Looking for something to do in Cedar Rapids this Holiday season? We’ve got you covered with our list of Cedar Rapids Holiday Events! If you know of a great event that should be added to this list, please email info(at)cedarrapidsmomsblog(dot)com. Most of all, we hope you have a wonderful holiday season full of laughter, hope, and love! Enjoy!
Away in the Basement: A Church Basement Ladies Christmas at the Old Creamery Theater. November 15 – December 20. On the day of the church Christmas pageant, anything that can go wrong probably will… it’s the Church Basement Ladies to the rescue! All your favorite ladies are back, bringing festivities and fun to this wildly popular holiday installment of the Church Basement Ladies Series! Rated G. Tickets: $31.50 adults; $12.50 students.
Elf the Musical at the Theatre Cedar Rapids. November 16 – December 16. Join us for this all-singing, all-dancing, magical holiday extravaganza! Elf the Musical tells the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his dad, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. This modern-day Christmas classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner elf. Age recommendation: Elf is appropriate for patrons as young as 5 years old. Tickets: $25-45.
Noel the Musical at the Paramount Theatre. November 25 at 3:00 pm. NOËL, a brand-new holiday family musical is the touching story of a young girl who is preparing for her starring role in a school Christmas performance, when her mother disappears. Set in London, as the little girl tries to find her mother, she encounters a diverse group of homeless folk who have lost their way in life. One particular man, Nick has lost his faith in humanity and indeed, the joy of Christmas. We learn that Nick is St. Nicholas who has turned his back on his old “job”. He found that the world had forgotten the real meaning of Christmas so he walked away to help the people who really needed it. In their adventure to find NOËL’s mom, together, they all learn to find hope, in themselves, and in the world. With a gorgeous score, NOËL is a heart-warming poignant message of love that teaches us all to find the joy in our own lives and to rediscover the magic of Christmas. Tickets: $43-68.
Merry TubaChristmas! at the Cedar Rapids Public Library. December 1 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. Have you ever heard dozens of tubas, sousaphones, baritones and euphoniums play Christmas carols and songs? If not you owe it to yourself to join us for Merry TubaChristmas. Rehearsal starts at 10:00AM, concert is at 2:00PM. Pre-registration is available at West Music-Marion.
The Nutcracker with Ballet Quad Cities at the Paramount Theatre. December 1 at 2:30 pm & 7:30 pm. 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: $18-49.
A Magical Cirque Christmas at the Paramount Theatre. December 5 at 8:00 pm. A holiday entertainment blockbuster set to dazzle audiences of all ages. Featuring the best talent from around the globe, A Magical Cirque Christmas has it all – jaw-dropping magic, breathtaking circus acts, and the most angelic voices singing your favorite Christmas carols. Be transported to the golden age of entertainment by the mind-blowing talents, stunning costumes, comedy and more. Tickets: $34-74.
Tyle Make Jazz Ensemble: White Lights Holiday Music Series at the Cedar Rapids Public Library. December 8 from 2:00-3:00 pm. Enjoy the sounds of the season with the Tye Male Jazz Ensemble. Concert will take place in the First Floor Commons. Free.
Decade The Halls Tenth Avenue North at the Paramount Theatre. December 8 at 7:00 pm. Tenth Avenue North is an American contemporary Christian music band from West Palm Beach, Florida that takes its name from an east-west road in Palm Beach County. Tickets: $23-78.
Jim McDonough and His Orchestra & Singers: Holiday Grande 2018 at the Paramount Theatre. December 9 at 2:30 pm. Celebrate the holiday season in style by attending “Holiday Grande 2018.” This dazzling, all-new stage production features International Steinway Artist, Jim McDonough, joined by his 14-piece professional orchestra and a cast of sensational singers and dancers performing your favorite Christmas music and other all-time favorites. This awe-inspiring event is a grand combination of beautiful music, spectacular sets and costumes, and the true spirit of the season. Proceeds benefit Camp Courageous of Iowa, a year-round recreational and respite care facility for individuals with disabilities. Tickets: $29-45.
Classic Celtic and American Holiday Music: White Lights at the Cedar Rapids Public Library. December 15 from 2:00-3:00 pm. Enjoy the sounds of the season with classic Celtic and American Holiday Music performed by Carlis Faurot and Joe and Debbie Byrd. Concert will take place in the First Floor Commons. Free.
