The Buzz: Jolly Holiday Lights

the buzz jolly holiday lights

Get excited, Altoona. The holiday season is finally here! If you’re looking for a fun way (or a bunch of ways, rather) to get into the spirit of celebration; look no further than Jolly Holiday Lights! This cherished tradition, brought to life by Make-A-Wish® Iowa over 25 years ago, is taking on an exciting new form this year, and it’s shaping up to be quite the experience.

After many wonderful years at Adventureland, Jolly Holiday Lights has relocated to the Outlets of Des Moines! From November 17 to January 7, you can stroll through their captivating displays, immersing yourself in a masterfully crafted winter wonderland.

Oh, by the way—the location isn’t the only thing that’s changed.

Jolly Holiday Lights is introducing a whole host of new events and activities this year. From a celebratory kickoff ceremony to pet photo sessions, train rides, a sip and shop night and everything in between—there’s something for everyone to enjoy!

Here’s what you can look forward to.

Kickoff Ceremony (Nov. 17, 6-8pm)

Get the party started at the Jolly Holiday Lights Kickoff Ceremony! Stop by on Friday, November 17 from 6-8pm for a display and tree-lighting ceremony, a chance to meet Santa’s reindeer, and of course, lots of cookies and hot chocolate.

Save the date!

Breakfast with Santa (Dec. 2, 8-10am)

On Saturday, December 2, bring your family to the Outlets of Des Moines for the Jolly Holiday Lights Breakfast with Santa event! You’ll get to meet the Big Man himself, enjoy build-your-own breakfast burritos or tacos provided by Early Bird Brunch, and savor some delicious mini cinnamon rolls from Cinnaholic. (Tickets required.)

Bring your wish lists and your appetites!

Santa Paws: Pet Photos with Santa (Dec. 6, 5-8pm)

Holiday pet photos are cute enough as it is, but wouldn’t it be even more adorable to capture your furry friend sitting on Santa’s lap? (The answer is “yes.”)

Visit the Wish Shop at the Outlets of Des Moines from 5-8pm on Wednesday, December 6 to get your pet’s photo snapped for just $10!

Don’t miss the howl-iday fun.

Train Ride (Dec. 9, 4-8pm)

You should really choo-choose to go on a Jolly Holiday Lights train ride! Grab a coat, hat and mittens and head on over to the Outlets from 4-8pm on December 9 to enjoy this one-of-a-kind viewing experience. Be sure to grab a treat from Nothing Bundt Cakes while you’re there; 10% of all proceeds will go to Make-A-Wish Iowa!

Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the event.

Mark your calendars and climb aboard!

Sip & Shop Night (Dec. 15, 5-8pm)

Adults, this one’s for you! Jolly Holiday Lights is hosting a Sip & Shop Night at the Outlets of Des Moines on December 15, from 5-8pm. Bring your friends to do some last-minute shopping and enjoy some beer, wine, mulled hot red wine sangria, holiday beers, or hot chocolate!

This is a ticketed event and you must be 21+ to attend. Learn more below.

Come say cheers!

Coca-Cola Holiday Caravan (Dec. 16, 4-8pm)

Each year, the Coca-Cola Holiday Caravan embarks on a joyous journey to spread holiday cheer across the nation. Don’t miss its arrival at the Outlets of Des Moines on Saturday, December 16! Stop by from 4-8pm to take free photos with Santa, sip on complimentary beverage samples, and meet the famous Coca-Cola Polar Bear.

Join the fizzy festivities!

Have a Holly Jolly Holiday Season!

It really is the most wonderful time of the year here in Altoona! There’s so much to look forward to this season. Happy holidays, everyone. Have a safe, fun and memorable time celebrating!

P.S. Visit our Holiday Happenings page to unwrap even more festive surprises!