Things to Do In and Around Cedar Rapids: Family Friendly Events In December

Things to Do In and Around Cedar Rapids: Family Friendly Events In December

Are you looking for fun family-friendly events in December around Cedar Rapids?

Look no further than our December Roundup of local activities.

Magical Night 2021 Wednesday, December 1, 5 pm-7 pm

Magical Night will be a Drive-Through event. This is Mount Vernon’s annual celebration of holiday magic!

Christmas in the Park & Peppermint Walk Friday, December 3, 4 pm-8 pm

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 ceremony. 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.

Cedar Rapids Nativity Celebration: Friday, December 3rd, 11 am- 9 pm and Saturday, December 4, 11 am- 7 pm

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
4150 Blue Jay Drive NE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

The first weekend of December each year, community members bring their nativity sets created by artists from around the world to the exhibit.  Tour hundreds of nativity sets and see the nearly life-size 12-piece white plaster nativity scene that graced the windows of Armstrong’s Department Store and later Smulekoff’s Furniture.  Local choirs and instrumental groups perform Christmas music and provide a wonderful atmosphere for this joyful celebration. Refreshments are available. Our young guests will enjoy making a Christmas craft. They can also wear nativity costumes and pose for a take-home photo in a manger scene. Admission is free, though we collect canned goods for our local food pantries.

Holiday Hiking Stick Friday, December 3 3:30 pm

Wickiup Hil Learning Center

Go on a festive hike this holiday season with a jingle bell hiking stick! After you find your favorite hiking stick, decorate it with bells, beads, and yarn. Kids will love making them and have a blast taking them outdoors for a fun nature walk. Afterward, stick around for some hot chocolate! Cost: $5/decorated stick.  

Cookies with Santa Saturday, December 4, 9:30 am

Cedar Rapids Moms is excited to announce that SANTA will be coming to town! Join us for our Cookies With Santa event at Usher’s Ferry on December 4th to not only have your kids see Santa, but to also decorate cookies, shop from local businesses, and be immersed in a festive holiday wonderland! We have a lot of fun surprises for this event as well! We will also have Sarah Fridono Photography there to take high-quality, professional photos of the kids with Santa for an additional cost. Tickets are limited, so be sure to get yours today to secure your spot!

Santa at the Farm Saturday, December 4, 10 am-4 pm

Bass Farms

Join us for another year of Santa at the Farm! Come sit on Santa’s lap and give him your Christmas Wish List!! Grab a picture with Santa while you are here! (Please bring your own camera, BYOC:) Shop our country store filled with local honey, jams, jellies, meat sauces, salad dressings, Edgewood Locker Meats, fabulous wine, local hand soap, and more! Grab a scoop of peppermint ice cream or another favorite from our shop! This event is FREE!!

Breakfast with Santa Saturday, December 4, 8 am-11 am

Santa will be waiting for the kids to enjoy a hot meal, provided by the North Liberty Lions Club. We will also have crafts, a model Christmas Village, and a model train for everyone to enjoy. Don’t forget to visit Santa and tell him what you want for Christmas. Don’t worry about a camera, photos will be taken free of charge by Sandi Spurrell Photography and posted to her website just days later. Sign up early as spots are limited. Sorry, but we can’t accommodate walk-ins. 

Deck the Trails Saturday December 4, 10 am

Let’s get extra festive this year and add some holiday cheer to our trails at Wickiup! We will make tree cookies and twig ornaments, some to keep, some to hang in our trees at Wickiup. We provide materials. Sip some hot chocolate, listen to music and enjoy a quiet creative time with others. For all ages. Cost: $5/person.

Gingerbread Kit Pick Up Saturday, December 4, 9 am-12 pm

To spread as much cheer to as many families as possible, only ONE gingerbread kit will be provided per family. Registration is required! Plan to pick up your kit at the Ely library on Saturday, December 4th from 9 am-12 pm. Donations are gladly accepted! 

Natures Noel Saturday December 4 9am-1pm

Indian Creek Nature Center

When it’s time to deck the halls, it’s time for Nature’s Noel! Held annually on the first Saturday in December, the Nature Center grounds are adorned with beautiful fresh-cut evergreens fashioned into wreaths, centerpieces, kissing balls, swags, and yule logs, all available for purchase to make your home festive for the holidays! Join us for our annual holiday fundraiser featuring fresh green decor, artisan gifts, frozen soups, appetizers, baked goods, and more. Items sell quickly. Shop early for the best selection!

Soup with Santa Sunday, December 5, 11 am-2pm

Join the annual Soup with Santa event. This year’s event will be held at the Palo Community Center on Sunday, December 5th. We will have some delicious soups, drinks, craft stations, and a special appearance by Santa himself. Come out, get a good lunch, tell Santa what you would like for Christmas, and enjoy some fun. Lunch will be served from 11-2 and Santa will be in the building from 12-2. Freewill donations are encouraged. All donations are used towards the events and improvements in the community that West Linn Community Group does.

