Whether it’s a winter wonderland among the quaint, 19th-century buildings of the historic downtown, or a yuletide shopping spree at the outlet mall; a drive through an immersive lightshow, or a Christmastime concert at Prairie Meadows—there are so many ways to celebrate the season in Altoona, Iowa!

And with our dining, entertainment and shopping scene offering tons of year-round favorites, even those who say “Bah Humbug!” will find something to be merry about.

Can’t miss experiences

Jolly Holiday Lights

Running every night from Nov. 26th – Jan. 2nd, from 5:30-10PM at Adventureland Park, Jolly Holiday Lights is an unforgettable experience for a good cause. As you drive along the 2.5-mile route, you will encounter dozens of dynamic light displays, from a 20-foot-tall, basketball-playing Santa to an infamous “leg lamp.” For 25 years, this family-friendly, drive-thru event has wowed visitors from across the region, while serving as the largest fundraiser for Make-A-Wish® Iowa. Get info and purchase tickets here!

Christmas in Olde Town

Outstanding entertainment offerings have made PA winter wonderland is coming to Altoona! On Saturday, Nov. 27th, pack up the sleigh and head to Altoona’s historic Olde Town district for live music, walking tours, the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, a light show, and a special appearance from the Big Guy himself! The family-friendly fun kicks off at 2PM, and the party continues into the evening with Olde Town Cheer, a 21+ event. Get all the details here!

Holidays at the Outlets of Des Moines

With 50+ outlet stores offering the season’s hottest deals in a festive atmosphere, there is no better place in Central Iowa to do your holiday shopping. And when the season’s over, be sure to come back throughout the year to treat yourself to the unbeatable deals, delicious dining and good vibes of the Outlets of Des Moines. Learn more about holiday events at the Outlets here.