Holiday Spectacular at the Paramount Theatre. December 15-16. Celebrate the holidays with Maestro Tim Hankewich, Orchestra Iowa, and Lynne Rothrock. Friends from the Cedar Rapids Concert Chorale, Discovery Chorus, Espressivo Strings, and more will make a festive start to the season for family and friends! Tickets: $18-55.
An Unforgettable Nat King Cole Christmas starring Evan Tyrone Martin at the Paramount Theatre. December 20 at 8:00 pm. Chicago sensation Evan Tyrone Martin (Jesus Christ Superstar, Side Show, Oklahoma) warmly resonates the velvety vocal style of musical legend Nat King Cole. Chicago Tribune calls the Award-nominated Martin “Destined for Stardom: One of the Hot New Faces of Chicago Theatre,” and BCR News praises, “Martin’s vocal ease would have done Nat King Cole proud.” Martin intimately relates Cole’s personal journey, while presenting a festive cocktail of hit including “L-O-V-E,” “Mona Lisa,” “The Christmas Song,” and “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth.” Tickets: $60.
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas at the U.S. Cellular Center. December 21 at 7:30 pm. This year marks the 34th Anniversary of the Christmas Tour and release of Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, an album that revolutionized the Holiday Season music category. Grammy Award® winner Chip Davis will direct and co-produce Tour performances with MagicSpace Entertainment. The show features Mannheim Steamroller classics, along with dazzling multimedia effects in an intimate setting. In addition to being a holiday tradition for many families, the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Tour regularly attracts repeat attendance from multi-generational guests and is one of the longest running tours in the music industry. Tickets: $38-76
Home Free A Country Christmas Tour at the Paramount Theatre. December 21 at 8:00 pm. Home Free is bringing new music, new production, more country and holiday favorites as they come to town in “A Country Christmas Tour”! The 5-man band has become known for their show-stopping performances that mix their signature no-instrument, all-vocal music with their quick-witted humor. Tickets: $27-49.50.
Christmas Wonderland at the Paramount Theatre. December 22 at 8:00 pm. A dazzling holiday spectacular, features glittering costumes, a wonderful cast and the highest kicking chorus girls this side of the North Pole. Your entire family can start Christmas in style as Santa and his merry helpers take you on an unforgettable Christmas journey with your favorite Christmas songs. Holiday favorites include: ‘White Christmas,’ ‘Winter Wonderland,’ ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,’ ‘Chestnuts Roasting By An Open Fire,’ ‘Jingle Bells,’ ‘’Away in a Manger,’ ‘O Come All Ye Faithful,’ ‘Let it Snow,’ ‘Silent Night,’ ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing,’ ‘Deck The Halls,’ ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,’ ‘O Holy Night,’ and many more Christmas standards. Tickets: $35-65.
Festive and Family Friendly Events
Holiday Clay Trees at the Iowa Ceramics Center. November 10 at 10:30-12:00 am & 2:00-3:30 pm. Using a template, cut out two cone shaped trees to decorate your holiday table using a clay slab technique. Particpants will make one large and one small sized tree. Kids ages 8 and under MUST be accompanied by an adult. Fee: $18
Footprint Craft: Mistletoes at Baby Time. November 17 from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm. Another fun craft to do with your baby or toddler! A sweet red bow on top with their cute feet painted green as mistle(TOES). All supplies included – paint (safe & washable Tempera) and print (cardstock that is 8.5″ x 5.5″) & cleanup! Don’t forget one for your office or Grandparents! Age range for the event is newborn-preschool sized foot. Please register for as many prints as you think you need (that helps me have enough supplies!) Cost: $5/print.
Immigrant Foodways: Dough Ornaments at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library. November 17 from 12:00 & 2:00 pm. Learn more about the traditions surrounding food, how to make certain recipes and sometimes even taste some great food in this series of workshops. Back by popular demand we will be offering not one but two classes where you can learn how to make Vizovickě Pečivo, or dough ornaments, which have been made in the Czech lands since the 16th century, traditionally to decorate Christmas trees! We will also talk about other holiday traditions and celebrate holiday memories. Open to all ages, children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Registration required. Cost: $5/participant.
