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Your Holiday Guide to Ames
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Your Holiday Guide to Ames

While there always seems to be something new and exciting to experience in Ames, the holiday season is truly a special time for residents and visitors alike to enjoy our community. Just take a look at all the great events planned throughout Story and Boone County in December:

Cirque Dreams Holidaze – December 1: It’s a cirque show, Broadway musical, holiday spectacular and family show all in one! Jump start your family’s holiday season with a show that celebrates the most wonderful time of year with over 300 costumes, 20 acts and 30 performers, original music and seasonal favorites all performed in a winter wonderland of amazement. (

Holiday Lighted Parade & Tree Lighting in Boone – December 1: Get in the holiday spirit with a lighted parade in downtown Boone followed by carols, hot cocoa and tree lighting. (

Art Mart – December 1-3: This sale at ISU’s Memorial Union is the perfect place to find that unique and beautiful gift you can’t find anywhere else. (

Shop & See the Train Show – Thursdays, December 1, 8, 15 and 22

Reiman Gardens will be open late on Thursdays in December for visitors to shop at the gift shop and see the indoor holiday train display. Don’t miss the outdoor lights and decoration illuminated against the night sky! (

Nevada’s Vintage Christmas – December 2: Come to downtown Nevada to enjoy and old-fashioned Christmas. Cookie walk, carolers, a live nativity scene, pop up art show, and Santa and Mrs. Claus lighting the Christmas tree! (

Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad Santa’s Scenic Valley Express – Weekends, December 2 - 18: Ride the Santa Express to the “North Pole,” meet Santa on the train and receive a special gift! Arrive in your PJ’s and prepare for an adventure like never before!  (

Winterfest 2016 – December 2: Winterfest at Iowa State University is an event for all ages featuring numerous activities including a tree lighting, the Andy Albright Jingle Jog, a Snow Princess meet and greet, Campanile tours and more! (

Queen Anne Christmas Royal Tea – December 3: The Queen Anne Bed and Breakfast in Nevada will host this festive holiday tea. (

Christmas­ at the Farm House – December 3: Celebrate the season at the Farm House Museum. Warm up with hot cocoa as you explore the first building on Iowa State’s campus and experience what Christmas was like at the turn of the century. (

Old-Fashioned Christmas – December 3: Step back in time in downtown Ames with an Old-Fashioned Christmas celebration hosted by the Ames Historical Society.  Enjoy crafts, refreshments, and Santa! ( and

Dad’s Belgian Waffles – December 3: Visit the Iowa Arboretum and feast on mammoth size waffles and view Iowa grown and decorated Christmas trees. Even Santa will make an appearance! (

Central Iowa Symphony: Austrian Holidays Concert – December 3: Get into the holiday spirit with a live performance by the Central Iowa Symphony. (

Christmas with Sandy Clark and Friends – December 3: The Iowa Talent Factory in Nevada presents this festive holiday show. (

Home Grown Holidays in Madrid – December 3 – December 18: Come and celebrate the best of Iowa grown Christmas trees at the Iowa Arboretum.  Each tree is creatively decorated by local clubs, schools and organizations. The event is free and open to the public. (

Holiday Book Sale – December 3-4: Stop by the Ames Public Library for some great deals! (

Good Company: A Women’s Choral Ensemble – December 4: Experience the warmth and harmonic sense of winter “Wonder” through musical selections such as “Ava Maria”, “Alleluia”, “Hanukkah Blessings”, and many other beautiful songs. (

Ames Children’s Choir Holiday Celebration Concert – December 4: Choir will perform holiday music accompanied by a variety of instrumental accompaniment. (

Holiday Concert Choir – December 4: Enjoy the sounds of the season with the Iowa State University Choirs at Stephens Auditorium. (

The Talent Factory Regulars Christmas Show – December 9: Free performance featuring the fantastic Talent Factory Regulars! (

Breakfast with Santa - December 10: Kids, bring your parents to Reiman Gardens to enjoy a hearty breakfast buffet including eggs, bacon, fresh fruit and donuts! Santa will visit from 8:30 to 11:00 a.m. Create your own holiday ornament, write a letter to Santa, visit the train exhibit in the Hughes Conservatory, and head to the Gift Shop for stocking stuffers and unique gift ideas. (

Prairie Moon Winery’s Lunar Emporium– December 10: Prairie Moon has their annual winter market coming up filled with wares and items for all your holiday needs! For more information, go to Prairie Moon Winery’s Lunar Emporium event Facebook page.

The Nutcracker Ballet – December 10-11: Come to Stephens Auditorium to celebrate the season with this classic holiday tale! (

Santa’s Train in Downtown Ames – December 10: Bring the kids to see Santa and ride the train!  Cy the Mascot will be there as well to celebrate Snow Magic in downtown Ames!  (

Santa Claus & Cookies in Huxley – December 10: Travel to Huxley for festive fun – cookie decorating, games and visiting with Santa and Mrs. Clause. ( – Parks and Recreation department)

Ames TUBACHRISTMAS - December 10: The 7th annual TUBACHRISTMAS in will be held on Saturday, December 10, 2016 at 11:00am and 1:30pm at the First United Methodist Church. (

Geocache Elf Hunt – December 11: Learn how to use a GPS, then go search the woods to find some elves and their hidden presents! (

Gift Shop Stocking Stuffer Night – December 15: Shop for unique items for gifts and stocking stuffers! Everyone who attends will receive a discount and get plenty of help from the inspired Gift Shop staff. (

Nevada Community Movie Night Talent Factory – December 17: Plan to attend the FREE showing of The Polar Express! ( or

Ames Jaycees New Year's Eve Bash - December 31: Ring in the new year with live music by the Burnin' Sensations, hor d'oeuvres, a cash bar and midnight champagne toast at the Gateway Hotel! (

For additional information regarding exciting events in Ames and the surrounding area, check out

Leave a Comment

  1. Travel Iowa Team
    Travel Iowa Team
    It sounds like a winter wonderland in Ames! Thanks for contributing to the Travel Iowa blog.
    Log in to reply.


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