Cedar Rapids Holiday Events Guide 2016

Cedar Rapids Holiday Events

The holidays are here and there are tons of Cedar Rapids Holiday Events to enjoy this season! Here is a list of some of our favorites! If you know of a great event that should be added to this list, please email info(at)cedarrapidsmomsblog.com. Most of all, we hope you have a wonderful holiday season full of laughter, hope, and love! Enjoy!

Merry PerformancesMerry Performances - Cedar Rapids Holiday Events

Winter Wonderettes at The Old Creamery Theatre.  November 17th-December 18th.  This seasonal celebration finds the “Wonderettes,” a 1960’s girl group, entertaining at the annual Harper’s Hardware Holiday Party in 1968. When Santa goes missing, the girls use their talent and creative ingenuity to save the holiday party! This show features groovy four-part harmony 60’s versions of holiday classics such as “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” and “Jingle Bell Rock.” This energetic and glittering holiday show is guaranteed to delight audiences of all ages. Rated G. Tickets: $18.50-$30.

The Elves and the Shoemaker at The Old Creamery Theatre. November 26th-December 17th. Come celebrate the holiday season as a classic tale gets a comic spin. When the kindly old shoemaker can’t pay his rent, it’s elves to the rescue! Rated G. Tickets: $10/person.

Elf the Musical Jr at Kennedy High School. December 1st-9th. Put on by Playtime Poppy Children’s Theatre. Buddy, a young orphan, mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised, unaware that he is actually a human, until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the trust. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh reality that his father is on the naughty list and that his half-brother doesn’t even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. Tickets: $4/kids, $8/adults. 

Merry Tuba Christmas at the Cedar Rapids Public Library. December 3rd @ 2:00 p.m. Listen as the sound of tubas fill the air with your favorite Christmas songs. Part of the Fire and Ice Festival.

Orchestra Iowa Presents: The Nutcracker at The Paramount Theatre. December 5th @ 7:30 p.m. A journey to the Land of Sweets kicks off the holiday season when Orchestra Iowa teams up with Ballet Quad Cities to present the perennial family favorite, The Nutcracker.  This captivating performance filled with holiday magic will take your family on an enchanted adventure with Clara and her Prince as they battle the Rat Queen.  Community dancer and Orchestra Iowa’s Discovery Chorus join the ballet and Orchestra Iowa musicians to create a magical performance you will not want to miss! Tickets: $18-$54.

Orchestra Iowa Presents: A HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR at The Paramount Theatre.  December 17th-18th. Celebrate the holidays with Maestro Tim Hankewich, Orchestra Iowa, and friends from the Cedar Rapids Concert Chorale, Discovery Chorus, Espressivo Strings, Carillonneurs, & more! This fun and festival musical celebration has become one of Cedar Rapids’ favorite holiday traditions. Special performance by local star performer Alisabeth Von Presley. Tickets: $10-$54.

Festive and Family FriendlyCedar Rapids Holiday Events

Holiday Mansion Tours at Brucemore Mansion. November 25th-December 31st. Visitors will enjoy the seasonal splendor of 13 glowing trees, a dining room set for Christmas dinner, stunning mantel arrangements, the lush garland adornment of the grand staircase, and other seasonal cheer throughout the Mansion. Sunday tours in December will feature live music from the original 1929 Skinner pipe organ. Tickets: $3/children, $7/adults. 

Friday Night Flicks at Newbo City Market. Fridays November 25th-December 23rd @ 6:00 p.m.  Friday Night Flicks goes Holiday-themed!! Head down to Newbo to enjoy delicious food, shopping, and your favorite movies!! November 25th: Home Alone.  December 2nd: Miracle on 34th Street.  December 9th: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.  December 16th: Jingle All the Way.  December 23rd: A Christmas Story.

North Pole Express in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Weekends November 26th-December 10th. Your trip to the North Pole begins at the Midwest Central Railroad’s North Depot in McMillan Park in Mount Pleasant, Iowa.  As you ride through the wintry countryside on the way to the North Pole you will listen to The Polar Express story written by Chris Van Allsburg. When the story is finished you will have arrived at the North Pole.  At the North Pole kids can make crafts, visit the Snow Princess, enjoy cookies and hot cocoa, and have a photo taken!

Tannenbaum Forest in the Amana Colonies. November 25th-December 18th. Travel through our Tannenbaum Forest and see over 40 Christmas trees, decorated by local businesses. Bid on your favorite holiday wreath while you listen to Christmas carols. Santa and his reindeer will be visiting on the weekends! Admittance is free; a free-will donation is encouraged. Proceeds of the forest benefit the UI Children’s Hospital.

Christmas in the Park & Peppermint Walk  in Uptown Marion. December 2nd from 4:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. Rich in traditional holiday activities, Christmas in the Park kicks off the holiday season for Marion.You won’t want to miss this family event that has been a tradition in Uptown Marion for over 25 years. Enjoy horse drawn carriage rides, hot cocoa & popcorn, holiday music and the lighting of the Peace Tree. Don’t forget the jolly man himself! Santa and Mrs Claus arrive in style escorted by the Marion Fire Department. Stroll Uptown Marion and visit shops filled with one of a kind, unique goods and services. Shoppers will receive a peppermint treat at participating businesses and may enter for a chance to win gift certificates.

Prelude to Christmas in the Amana Colonies. December 2nd-4th. Break out your holiday spirit and join us for Prelude to Christmas in the Historic Amana Colonies. There is an authentic experience waiting for all ages during this holiday celebration, music, holiday goodies and FUN! Prelude to Christmas Weekend will kick off with all-day activities, along with great shopping and visits with Santa. There will also be live performances in the Festhalle Barn and will continue throughout the duration of Tannenbaum Forest.