Festival of Trees at Hawkeye Downs. November 17-18 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Join the Cedar Rapids Jaycees and The Gazette Special Events to kick off the holiday season at the 2018 Cedar Rapids Festival of Trees and Holiday Market! Enjoy a stroll through the 30+ beautifully decorated trees from local companies and organizations — all tree proceeds are donated back to local area non-profit organizations. Don’t forget: Santa will be there! Plus you can take advantage of the great shopping selection from local area vendors. In addition to the holiday market, the Cedar Rapids Jaycees will be hosting a silent auction with gift certificates, gift baskets, and many other gift ideas. All proceeds from the silent auction items will benefit the DreamMakers, which will fund the Jaycees’ 2019 scholarship program. Free.
School’s Out: Holiday Miniatures at the Cedar Rapids Public Library. November 21 from 10:00-11:00 am. Get ready for the holidays! Elementary school children are invited to the Ladd Library Community Room to create an original miniature holiday scene. Our team has scrounged up tiny corked bottles and teeny tiny festive decorations. Bottles can be used for table display or sealed and worn as a pendant. Either way, they are sure to have a place of honor during your winter holidays.
Holiday Tours at the Brucemore Mansion. November 23 – December 29 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. During the holiday season, Brucemore is a sight to be seen. With thirteen trees and garlands galore, the mansion is decked out on all four floors. Holiday Mansion Tours are offered Wednesday through Saturday* at various times. Visit the ticket link for specifics. Admission: $5-$12, 5 and under:free.
A Tannenbaum Forest in the Amana Colonies. November 23 – December 16. Tannenbaum Forest is a holiday tradition for many of our visitors. Come see the twinkling lights of over 40 decorated real Christmas Trees, visit Santa at selected times, stop by St Nick’s Cafe for a warm drink, and see our 17 foot German style Christmas pyramid! Tannenbaum Forest is open Fridays-Sundays and by special arrangements. Hours will vary by day. A good will offering is collected with proceeds benefiting the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.
Blue Creek Christmas in Walker (4924 Blue Creek Ct). November 25 – January 6 from 5:30-10:00 pm on Sunday-Thursday and 5:30-11:00 pm on Friday-Saturday. Extended until midnight on December 24 & 25. Over 100,000 lights synchronized to over 25 minutes of music, just 1 mile North of Center Point. Please, be mindful of neighbors and do not block driveways or leave trash.
Magical Night 2018 in Uptown Mount Vernon. November 29 from 5:00-8:00 pm. The event will include a lighting ceremony, thousands of luminarias, trolley and train rides along First Street, strolling carolers, pictures with Santa, a live nativity including a live camel, music and dance concerts, a Holiday Bazaar and open houses along Mount Vernon’s historic Main Street District. Free.
Prelude to Christmas in the Amana Colonies. November 30 – December 2 from 8:00 am – 8:00 pm. Enjoy the Amana Colonies during this holiday season. Music, special foods, Santa, demonstrations, and the Tannenbaum Forest. Free, but some activities might have fees.
Christmas KIDS NIGHT OUT! at The Potters’ Obsession. November 30 from 4:30 – 6:00 pm or 6:30-8:00 pm. Join us for our annual ornament painting party. Paint 3 ornaments, enjoy pizza and a drink. Reservations required. Call 743-9824, please specify which time slot you want when calling to book. Fee: $15/child
Deck the District in the Czech Village and NewBo Main Street District. November 30 – December 2. Deck the District is a collaborative community holiday celebration in Cedar Rapids, Iowa’s Czech Village/New Bohemia Main Street District. Activities Include Holiday celebrations at the African American Museum of Iowa, The Cherry Building, NewBo City Market, National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library, Czech Village Traditional Tree Lighting, as well as a Trolley to tour you around the Czech Village New Bohemia Main Street District.
Photo with Santa at AE Photography. December 1 from 10:00 am- 1:00 pm. Our 4th Annual Free Photo with Santa! Come on down to AE Photography during the Very Cherry Holiday on December 1st and get a photo with Santa! We will email you 1 digital image for free! No appointment needed! Just come to the studio between the times listed! All ages welcome! Free.
