Where to See Santa in Des Moines

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see santa in Des MoinesIt’s the most wonderful time of the year—Santa is coming to Des Moines!

You can get cute photos of your kids sitting on his lap or enjoy breakfast or milk and cookies with Santa. Mark your calendars and make reservations. Many of these events sell out quickly! 

Not sure how your kiddo will feel about meeting the man in the big red suit? Check out our tips for a tear-free Santa visit

We’re thrilled to share this guide of Where to See Santa in Des Moines with you! Don’t forget to bring your wish list.

Breakfast with Santa

November 30, Dec. 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22 | Brunch with Santa at Center Grove Orchard, 32835 610th Ave., Cambridge, IA

Enjoy breakfast with Santa as well as cookie decorating, train rides, photos, and more.

Dec. 1 | Breakfast with Santa at the Tea Room, 713 Walnut St., Suite 600, Des Moines
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Enjoy a delicious buffet breakfast for all ages, a special reading from Peppermint the Elf and her friend Snowflake the Reindeer, an interactive sing-along of favorite holiday songs, plus arts and crafts. Take home a photo of the kids with Santa and create holiday memories to last a lifetime!

Tickets are $30 for adults or $50 for bottomless mimosa/Bloody Mary option; $15 for children ages 3 to 13, and FREE for children under 2. 

Dec. 1 | Milk and Cookies with Santa at the Tea Room, 713 Walnut St., Suite 600, Des Moines
3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

Enjoy milk and cookies over a special reading from Peppermint the Elf and her friend Snowflake the Reindeer, an interactive sing-along of favorite holiday songs, and arts and crafts. Take home a photo of the kids with Santa!

Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for ages 3 to 13, and free for children ages 2 and under.

December 7 | Breakfast with Santa, Eastview Community Center, 4101 E. 42nd St., Des Moines
9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Enjoy a free pancake and sausage breakfast for the whole family. Bring your camera to take pictures with Santa.

December 7 | Breakfast with Santa & Vendor Fair, Granger Community Center, 2200 Walnut St., Granger
8 a.m to 11 a.m.

Come have breakfast with Santa and get some holiday shopping done while browsing items from local vendors. Santa will be at the event from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. 

December 7 | Coffee with a Cop + Breakfast with Santa, Hy-Vee, 5750 Merle Hay Road, Johnston
8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Get to know Johnston police officers while also visiting with Santa and enjoying breakfast. 

December 7, 14 | Breakfast with Santa Bass Pro Shops, 1000 Bass Pro Drive N.W., Altoona

Enjoy a breakfast buffet and craft, plus personal visits and reading with Santa!

Adults $16.99, children over 2 years of age $13.99, kids 2 and under are free. Reservations are required. To make reservations, please call 515-957-5400.

December 7, 21 | Pajamas & Stories with Santa at Center Grove Orchard 32835 610th Ave Cambridge, IA

Have dinner with Santa, make a craft, and take photos.

December 14 | Kids Winter Fest BreakfastOutlets of Des Moines, 801 Bass Pro Drive N.W., Altoona
8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Have breakfast with the Snow Queen and Ice Princess in the Food Pavilion. Kids will enjoy a delicious breakfast in their PJ’s with their favorite snow sisters! First 250 children ages 3 to 10 years. While supplies last. Free and open to the public.

December 14 | Breakfast with Santa, Reiman Gardens, 1407 University Blvd., Ames
8 a.m. and 10 a.m. 

Have breakfast, do a craft, and visit Santa! 

$7 members/ISU student youth; $12 members/ISU student adult; $9 general public youth; $14 general public adult. Pre-registration by Dec. 8 required.

December 14 | Breakfast with Santa, Boone County Hospital Foundation, 1015 Union St., Boone
8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Come have breakfast with Santa at Boone County Hospital! You can get your picture taken with Santa and tell him what’s on your Christmas wishlist.

Pre-register by Nov. 25th: $10/child, $5/adult (also receive a personalized invite from Santa in the mail). Child price increases to $15 on Nov. 26. 

December 14, 15 | Breakfast with Santa Science Center of Iowa, 401 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, Des Moines

Enjoy a buffet-style breakfast, meet and greet with Santa, holiday sing-a-long, and more! Tickets are required and registration fills up quickly. 

Photos with Santa in Des Moines

Bass Pro Shops

Santa’s Wonderland, 1000 Bass Pro Drive N.W., Altoona

Get a free photo with Santa and enjoy free kid’s crafts and activities.

Santa’s hours November 16 until December 24

Arrival: Nov. 16 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

November 17-26

Monday–Friday: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Saturday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

November 27: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

November 28: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

November 29: 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.

