These are 6 can't-miss holiday shows in Des Moines
Shoppers are seeking 'mallternatives' for their holiday shopping. Several holiday markets are popping up in the metro. Patt Johnson/Des Moines Register
Don’t spend your holiday season sitting on the couch, Iowans.
As the city’s entertainment venues swap Broadway productions and punk shows for holiday offerings, it’s time again to slip on an ugly Christmas sweater and plan a night out celebrating the season.
Looking to catch a holiday drink and show with friends? Want to take the whole family for a night out downtown? We’ve got a bit of both in the Register’s picks of seasonal entertainment in Iowa’s capital city.
Nada Silent Night XVI at Franklin Jr. High (Dec. 1): One of Iowa’s favorite bands returns to Des Moines for a 16th consecutive year of Nada Silent Night. The show mixes fan-favorite Nadas cuts with holiday classics. A night benefiting Toys For Tots, the band asks each attendee bring an unwrapped toy for donation. Franklin Jr. High, 4801 Franklin Ave. 8 p.m. $20 before fees. More information at thenadas.com.
More on holidays in Des Moines:
- 8 Des Moines holiday markets that offer unique, one-of-a-kind gifts
- Holiday dishes all Iowans grew up with (and don't you dare make fun of them)
- Ho ho ho! Here’s where you’ll hear holiday music on the radio in Des Moines
The Nutcracker at Hoyt Sherman Place (Dec. 7-9): A locally-produced take on the holiday classic, about 90 to 100 dancers take to the Sherman Hill stage in bringing to life “The Nutcracker.” Five performances run in three days, with matinees scheduled on Dec. 8 and Dec. 9. Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave. Time varies by show. $28-$73 before fees. More information at hoytsherman.org.
A Conquered Christmas at the Des Moines Social Club (Dec. 6): Led by songwriter Christopher the Conquered, a cohort of Iowa musicians gather to celebrate the holiday season with songs old and new. Scheduled to appear is Brother Trucker, Parranderos Latin Combo (PLC), Pride of Iowa Barbershop Chorus, Tina Haase Findlay and more. Can’t make it to the social club? You’re in luck. The program is broadcast live on Iowa Public Radio. Des Moines Social Club basement bar, 900 Mulberry St. 7:30 p.m. Free. More information at desmoinessocialclub.org.
Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer: The Musical at the Civic Center (Dec. 17): Everyone’s favorite cherry-nosed sleigh leader tells his story in the live action touring production of a holiday classic. Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut St. 6:30 p.m. $25-$57 before fees. Find more information at dmpa.org.
Mannheim Steamroller at the Civic Center (Dec. 18-19): The music of your favorite holiday radio station comes to life as this three-decade tradition returns to Iowa’s largest city. “Grammy Award winner Chip Davis has created a show that features Mannheim Steamroller Christmas classic,” the event description reads. Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut St. 7:30 p.m. $51 to $91 before fees. Find more information at dmpa.org.
Max Wellman’s Home for the Holidays at Noce (multiple days in December): Local jazz singer Max Wellman partners with music director and trumpeter Dave Rezek in bringing to life the ninth year of his holiday show. The show runs Dec. 7, 9, 14, 15, 16 and 21. Noce Jazz Cabaret, 1326 Walnut St. Prices and times vary. Find more information at nocedsm.com.