10 Must-Do Holiday Events for Kids


posted on Thursday, November 10, 2016

It's hard to believe the holiday season will soon be here, especially with the beautiful fall weather we've been enjoying lately. But, now's the time to start thinking about Santa's arrival and all the fun this holiday season brings. So we've rounded up some great activities that are (sorry Moms & Dads) just for kids...Happy Holidays!

1. Festival of Trees
Nov 16-20 | Wed Noon-8pm, Thurs 11am-8pm, Fri & Sat 9am-8pm, Sun 11am-4pm (Gallery)
Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, Cedar Falls
Cost: Free (Gallery)
Come view the beautifully decorated trees, wreaths, place settings and nativity scenes on display. Other kid-friendly activities include Santa’s Workshop on November 19 (free) and Teddy Bear Tea on November 20 (Adults $15, Kids 8 & under $10).

2. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical
Nov 16-17 | 6:30pm
Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, Cedar Falls
Cost: $25 & up
The beloved TV classic soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. Come see all of your favorite characters from the special including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and, of course, Rudolph.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

3. Holiday Hoopla
Nov 25-Dec 22 | Times vary
Downtown, Cedar Falls
Cost: Free
Celebrate the holiday season with a month-long festival – Holiday Hoopla. The festivities kick off Black Friday and continue until Christmas. Other Hoopla activities include Santa’s Workshop, live nativity and trolley rides, a holiday movie and more.

4. Winter Wonder’Loo
Nov 26 | 4-7pm
Downtown, Waterloo
Cost: Free
Start your holiday season with Winter Wonder’Loo. There will be Christmas caroling, crafts, holiday treats, and the North Pole shopping area will be open once again. Be sure to stop and visit Santa himself, plus enjoy a special tree-lighting ceremony and Christmas concert too.

Holiday Hoopla

5. Breakfast with Santa & Friends – 3 Fun Events to Choose From!

Flippin’-for-Wishes Pancake Breakfast
Dec 3 | 7:30-10:30am
HuHot Mongolian Grill, Cedar Falls
Cost: $5 in advance, $7 at the door, Kids 3 & under free
Join the Northern Iowa Wishmakers for pancakes and sausage made right on the big grill. All proceeds benefit Make-A-Wish Iowa and help grant a child’s wish.

Breakfast at the North Pole
Dec 3 | 8-11am
Cedar Falls Community Center, Cedar Falls
Cost: $6
Pancakes will be flying high and Santa and all of his favorite holiday friends will be there to join in on the fun. Sausage, coffee, beverages, and of course stacks of pancakes with plenty of syrup.

Breakfast with Jack Frost & Santa Too
Dec 3 | 8:30-10am
Phelps Youth Pavilion, Waterloo
Cost: Members $8, Non-Members $10 (includes same-day admission to PYP)
Participate in holiday art activities, meet Jack Frost, and enjoy a yummy ice-cream breakfast with maple syrup, sausages and bananas. Santa will be there as well to hear wish lists and take photos.

6. John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum Holiday Celebration
Dec 3 | 10am-6pm
John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum, Waterloo
Cost: Adults $8; Seniors, John Deere employees & retirees, active duty military $4; Kids 12 & under free with adult
Get your picture taken on Santa’s lap, activity books for the first 200 children, scavenger hunt, music and more.

Holiday Celebration

7. Christmas Greetings on Main
Dec 8 | 6-8pm
Downtown, Waverly
Cost: Free
Get in the holiday spirit with live window scenes, horse-drawn carriage rides, an ice carver, and hot spots featuring Nestle hot chocolate and other special treats.

8. A Christmas Story, The Musical
Dec 9-11, 15-18 | 7pm, Sun 2pm
Hope Martin Theatre, Waterloo
Cost: Adults $22, Students $12
Bring the whole family to enjoy this very special Christmas celebration that everyone knows and loves. Set in the 1950s, follow 9-year-old Ralphie Parker and his quest for the Holy Grail of Christmas gifts – an official Red Ryder air rifle.

Winter Wonderland

9. Winter Wonderland at Hick’s Place
Dec 10-11 | 12:30-4pm (Santa arrives at 1pm)
Hick’s Place, Cedar Falls
Cost: $20/car
Come see Santa arrive on his sleigh, plus hayrides, crafts, treats, winter activities and more. A portion of the proceeds go towards the Hick’s Place Military Family Appreciation Day.

10. Kids Klub: Santa & Reindeer
Dec 13 | 4-8pm
Scheels, Cedar Falls
Cost: Free
Meet Santa, Mrs. Claus and their live reindeer before they are called back to the North Pole for Christmas. Pictures are welcomed and encouraged at this fun event for kids of all ages. 

For a full listing of events taking place in the Cedar Valley, check out our events calendar. Plus, share your holiday photos with us or tag them with the hashtag #IDigWaterloo. You can find Travel Waterloo on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

- Beth Keeney, Waterloo Convention & Visitors Bureau
Photo Credit: Cedar Falls Community Main Street, Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, Hick's Place, John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum.

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