You might sound great belting out holiday tunes in the car but wait until you see the professionals bring them to life on stage. It’s the gift you don’t need a gift receipt for. Check out this comprehensive list of holiday shows, concerts, and plays in Greater Des Moines for you and the family to enjoy. The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!


Disney on Ice
Your favorite Disney stars are coming to life during Disney on Ice Presents Magic in the Stars. The family-friendly show will have the figure skating stars doing high-flying acrobatics and stunts, all with special effects, electric lighting, and set designs. 

Where: Wells Fargo Arena
When: November 23 – 26
Tickets: $18 – $98  


All is Calm
All is Calm will take you back to World War I as the sounds of the war come to a silence and into a song, all taking place on Christmas. It’s the story of one night of camaraderie, music, and peace, told through those who lived it.  

Where: Des Moines Community Playhouse
When: December 1 – 3, 6 – 10, and 13 – 17
Tickets: $29 – $53  

A Charlie Brown Christmas
The beloved TV special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, is coming to life this holiday season. Enjoy a performance of the classic as Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the gang of friends discover the meaning of Christmas. 

Where: Des Moines Community Playhouse
When: December 2 – 3, 9 – 10, and 16 – 17
Tickets: $14 – $19 

Final Act Ensemble Winter 2023 Show
The Final Act Ensemble is bringing classical holiday fun to their show with favorite radio couples Burns & Allen and Fibber McGee & Molly. Throughout the evening you can expect to hear holiday songs from the Golden Age of Radio. 

Where: Des Moines Community Playhouse
When: 7 p.m. on December 12
Tickets: $10 

The Gingerbread Child
Watch out, that gingerbread cookie is out of the oven and running around! The Gingerbread Child will have you entertained throughout the interactive show wondering if the gingerbread child will be able to outwit a fox looking for a tasty treat.  

Where: Des Moines Community Playhouse
When: 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on December 15
Tickets: $6 


1st Annual Noce Christmas with Max
Noce Jazz and Cabaret is celebrating the holiday season with Max Wellman. His voice is much like that of Sinatra and Connick. Hear him multiple times throughout the holiday season as he delivers the sounds of Christmas. 

Where: Noce
When: 7 and 9 p.m. on December 2, 5 p.m. on December 10, and 7 and 9 p.m. on December 23
Tickets: $22 – $48  

All I want for Christmas with Gina Gedler
You’ll warm right up when you hear the voice of singer and actress, Gina Gedler, sing some of her favorite holiday songs. 

Where: Noce
When: 7 p.m. on December 3 and 7 and 9 p.m. on December 22
Tickets: $22 – $48 

A Charlie Brown Christmas with Peter Roberts Band
Just about all of us have seen the popular TV special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, but have you ever listened to the music that’s played throughout the show? Pianist Peter Roberts will be delivering the famous score this holiday season at Noce. 

Where: Noce
When: 7 p.m. on December 5, 12, and 19
Tickets: $21 – $47 

Sounds of the Season
The Des Moines Big Band is making some big noise this holiday season with Sounds of the Season. Throughout December they’ll play holiday classics from “Sugar Rum Cherry” to “Joy to the World.” 

Where: Noce
When: 7 p.m. on December 6, 13, and 20
Tickets: $18 – $44 

The Matt Wilson Christmas Tree-O-National Act
Leading the ensemble, Christmas Tree-O, Matt Wilson, a New York-based drummer is bringing his jazz energy to the stage at Noce. This drummer will have you thinking about the “Little Drummer Boy” throughout the entire performance.  

Where: Noce
When: 7 p.m. on December 14
Tickets: $25 – $65  

Max Wellman’s 14th Annual Home for the Holidays
Your holiday classics like “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and “Sleigh Ride” are getting a jazz swing to them with Max Wellman during the Home for the Holidays show. This show has been known to sell out in years past. 

Where: Noce
When: December 15 – 17
Tickets: $22 – $48 

Vocalist Lauren Vilmain: Meet Me Under the Mistletoe
Drake graduate, Lauren Vilmain will be performing her holiday favorites, jazz style, during her show Meet Me Under the Mistletoe.  

Where: Noce
When: 7 p.m. on December 21
Tickets: $22 – $48 


Movies in the Park – Elf
Grab the coats, hats, scarves, mittens, and a cup of hot cocoa and head to Colby Park to see the movie, Elf. The Christmas favorite will start at 6:30 p.m. with free treats available before the movie starts. 

