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


Christmas is fast approaching. For a holiday season filled with so many fun activities like decorating, caroling and attending ugly sweater parties, making dinner can seem like such a chore. 

But the metro has plenty of options where you can enjoy a stress-free meal on Christmas Day. That way, you can focus on spending time with loved ones and opening presents instead. 

Interested in Iowa food news? Follow @briantaylorcarlson on Facebook, @BriinDSM on Twitter and @briindsm on Instagram.

Here's the list of restaurants in Des Moines that are open on Christmas, serving a wide variety of cuisine. Most are walk-in friendly unless otherwise noted. 

Angry Goldfish

Angry Goldfish is open for every holiday. Owners Renee and Clark Way will be on hand with their dedicated team. Guests can order favorites from the full regular menu like spicy angry goldfish crackers, the merlot mushroom burger with Swiss cheese and the sweet pig mac and cheese with candied bacon crumbles.

Location: 2301 S.W. 9th St., Des Moines

Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Contact: (515) 288-2358;; Facebook

House of Hunan

Enjoy traditional Chinese cuisine in a casual atmosphere at House of Hunan. From potstickers and egg drop soup to your favorite dishes of chicken, beef or lo mein, you’re sure to find something delectable.

Location: 6810 Douglas Ave, Urbandale

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Contact: (515) 276-5556;; Facebook

Harvey's at Hotel Pattee

Harvey's recently relocated from Redfield to the historic Hotel Pattee in Perry. It will feature a Christmas brunch buffet from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner will be served from 5 to 8 p.m. A limited light menu will be featured between brunch and dinner. Call for reservations.

Location: 1112 Willis Ave., Perry

Hours: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Contact: (515) 465-3511;; Facebook

Triple Crown Buffet

    Enjoy a Christmas Eve brunch buffet (adults, $18.95; children $9.95) and a dinner buffet (adults, $20.95; children, $10.95).

    On Christmas Day, enjoy buffets for breakfast (adults, $20.95; children, $10.95) or for brunch and dinner (adults, $26.95; children, $13.95).

    Breakfast and brunch buffets will be served in The Meadows Events Center. All buffets will feature prime rib. Call for reservations.

    Location: Prairie Meadows, 1 Prairie Meadows Dr., Altoona


    • Christmas Eve - Brunch, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Dinner, 2 to 10 p.m.
    • Christmas Day - Breakfast, 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.; Brunch, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Dinner, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.

    Contact: (515) 967-1282;; Facebook

    Be sure to bookmark these frequently-updated dining guides:

    AJ’s Steakhouse

    Feeling lucky this Christmas? Head to Prairie Meadows casino and hit the jackpot (of cuisine). AJ’s Steakhouse is featuring a special prix fixe holiday menu including a starter, a traditional Christmas entrée of honey-orange smoked ham or herb-roasted tenderloin with a choice of sides and a dessert ($39 per person). Or you can order from a limited selection of regular menu items. Call for reservations.

    Location: Prairie Meadows, 1 Prairie Meadows Dr., Altoona

    Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

    Contact: (515) 957-3535; prairiemeadows.comFacebook

    Two Rivers Grille

    Two Rivers Grille will be open and serving breakfast, lunch and dinner on Christmas Day. Call for reservations.

    Location: West Des Moines Marriott, 1250 Jordan Creek Pkwy., West Des Moines

    Hours: 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

    Contact: (515) 267-1500; (515) 457-3223; marriott.comFacebook

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    Baker's Square Restaurant & Bakery

    Pick up a last-minute pie or enjoy the full menu on Christmas Day at Bakers Square. From skillets and scramblers to salads, burgers and more, your entire family can enjoy a bite to eat.

    Location: 1310 N.W. 114th St., Clive

    Hours: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

    Contact: (515) 224-0808;; Facebook

    Perkins Restaurant & Bakery

    From the Jordan Creek area to Des Moines' south side, stop into one of Perkins' seven metro locations for baked goods, breakfasts foods and other American classics.


    • 2425 E. Euclid Ave., Des Moines; (515) 266-2212
    • 2000 S.W. McKinley Ave., Des Moines; (515) 285-2970
    • 4601 Merle Hay Rd., Des Moines; (515) 278-0468
    • 8601 Hickman Rd., Des Moines; (515) 276-9267
    • 2621 Adventureland Dr., Altoona; (515) 957-9900
    • 714 S.E. Oralabor Rd., Ankeny; (515) 965-6800
    • 1224 Jordan Creek Pkwy., West Des Moines; (515) 223-5716

    Hours: Most locations are open 24 hours.

    Contact:; Facebook


    Whether you’re looking for breakfast, lunch or dinner, head to Denny’s. They're open all day on Christmas.

    Location: 11820 Hickman Rd, Clive

    Hours: Open 24 hours.

    Contact: (515) 331-0249;; Facebook

    Village Inn

    Eat your favorite breakfast foods on Christmas. This family-friendly chain is staying open on Christmas Day to help you and your loved ones celebrate. Enjoy American classics such as chicken-fried steak or a burger and fries. 


    • 1140 E Army Post Rd., Des Moines; (515) 287-5254
    • 2300 University Ave., West Des Moines; (515) 223-0010
    • 8510 Birchwood Ct., Johnston; (515) 727-6440
    • 3410 8th St SW, Altoona; (515) 967-9095
    • 1024 E 1st St, Ankeny; (515) 963-0630

    Hours: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    Contact: villageinn.comFacebook


    Enjoy an infinite array of breakfast dishes all day along with signature burgers, salads, sandwiches and entrees. But keep an eye out for the Grinch's Green Pancakes. 


    • 4807 S.E. 14th St., Des Moines; (515) 953-5800
    • 6301 Douglas Ave., Urbandale; (515) 331-0556
    • 5045 Bentley Dr., West Des Moines; (515) 267-1675
    • 2402 S.E. Delaware Ave., Ankeny; (515) 963-0102

    Hours: 24 hours.

    Contact:; Facebook

    Is your restaurant open on Christmas Day and you don't see it on this list? Please email Brian Carlson to have your restaurant added. 

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