Where to See Santa in Des Moines


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

You can still get cute photos of your kids with Santa this year. Most places are requiring reservations but are also providing a safe way to visit with Santa.

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.

santa claus des moines

Photos with Santa in Des Moines

Bass Pro Shops

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

November 7 – December 24, hours vary

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

Jordan Creek Town Center

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

November 20 – December 23
Monday – Saturday:  11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

December 24
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Reservations are required. Face coverings for children and Santa may be required during your contactless visit based on current state regulations.

Valley West Mall

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

Santa will be in person, however, he will be located in his workshop office. Visiting face to face through his office window with a special speaker so that everyone’s wishes can be heard loud and clear.

November 23 – December 24
Monday-Saturday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Milk and cookie breaks: Monday–Saturday: 12:30 p.m to 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m to 5:30 p.m.; Sunday: 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Christmas Eve
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; train hours 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Santa Sightings in Des Moines

Fridays – Sundays, November 27 – December 20 | Santa Express Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad, 225 10th St., Boone, IA

Take the family on a ride to the North Pole. Enjoy drinks and a visit from Santa on the ride. 

December 6 | 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 4 | Waukee WinterFest on Wheels Waukee Public Works Building, 805 University Ave, Waukee
4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The typical WinterFest event is being switched up to “WinterFest on Wheels” this year. Santa Claus and his helpers will hand out treats and goodies as visitors drive through one of the building’s vehicle bays. Participants will stay in their vehicles.

A virtual tree-lighting, ice sculptor demonstration, book donations, holiday light competition, and a toy/food drive will also be held with modifications. Anyone is welcome to drive through the event. Free kids’ goodie bags with advance registration.

December 11 | Pizza and Pj’s with Santa

Blank Park Zoo, 7401 S.W. Ninth St., Des Moines
12 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Each ticket includes 2 slices of pizza (members will be allowed to go through the line a second time if there are leftovers). Santa will make an appearance for a story and socially distant photo opportunity. Kids and adults are encouraged to wear their pajamas.

Tickets: $12
Children 2 years and under – $6

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, locations, and other information before heading to an event or activity. Especially now, events are ever-changing.

santa des moines

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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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