Smile! Santa’s coming to town. Make a special trip to see Santa and don’t forget your list. Or, if you want to just enjoy time around Santa, check out one of the fun holiday events with activities, Santa, and more!
Is this your child’s first trip to Santa, or has it been a tricky situation in the past? 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!
Photos with Santa in Des Moines
When: November 5 – December 24, hours vary
Where: Santa’s Wonderland, 1000 Bass Pro Drive N.W., Altoona
Get a free photo with Santa and enjoy free kid’s crafts and activities. Advanced registration is required.
When: November 18 – December 24, hours vary
Where: Sephora Court, lower level, 101 Jordan Creek Parkway, West Des Moines
Reservations are encouraged. Take photos with Santa and create magical moments for you and your family.
When: December 1 – December 24, hours vary
Where: 1551 Valley West Drive, West Des Moines, Lower Level of Valley West Mall
Catch a ride on the kid-sized train before seeing Santa. Their staff will do their best to be low-contact and they will ask for parent/guardian assistance in arranging children for photos.
November 23 | A Night Under the Lights
5 p.m. Waukee Centennial Park
A festive parade followed by dinner, festive drinks, and hot chocolate. Don’t miss Santa at the shelter after the parade. Bring food items to donate.
Fridays – Sundays, November 25 – December 18 | 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.
November 26 | Christmas in Olde Town
Altoona Area Historical Society, 104 2nd St. SE, Des Moines
2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Family-friendly activities start at 2 p.m. when Santa arrives on a fire truck. The party continues into the evening with Olde Town Cheer, a 21+ event with drinks, food trucks, s’mores and so much more.
November 26 – December 18 | Brunch with Santa
Center Grove Orchard, 32835 610th Ave, Cambridge
Kids can share their wishlist with Santa Saturday and Sunday mornings. Pre-purchased tickets are required and include brunch and a time slot to visit with Santa.
December 2 | Waukee WinterFest
Waukee Triangle, Ashworth Dr & 6th St, Waukee
4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Bring on the holiday cheer with your friends, family, and neighbors at Waukee’s free, annual WinterFest celebration. Free soup, cookies, and hot cocoa. Activities and of course, Santa!
December 4 | Grimes Holiday Celebration
South Sports Complex, 750 S James St., Grimes
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Bring the kiddos to see Santa and enjoy activities including Trivia, goodie bags, tree voting contests, and holiday lights and music.
December 10, 17 | Santa at the Zoo
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Come out for a special day with Santa. Enjoy face painting and fun holiday crafts. Then walk around the Zoo to see all the gifts Santa’s elves made for the animals.
655 SE Legacy Pointe Blvd, Waukee
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Fi & Friends presents a special VIP meet & greet with Santa in a calm, sensory-friendly environment. With unlimited professional photos emailed directly to you. Cost $25
December 17 | Breakfast with Santa Aldergate Church 3600 75th St Urbandale
UCAN’s Holiday Headquarters
9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
In addition to a visit from Santa, enjoy a pancake breakfast, crafts, and Christmas magic. Registration required. Proceeds benefit UCAN’s holiday helping hands program.
December 17 & 18 | Meet Santa at Homemakers Furniture
11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
15500 Hickman Rd, Clive
Share your wish list and get a photo with Santa! Bring a camera or smartphone to take your photos at the Santa experience. One of Santa’s helpers will be there to assist you if needed.
Take pictures with Santa while you enjoy dinner with your family! There will be a complimentary hot cocoa bar as well as cookie decorating.
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.