Where: Colby Park
When: 6 p.m. on December 2
Tickets: Free 


Des Moines Gay Men’s Chorus: Light of the Season
The voices of the Des Moines Gay Men’s Chorus will share the songs of the holidays during their concert, Light of the Season. 

Where: Hoyt Sherman Place
When: 7:30 p.m. on December 2
Tickets: $28 – $38  

Ballet Des Moines Present: The Nutcracker
It’s your quintessential performance – The Nutcracker. Follow along with Ballet Des Moines for the magical story of Clara, her Nutcracker, and their journey. 

Where: Hoyt Sherman Place
When: December 7 – 10
Tickets: $37 – $87 

Christmas with Lorie Line
Lorie Line is bringing her simple and elegant Christmas show to the stage that will feature a new solo piano, new vocalist, and bells. She will perform classics and newer holiday songs. 

Where: Hoyt Sherman Place
When: 7 p.m. on December 14
Tickets: $65 

Michael W. Smith Christmas
Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter, Michael W. Smith will be on his Christmas tour with his friend, Michael Tait. The two will perform Smith’s biggest Christmas hits along with holiday favorites.  

Where: Hoyt Sherman Place
When: 3 p.m. on December 17
Tickets: $59 – $69 


Iowa Dance Theatre: The Nutcracker
The Sugar Plum Fairy, a girl named Clara, and a Nutcracker will be dancing across the stage when the Iowa Dance Theatre presents The Nutcracker. 

Where: Des Moines Civic Center
When: 7:30 p.m. on December 8 and 2 and 7:30 p.m. on December 9
Tickets: $31 – $59  

Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer: The Musical
A popular movie and tv special is coming to the stage, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical. Your favorites will be there too – Santa, Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, the Abominable Snow Monster, Yukon Cornelius, and yes, Rudolph. 

Where: Des Moines Civic Center
When: 2 and 7 p.m. on December 21
Tickets: $29 – $65  

Cirque Dreams Holidaze
The world of acrobatics is feeling the spirit of the holidays with Cirque Dreams Holidaze. With original takes on holiday favorites, you’ll see circus acts, jugglers, acrobatics, and more as the stage is set with dancers, penguins, toy soldiers, and reindeer. 

Where: Des Moines Civic Center
When: 7:30 p.m. on December 22 and 11 a.m., 3 p.m., and 7 p.m. on December 23
Tickets: $29 – $99   


Irish Christmas in America
Irish dancing, a fiddle, flute, harp, uilleann pipes, and a bouzouki, that’s what you’ll see and hear at Irish Christmas in America. The family-friendly performance brings the Irish traditions of the holiday season to the stage through music, song, dance, and stories. 

Where: Temple Theater
When: 7:30 p.m. on December 7 and 8
Tickets: $20 – $58  


Iowa Stage Theatre Company: A Christmas Carol
You won’t want to miss the classic story of Ebenezer Scrooge and the spirits of Christmas past, present, and future with the Iowa Stage Theatre’s Performance of A Christmas Carol. 

Where: Stoner Theatre
When: December 8 – 10 and 13 – 17
Tickets: $25 for student, $40 for general admission


Miserable Holiday Cabaret
Just about every holiday movie or show has some bad person trying to ruin the day. The Miserable Holiday Cabaret has these so-called holiday villains stirring up a bit of trouble through comedy and musical performances. 

Where: Tallgrass Theatre Company
When: 7:30 p.m. on December 2
Tickets: $30 – $50   


Holiday Concert with Rose Colella
Jazz vocalist, Rose Colella, whose been featured in many national and Jazz publications, will perform at the Salisbury House and Gardens for their Holiday Concert. In addition to hearing the smooth voice of Colella, you can also enjoy beer and wine and take a tour of the decorated home.  

Where: Salisbury House and Gardens
When: 7:30 p.m. on December 3
Tickets: $65 


Des Moines Concert Handbells
Who doesn’t love a good handbell concert, and one that is all about the holiday tunes. Catch a performance of the Des Moines Concert Handbells to get you in the spirit of the season.  

Where: Gloria Dei Lutheran Church (December 15) and Plymouth United Church of Christ (December 16)
When: 7 p.m. on December 15 and 3:30 p.m. on December 16
Tickets: Free will offering.  


Candlelight: Holiday Special Featuring “The Nutcracker” and More