Santa Brunch at Cedar Ridge Sunday, December 5 & 19 9 am-1 pm

Join Cedar Ridge for our Sunday Brunch Buffet with a special guest—Santa Claus! Our brunch buffet will be offered from 9:00-1:00 PM on December 5 and December 19, and reservations are required. Brunch is $17.99 for adults, $9.00 for children ages 6-12, and children under 5 can eat for free! The buffet includes carved beef brisket, scrambled eggs, biscuits, and gravy, hot off the griddle pancakes, and MORE. Tax, alcoholic beverages, and gratuity are additional. Spots will fill up fast, so give us a call at 319-857-4300 to make your reservation today

Kids Make & Take Workshop Saturday, December 11, 9 am & 10 am

Join Cedar Rapids Moms for a delightful morning of crafting with your littles at Board and Brush in Hiawatha! Delicious hot cocoa, sweets, and fun holiday music will fill your senses. These private events will feature our adorable make and take designs, perfect for any age 5 and up. This is a fun paint and stencil-only project. Each registered guest will receive a pre-stained board to apply your stencil and have the option of festive and bright holiday colors and glitter. You will have 45 minutes to create and finish your project. Per Board and Brush: Everyone in the studio must have a valid ticket due to fire code safety. Multiple attendees cannot be accommodated on a single ticket/registration. You will have 45 minutes to complete your project. Both 9 am and 10 am sessions are filling up. Should they both fill up, and there is still interest, we will open up another session!

Holiday on Main Central City Saturday, December 11, 9 am

It’s almost here! Come check out all the family activities this year. A few to name are Horse-drawn carriage rides, visiting Santa, Meeting the Grinch, do Christmas shopping at the vendor fair!

A Very Merry Christmas in Swisher Saturday December 11, 4 pm-7 pm

It’s going to be another fun-filled, festive evening in downtown Swisher at our annual holiday event – A Very Merry Christmas Celebration!! Join us for our Lighted Christmas Parade, *Horse-Drawn Wagon Rides*, Shop Local ‘n Social, Cookie Walk, Cookie Decorating, Holiday Tree Walk, Kids Crafts, Live Music & more.

Ely Winterfest Saturday, December 11 

Winterfest is an annual, family-friendly event that takes place in Ely, IA. It’s a celebration of winter and the holidays. There are fun activities for all ages! Check out https://www.facebook.com/ElyWinterfest for more specific details of the events

Brunch with Santa Saturday December 11 10:30am-1pm & Sunday December 12 11am-1pm

Hancher’s holiday tradition—and Santa himself!—returns with a festive brunch for the whole family. The only place Santa loves more than Hancher is the North Pole, so he’ll be extra jolly as he talks with your kids and grandkids about their holiday wishes.

NewBo Holiday Market Saturday, December 11, 10am-4pm

Let our Guest Vendors and Shopkeepers help you make your holiday gifts extra unique and special this year! In addition to NewBo City Market’s regular vendors, local guest vendors will also be selling their specialty goods at the Market on December 11!

Holiday Magic at the Play Station Sunday, December 12, 1 pm-4 pm

Activities include Meet Santa, Giggles the Elf Balloon Twisting, Cookie Decorating, Write a letter to Santa, Arts & Crafts Station. Holiday Magic is included in all ticket prices. Active Memberships get free admission to this event

The Mitten at Wikiup Hill Learning Tuesday, December 14, 10 am

Children enjoy a story and activities based on the monthly theme. This month we will read The Mitten, by Jan Brett and talk about furry animals in Iowa.  Ages 3-6, but younger and older siblings are welcome. Cost: $3/child.

Holiday Lights Parade Thursday, December 16, 5:30 pm

City of Hiawatha staff is excited to WOW the community with their fancy holiday floats! If you’re not lucky enough to live along the route then bunker down in the 10th Ave. parking lot of Guthridge Park and watch the show! Make sure you’re on your best behavior because the parade will feature special guests, Santa and Mrs. Clause!

Eco Explorers at Wikiup Thursday December 16, 10 am

The Eco-Explorer programs foster compassion, curiosity, and trust with the natural world by giving participants space and time to fall in love with the outdoors. Activities may include exploring, outdoor skills, animal tracking, nature and sensory awareness, storytelling, plant and animal study, empowerment, and lots of fun and play! This is a drop-off program that encourages independence from the caregiver. We will meet out front by the kiosk near the parking lot at 10 a.m. for easy drop-off. Ages 5 – 9. Cost $10/child.

Craft 4 Kids: Do You Want to Craft a Snowman? Friday December 17th 3:15 pm

It’s early release day! Spend your free time making two snowman crafts at Hiawatha Public Library. This program is for kids 3-10 years of age.

Maddie Poppe’s Acoustic Christmas Sunday December 19 7 pm Paramount Theater

Maddie Poppe is a 23-year-old singer-songwriter from Clarksville, Iowa, and Season 16 winner of American Idol. She has appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live and Live! with Kelly & Ryan to name a few and performed at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and CMA Fest in Nashville. In fall 2019, Maddie supported Ingrid Michaelson on The Dramatic Tour, an experience she calls “a dream come true.” Maddie’s sophomore album Whirlwind reached #2 on the iTunes Pop charts and her hit single “Made You Miss” earned #19 on the Hot AC Radio charts. Her sentimental ballad “Not Losing You” also swept radio charts, reaching #17. Hoping to brighten the 2020 holiday season, Maddie released a holiday EP aptly titled Christmas From Home on November 20th and embarked on a near-sold-out acoustic Christmas tour. This November, Maddie will return with her Acoustic Christmas Tour hitting select cities across the U.S.! Maddie says, “I’m so excited to be back on the road again this year. Last year’s Iowa Christmas tour was so much fun that we decided to expand it out to the rest of the country this year. It will be so nice to see faces both familiar and new this holiday season.”

Are we missing any family-friendly events in December? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page!

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