Christmas in Kalona. December 1 from 8:30 am – 6:00 pm. Join us for our annual Christmas in Kalona Festivities! We have activies for all the ages, so bring your family to Celebrate and enjoy the Christmas spirt all around town! The Skating Rink will be back, along with our Vendor Market and the Handmade Show. Bring your kids to decorate cookies, make ornaments, watch a holiday movie, and take pictures with Santa! The fun doesn’t stop there, follow the event to hear about more of the activities and special thank you’s to everyone who made this event possible!
Nature’s Noel at Indian Creek Nature Center. December 1 from 9:00 am- 1:00 pm. Join us for the fresh green decor and artisan gifts you’ve always loved, and stay for a day of family fun! Centerpieces, wreaths and swags made with fresh greens; frozen soups and appetizers; cookie dough and baked goods; and live music combine to create a festive holiday event. Enjoy festive children’s crafts, naturalist-guided activities, and magical winter nature walks. Visit Santa and peruse a variety of holiday vendors. Free.
Children’s Holiday Event: I Saw Santa in Iowa at M and M Books. December 1 from 1:00-2:00 pm. Children and their parents are invited to join us for an hour of reading, crafts and snacks. The event includes a copy of I Saw Santa in Iowa by J.D. Green, crafts, snacks and a bag to take it home in. Call the store at 319-396-8420 to RSVP (required) by Saturday, November 24. Fee: $20.
Home for the Holidays at the Ushers Ferry Historic Village. December 2 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm. Try Czech Christmas cookies and other baked goods, make Victorian ornaments and Christmas cards, play parlor games with old-time toys and more. Explore the various holiday traditions and cultures of the family homes at Ushers Ferry. Advance registration is encouraged, but not required. Admission: $6.25/Child (3-14 yrs.), $9.50/Adult
Pajama Storytime: Holiday Edition at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. December 6 at 6:00pm. Gather around the fireplace for some holiday stories and a make-and-take art project inspired by the season. Free for kids & their adult companions. Wear your PJ’s and bring a stuffed friend to cuddle with. Free.
Christmas in the Park & Peppermint Walk in the Uptown Marion District. December 7 from 4:00-8:00 pm. 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. Free.
Lisbon Holiday Jubilee in Lisbon. December 8 from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm. Lisbon Holiday Jubilee includes activities throughout the day. Additional events will be scheduled closer to December. Including breakfast with Mrs. Claus at the Lisbon History Center. Free.
Pancakes with Santa at Bloomsbury Farm. December 8 from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm. Join us for Pancakes with Santa! Your Ticket Includes: pancake breakfast, Christmas cookie decorating station, Christmas craft making station, photo booth with holiday props, a letter writing station to send a letter to the North Pole, winter Christmas Hayrack Ride around the Farm, a visit with Santa, holiday bonfires and a visit with our Christmas Barnyard Buddies. We will also have hot chocolate, homemade fudge, our signature hand-popped kettle corn, Christmas merchandise, fresh canned goods, and more for sale in our Gift Shop! This event is by reservation only. Fee: $14.95/person 3 and older. Ages 2 and younger do not need a reservation.
Gingerbread House Decorating Party at the Ely Public Library. December 8 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Our 12th Annual Gingerbread Decorating Party. Mark your calendars and register for this FREE family fun event! One house provided free per family, additional houses may be purchased at $5 each. Please let us know of additional house(s) when you register. Register by calling: 319-848-7616. Admission: 1 house free per family, $5 for additional ones.
Holiday Magic at the Play Station. December 8 from 10:00 am – 8:00 pm and December 9 from 11:00 am – 6:00 pm. Join us for a brand new event at The Play Station – Holiday Magic! Kids and parents can join the fun by meeting Santa and take pictures! Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Hermey the Elf will also be flying in from the North Pole to meet families. That’s not all….will be having arts & crafts, cookie decorating, Giggles the Elf will be doing Balloon Twisting and will also have lots of Holiday Games and Activities! Admission: $12 + tax (ages 1-15 need a ticket). Adults are free. Ticket includes admission for all Holiday Magic Activities and all day play in the play areas with no time limit. Socks are required.
Make-and-take Art Projects at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. December 8 at 1:00pm. Bring the whole family for some make-and-take art projects that will deck your halls this Christmas. We’ll re-purpose some old books and give them new life as Christmas ornaments. Free for kids & their adult companions. Geared for ages 6 and up.
