DSM calendar.