November 30-December 8

Monday-Friday: 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Saturday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

December 9–23

Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

December 24: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Jordan Creek Town Center

Sephora Promo Court, lower level, 101 Jordan Creek Parkway, West Des Moines

Lifetime is your destination for 24/7 Christmas movies, all season long at Jordan Creek Town Center in West Des Moines! And to get you in the holiday spirit, Lifetime, the destination for 24/7 Chrismas movies,  is giving the gift of 500 free photo packages so your festive family photos with Santa at Jordan Creek Town Center can be remembered for a lifetime. Sign up for your free photo package from November 9, 2019 to November 27, 2019.

Santa’s hours Nov. 22 to Dec. 13

Monday – Saturday: Noon to 8 p.m. (Break: 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.)

Sunday: Noon to 6 p.m. (Break: 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.)

Extended hours Dec. 14-22:

Monday – Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Break: 1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.)

Sunday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Break: 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and  5 p.m. to 6 p.m.)

December 24: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Break: 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.)

Special Hours:

Tree Lighting + Santa: November 22 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at outdoor pond 

Pet Nights: Monday evenings, November 25 to December 16 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Santa Cares: November 24 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and December 8 from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Children within all spectrums of special needs and their families are invited to a sensory-friendly event to experience the time-honored tradition of a visit and photos with Santa!

Valley West Mall

1551 Valley West Drive, West Des Moines, Lower Level of Valley West Mall

See Santa’s Winter Wonderland, ride the train, and get photos with Santa.

Santa’s Hours November 16 until December 23

Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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

Milk and cookie breaks: Monday-Saturday: 12:30-1:30 and 4:30-5:30; Sunday: 2-3

Christmas Eve: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; train hours 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Santa Sightings in Des Moines

November 9, 10 |  Photos with Santa Homemakers Furniture, 10215 Douglas Ave., Urbandale

11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Kick off the holiday season with a free photo with Santa!

November 21, December 5, 12, 19 |  Mingle & Jingle in the Junction Historic Valley Junction, Fifth St., West Des Moines
5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Don’t miss horse-drawn trolley rides, Santa and Mrs. Claus, family activities, balloon art by Professor Von Air, and ice carvings by Bill Gordish.

November 23 | Tree Lighting Outlets of Des Moines, 801 Bass Pro Drive N.W., Altoona.
3 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

Come watch as the Outlets of Des Moines light their Christmas tree. You’ll have a chance to visit with Santa or Mrs. Claus. 

November 29, 30, December 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22 | Santa Express Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad, 225 10th St., Boone, IA

Take the family on a ride to the North Pole. Enjoy hot cocoa and cookies along with a visit from Santa on the ride. 

November 30 | Father Christmas Children’s Event Canyoner Garden Center 3355 S.E. Gateway Drive, Grimes
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sit on Santa’s lap and enjoy the magic of the season.

December 1 | Christmas in Uptown Historical Society Barn in Ankeny
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Take pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus, go on a treasure hunt, enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides, and more.  

December 7 | Holidays in Johnston Johnston Public Library 6700 Merle Hay Road
2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Don’t miss crafts, cookie decorating, entertainment, food, and more. Santa will make a special appearance on a Johnston fire truck. No registration is necessary. Event is free.

December 8 | Grimes Holiday Celebration Grimes Community Complex, 410 S.E. Main St., Grimes
4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Visit Santa and Mrs. Claus, enjoy crafts, cookies, and cocoa, and more.

December 8 | Waukee WinterFest The Downtown Triangle
4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Don’t miss a tree lighting, visit from Santa, ice sculptor, and more. The event is free and open to the public.

December 13, 14, 15 | Pony Express to Santa Jester Park Equestrian Center 11171 NW 103 Court Granger, IA
Experience the magic of Christmas with a pony ride through a winter wonderland to meet Santa on his sleigh. Pony rides are for children ages 3 to 12. Those not riding a pony can take a wagon ride. Tickets must be purchased in advance. 

December 14 & 15 | Santa at the Zoo Blank Park Zoo, 7401 S.W. Ninth St., Des Moines
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Take a photo with Santa, write a letter to the North Pole, drink cocoa, and more.

Where’s your favorite place to see Santa in Des Moines?

We work hard to ensure the accuracy of this information. However, you should always call ahead to confirm dates, times, location and other information before heading to an event or activity, since it may change.

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Kimberly Isburg
Kimberly is a Northwest Iowa native, a Drake University graduate, and a fan of all things Des Moines. She is a girly girl who grew up and became a boy mom, and is now an expert on all types of construction equipment and big machines. She shares her Des Moines home with hubby Sam (2006) and sons Jack (March 2014) and Henry (December 2016). Kimberly studied magazine journalism in college, spent 10 years working for a newspaper, and recently became a postpartum doula. In her abundant (and almost nonexistent) free time she enjoys writing about mom life, drinking coffee, documenting time with family and friends, starting Shutterfly projects she rarely finishes, doing Crossfit, and daydreaming about future decorating and crafting projects.

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