Children’s Holiday Event: How to Catch an Elf at M and M Books. December 8 from 1:00-2:00 pm. Children and their parents are invited to join us for an hour of reading, crafts and snacks. The event includes a copy of How To Catch An Elf by Adam Wallace, crafts, snacks and a bag to take it home in. Call the store at 319-396-8420 to RSVP (required) by Saturday, November 24. Fee: $20.
Frosty’s Winter Wonderland & 8th Annual Holiday Expo at NW Recreation Center. December 9 from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. Come out and shop and let the kids play!! Lots of FREE activities for the kids, Stocking Scavenger Hunt, activities, vendors to shop from, cookie decorating, and of course…SANTA! Decorate Sugar Cookies, Make MAGIC Reindeer Food and more! These crafts are while supplies last! Vote on your favorite “Frosty” Snowman built by local businesses! Anyone who votes will be entered to win a Grand Prize (TBA) and other prizes just in time for Christmas! Free.
The Arc’s Holiday Party at Mercy Cedar Rapids. December 9 from 1:00-3:00 pm. Please join us in the Hallagan Center at Mercy Medical Center for Santa, Hot Cocoa Bar, Cookie Decorating, Crafts, Games, Balloon Twisting, Photo Booth, and more! Fun for the whole family! Please RSVP with number attending no later than Monday, December 3rd to Lexi at [email protected] or 319-365-0487 ext. 1024.
Old Fashioned Christmas Sing-A-Long at Sts Peter and Paul Community Center. December 9 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm. Join the fun at this Old Fashioned Christmas Sing-A-Long! Hot chocolate and cookies will be served following the singing. Santa Claus will visit! Free.
Santa, Snacks, and Stories at the Brucemore Mansion. December 9, 10, 16 and 17. Enjoy a festive and memorable evening of holiday tradition! Children will participate in a craft, listen to holiday stories, and give Santa their wish-lists. In between activities, the first and second floors of the decked-out mansion will be open for exploration. Admission: $5.00-$10.00.
12 Days of KidX at Lindale Mall. December 10-21. Our KidX Club is hosting 12 days of holiday-inspired events for kids of all ages, right here at Lindale Mall. Happy holidays to YOU! More details to come. Free.
Ely Winterfest in Ely Downtown. December 15 from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. Join the fun at this Old Fashioned Christmas Sing-A-Long! Hot chocolate and cookies will be served following the singing. Santa Claus will visit! Free.
Children’s Holiday Event: Santa’s Magic Key at M and M Books. December 15 from 1:00-2:00 pm. Children and their parents are invited to join us for an hour of reading, crafts and snacks. The event includes a copy of Santa’s Magic Key by Eric James, a magic key decoration, crafts, snacks and a bag to take it home in. Call the store at 319-396-8420 to RSVP (required) by Saturday, November 24. Fee: $20.
Winter Wonderland Holiday Celebration at Hawkeye Downs. December 15 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm. Each year Families Helping Families celebrates with Iowa’s children in foster care and provide a festive atmosphere with toys and gifts, Santa & Mrs. Claus, lots of activities, music and refreshments! Activities include: vendor tables with activities, cookie decorating, books, crafts, face painting, cake walk, bouncy house, music and refreshments. Through our Giving Tree collections, children can visit Santa’s Workshop to pick out toys that are appropriate for their age. Note: This event is open to foster children, those in relative placement, those who’ve been adopted out of foster care and other children living in the household. Pre-registration is required for this event.
Winter Wonderland Virtual Reality at the Cedar Rapids Public Library. December 22 from 11:00 am – 12:30 pm. Stop in to take a trip into a virtual winter world. Walk alongside lynx, mammoths and bears- Oh My! If you haven’t tried Virtual Reality, this is a must! Ages 8 and up are welcome.
Looking for Santa? Check out our guide: Where to see Santa in Cedar Rapids!
Christmas Tree Farms
Are you thinking of getting a real Christmas tree this year? Visit our Guide to Cedar Rapids Area Christmas Tree Farms!
Do you know of more Cedar Rapids Holiday events? Let us know in the comments or by emailing us at info(at)cedarrapidsmomsblog.com! Make sure you never miss out on a parenting or community-related blog post: sign up to receive CRMB posts in your inbox. While you’re at it, join our VIP List to ensure you’re one of the first to know about upcoming Cedar Rapids Moms Blog events and promotions!!