Each month, we highlight the most buzzworthy places and events in Greater Des Moines in a feature we call Des Buzz. It's your “in the know” list of places to go!


Experience a German-inspired Christmas Market, December 1 – 4 at Principal Park with Christkindlmarket. A 700-year-old tradition that takes place in cities around the globe, Christkindlmarket offers the opportunity to shop from vendors in traditional wooden stalls, listen to polka bands, and try European-style beverages (mulled wine, thank you very much). Friday, December 2, check out the Opening Ceremonies with an appearance from our very own President and CEO Greg Edwards giving the opening remarks. Admission is free! 

Holiday Hullabaloo 

A brand-new Holiday experience for 2022, head out to Horizon Events Center for Holiday Hullabaloo. Decorate cookies in Mrs. Claus’ kitchen, build a craft in Santa’s Workshop, or even play mini-golf. You can also stroll through Toyland, have an indoor snowball fight, and shop in the Marketplace. Looking for more of an adult experience? The evenings are 21+, perfect for hanging out at the Ice Bar with some live music. Get tickets here

The Peppermint Trail 

Head to The Avenues of Ingersoll and Grand for a new Holiday event, The Peppermint Trail. More than 50 local shops, restaurants, and businesses will be featuring peppermint and holiday-themed specials. Enjoy Gingerbread house decorating, carolers, visits from Santa Claus, and so much more. Make a stop at Bauder’s for one of their famous Peppermint Ice Cream Bars, Crème for peppermint hot chocolate, and stop at The Station on Ingersoll for their Holiday pop-up, Miracle on Ingersoll. Learn about all the specials here.

Naughty and Nice List  

This year you get to pick – the Naughty List or the Nice List. Secret Admirer is hosting a holiday cocktail pop-up, Nice List. Their list of cocktails includes Teddy Graham, Aunt Edna, and Doing Just Fine, Clark. At their sister bar, Good News, Darling, you can visit their holiday cocktail pop-up, Naughty List. Their cocktail menu features Tom and Jerry, Grasshopper, and Irish Coffee. Both bars are decorated in holiday décor; for Secret Admirer, think festive and cheery and Good News, Darling, lavish and dramatic.

Lynlee Lounge 

Grab a craft cocktail, beer, or wine at the newly opened Lynlee Lounge. Located inside the Fairfield Inn and Suites Downtown Des Moines, this is the perfect place to grab a drink before catching an event at Wells Fargo Arena. Lynlee Bar features a patio bar with a firepit and views of downtown. 

Deck the Halls (Surety Hotel) 

There’s no place like home for the holidays, but we know that’s not always the case. Surety Hotel has partnered with local designers to transform their studio king guestrooms into festive holiday rooms. Each room has a unique holiday design that will have you feeling cozy and in the holiday spirit. Reserve a room now through the end of the year and receive an ornament, chocolates, and complimentary coffee from the hotel lobby. Pairs nicely with a staycation to explore the city with our Winter Things to Do itinerary.  

Pentatonix: A Christmas Spectacular 

If you’re looking for some music to get you in the holiday spirit, Pentatonix is just the group for you. The iconic a cappella group known for their recreation of Christmas hits will be taking over Wells Fargo Arena on December 8. Spend the evening mesmerized by their abilities, as well as singing along to your favorite Christmas carols. Tickets start at $25, and you can get them here

Varsity Cinema 

Movie lovers, rejoice! A once closed iconic theatre in the Drake neighborhood is slated to reopen on December 15. Varsity Cinema closed in 2018, but it is officially opening again thanks to The Des Moines Film Society. Enjoy a newly renovated theatre, with a larger screen. Old elements will still be involved, including their popcorn machine. See classics like Singin’ in the Rain or get in the holiday spirit with Elf. See the full schedule here