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From shopping in the East Village to a winter wonderland of lights at an amusement park, Des Moines is full of family-friendly activities during the holidays. Take a ride on a train with Santa or skate the night away under the stars. Or just nibble your way around the city. Here are some great ideas to get you into the holiday spirit in Des Moines. Brian Taylor Carlson/The Register

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There's a sweet event to put on your holiday calendar that will put a smile on the face of the Grinch himself.

The Prince of Peace Cookie Walk takes place Dec. 1 from 9-10:30 a.m. at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church at 2600 E. Euclid Ave., Des Moines.

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Buy a tin, don your glove and take a merry stroll through this grand buffet piled high with home-baked cookies and candy. Door prizes will be available and attendees can find broken cookies at the Cookie Crumb Cafe. 

The Cookie Walk takes place on the first Saturday of December every year.

"This is our 10th anniversary," said Marilyn Carlson, one of the founding organizers. She and her friend and fellow organizer, Jean Loegering, came up with the idea for their church in late 2007.

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"I had seen a cookie walk in the paper and we thought this would be a good idea for the church," said Carlson. "Then we found a bunch of Christmas tins left over after Christmas of all different sizes so we bought them all. And that's how it all started. The rest, as they say, is history."

Members of the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church congregation donate the tins, buckets and insane assortment of sweets. Carlson said there are nine 8-foot tables for the cookie platters and trays this year, which adds up to 72 feet of enjoyment for people of all ages. 

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The tins and plastic buckets are sold in various sizes, from $7 up to $25. Plastic buckets are also available. Each tin and bucket comes with a disposable plastic glove so you can sanitarily pick your way through the huge variety of cookies from the giant display.

Bringing your own tin is not necessary, as the tins provided have already been priced according to size.

"We have everything from your traditional cookies like chocolate chip and ginger snaps to decorated cut-out Christmas cookies and a few Scandinavian and German cookies," Carlson said. "And we have lots of homemade candy — fudge, peanut brittle, caramels and turtles."

As trays empty on the tables, they're filled with more.

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The event closes when the last cookie is sold. Carlson said the cookies normally sell out, but if they don't, the remaining ones do not go to waste. Leftover goodies go to shut-ins in the community or to youth ministries, and proceeds from the Cookie Walk support local church charities.

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Prince of Peace Cookie Walk

Location: 2600 E. Euclid Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Saturday, Dec. 1, 9 to 10:30 a.m.

Contact: (515) 265-2865; princeofpeacedsm.org

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