Deck the District in the Czech Village-New Bohemia Main Street District. December 2nd-4th. Enjoy all the activities the District has to offer, including horse drawn wagon rides through Czech Village on Saturday from 10:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. Park once and enjoy activities on both sides of the river with shuttle rides running from  10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Saturday and 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Sunday. Shuttle stops include Sokol Park in Czech Village, NewBo City Market, Cherry Building, and African American Museum.

Old World Christmas Market at the National Czech and Slovak Museum & Library. December 3rd-4th. Experience the magic of the Christmas season at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library at the 7th annual Old World Christmas Market! Shop for specialty imports and handmade gifts by select artisans, stop for seasonal treats, see live music and dance performances, and enjoy free family activities all weekend long. Admission to museum exhibition galleries will also be free on December 3rd and 4th! Bring the whole family for one of Cedar Rapids’ best-loved holiday events. Old World Christmas Market is part of Deck the District, a neighborhood holiday celebration!

Santa at the Farm at Bass Family Farms. December 3rd from Noon-5:00 p.m. Come sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what is on your wish list! Grab a picture with Santa too! (Please bring your own camera) Shop our country store and pick up Christmas gifts for your loved ones!  This is a FREE event! Join in on the fun!

Cans Film Festival at Wehrenberg Theatres. December 3rd before 5:00 p.m. Only at Wehrenberg Theatres, donate 5 or more cans of food (per person) and see a movie before 5:00 p.m. for FREE. Bring in an additional 10 cans (15 total) and you’ll also receive a pass to see a movie on another day! Help stock the Salvation Army food pantries on Saturday, December 3rd.

Frosty’s Winter Wonderland at NW Rec Center. December 3rd from 1:00-4:00 p.m. Come out and shop and let the kids play!!! There will be activities for the kids, Stocking Scavenger Hunt, activities, vendors to shop from, and of course…SANTA! Be sure to bring your camera to take a free picture! Kids can also enjoy a Hot Chocolate To-Go Bar, decorate a sugar cookie to support Cookies for Kids Cancer (Small fee), make MAGIC Reindeer food, vote on their favorite “Frosty” Snowman built by local businesses, and more!

Oliver the Ornament Book Signing at Flowerama. December 3rd @ 4:00 p.m.  1-800-FLOWERS/FLOWERAMA will host a book signing and reading by Todd M. Zimmermann, the author of Oliver the Ornament, at the Cedar Rapids location on Saturday, December 3, 2016. The Holiday Open House will offer exclusive savings up to 25%, prizes valued up to $50, and stuffed stockings for kids. Additionally, a portion of the proceeds from each Oliver the Ornament book will be donated to childrens’ charities and new books will be delivered to patients at children’s hospitals.

Fire & Ice Festival in Downtown Cedar Rapids. December 3rd. Events include Holiday Markets, musical performances, a Santa meet & greet, crafts, and more! See the schedule here.

Holiday DeLight Parade in Downtown Cedar Rapids. December 3rd @ 6:00 p.m.  The parade steps off at 6:00 p.m. and follows the traditional route in Downtown Cedar Rapids. Starting at Sixth Street SE and Third Avenue SE, the bright and colorful entries will travel north to Second Avenue SE, then west to Second Street SE and Second Avenue, and south again ending at Third Avenue and Fifth Street SE.

Sensitive Santa at Lindale Mall. December 4th from 8:00-10:00 a.m. Children with special needs and their families are invited to attend a private photo session where extra care is taken to support the sensory, physical and other developmental needs of children.

Kids Holiday Bazaar at Linn Grove Elementary School in Marion. December 10th from 9:00 a.m.-Noon. Bring the kids to come shop for their siblings, parents, grandparents, friends, neighbors or whoever they may want to buy something for. All items will be $10 or less and there will be free gift wrapping!

Reindeer Day at the Nation Czech & Slovak Museum & Library. December 10th from Noon-2:00 p.m. Bring your family to enjoy special games, cheerful craft activities, stories, and treats as we celebrate all things reindeer. Plus, see the beautiful Christmas trees throughout the museum!

Holiday Crafternoon at the Marion Public Library.  December 17th from Noon-3:00 p.m.  Create custom last-minute gifts, including a Sharpie mug, hand-painted book board, and ornaments galore! This program is for people of all crafting abilities! Drop in anytime during the three hours. 

Winter Solstice Party at Indian Creek Nature Center.  December 21st from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Happy Winter Solstice everyone! Come out to ICNC for a fun evening of winter celebrations. Enjoy seasonal crafts, music, and sip hot cocoa. After tonight, the days will be getting longer and that is surely something to celebrate! Tickets: $2/child, $3/member, $5/non-member.

Santa Sightings


Are you wondering where to see Santa in the Cedar Rapids area? Check out this great list!!




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  1. […] For many families, the holidays would not be complete without a visit to Santa! So we’ve put together this handy guide to help you know where to see Santa in Cedar Rapids!! Looking for more fun, family-friendly events?! Check out our Cedar Rapids Holiday Events Guide!!  […]

  2. […] It was exhausting, and after awhile, we weren’t having fun. It’s okay to just pick one or two things to attend. Then, you’ll be making some memories that stick. You can make a tradition of something and attend year after year or try a new event to attend each year. If it is a little overwhelming trying to figure it out places to go and things to do, check out CRMB’s pervious post on local holiday activities. […]

  3. . ISO restaurant open Christmas night other than Perkins or IHOP. We have been in a hotel since before Thanksgiving due to house fire. If anyone knows of any thing, I have called the Amana’s they aren’t even open Xmas Eve

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