The Christmas Season in eastern Iowa spells snow, family and fun around town. Below is the only guide you’ll need for Christmas events in Eastern Iowa, for the final weeks leading up to the that very special Christmas Day. This guide includes events in the Quad Cities, Clinton,Dubuque and Cedar Rapids areas
The Festival of Trees
The Quad-City Iowa area has a number of holiday events to fill the Christian heart. The largest of all take place in Davenport, Iowa, called the Festival of Trees. According to the quadcityarts.com, the Festival of Trees runs, November 18th to November 28, making it an ideal stop for any family’s holiday indulgence. This 10 day Christmas celebration will be held at, 136 East 3rd Street. On November 18th, opening day, has been reserved for the private tours of Santa’s Special Stars, children who have been fighting physical and/or mental disabilities. On Friday November 19, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:p.m. the SilverBell Social is held, the social is for citizens 60+ years of age. The next eight days following, November 20th – November 28th, the Festival of Trees will be open to the general public.
Festival of Trees Attractions:
Some of the attractions and events taking place at the Festival of Trees are:
November 20th, get there early to have breakfast with Santa 9a.m – 12 p.m., at the North Pole. $12 each.
November 20th, The Festival of Trees Holiday Parade, the Holiday Parade will start on 3rd street and Pershing, it ends at 2nd St. and Iowa. A full map is provided.
After the parade, go back to the Festival of Trees for the Post Parade Party, covered by the price of admission.
The Art Exhibit, runs everyday for the price of general admission.
The Book Tree, located in the North Pole area of the Festival of Trees, is a 20ft. tree decorated by books of all sort. Throughout the festival children will come to hear scheduled stories. After the festival the books are given away to needy kids in the Quad Cities area.
CenterStage at the Festival of Trees, this showcases local talents and performers during their general admission hours.
The other attractions at the Festival of Trees will include, the Festival Express, your child is the engineer for $1, per ticket. The gift shop, the GingerBread Village, The Talking Christmas Tree, and the TreatShoppe.
Festival of Trees General Admission Hours
The general admission hours for November 20th to November 28th, including the annual Holiday Parade, are,
Saturday, Nov. 20: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm, Holiday Parade at 11:00 a.m.
Sunday Nov. 21: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Monday, Nov. 22: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Tuesday, Nov. 23: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Wednesday, Nov. 24: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Thursday, Nov. 25: 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Friday, Nov. 26: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Saturday, Nov. 27: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Sunday, Nov. 28: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Festival of Trees Admission Prices
2-10 years old- $3.00
60+ years old- $6.00
– Group rates are available at $5 per person, only for groups larger than 15. To register your group for the Festival of Trees go to, http://www.tfaforms.com/143896 , to fill out the registration form. For all other information regarding the Festival of Trees visit their website at, http://www.quadcityarts.com./festoftrees.asp.
The Clinton Symphony of Lights
Christmas in Clinton, Iowa has always brought the night quicker and cold harder, but you can choose to warm up those cold nights by visiting the Clinton Symphony of Lights. The annual spectacle of creative christmas lights in Clinton, Iowa, as reported by the Clinton, Iowa Christmas calendar, is held in Eagle Point Park, located off highway 67 North. The lighted display runs from November 25th through December 30th, it opens at 6p.m., and closes at 9 p.m. Tickets range from $7 per car, for cars transporting 10 people, or less. The Symphony of Lights will charge $2 per person, for vehicles transporting over 10 people.
The Symphony of Lights shows off Clintons creative side, with the attraction of more than 40 lit displays, including castles, a gingerbread lodge, and streams made of thousands of lights. The driven course covers 1.1 miles of Clintons Eagle Point Park, showcasing over 500,000+ Christmas lights.
On November 27th, the Symphony of Lights will be sponsoring a 5K run to raise money for the continued growth of the Symphony of Lights, Clinton’s Christmas Festival. For more information on the run or the spectacular light show visit the Symphony of Lights website, www.clintoniowa.us/christmas/christmas_calendar.html.
Canadian Holiday Pacific Train Visits Clinton, Iowa
The Canadian Holiday Train isn’t only the delight of children everywhere, but also for the masses of grown train enthusiasts and Christmas lovers all through Clinton, Iowa. The Canadian Holiday Pacific Train is scheduled to arrive Sunday, December 5, around 4 p.m., at the First Street parking lot, across from Happy Joe’s, as scheduled by the Canadian Pacific Company.
The train consists of 14 cars, stretching nearly 1,000 feet. One of the modified boxcars is used as a performance stage for award winning performers. Performing on the U.S. bound train for 2010 is, Juno award winner, Melanie Doane. She uses rock, pop, folk, country, and jazz, fusing them into an original, never before heard of style of her own.
The Canadian Holiday Pacific Train works to generate food and cash donations for local food shelf and pantries across two countries. For additional locations and dates for the Holiday Train you can contact, Canadian Pacific by visiting their website, www8.cpr.ca/cms/English/General+Public/Holiday+Train/default.htm.
Dubuque, Iowa’s Reflections in the Park
Reflections in the Park, takes place in the hills of Louis Murphy park, off U.S. 151 / 61, and South GrandView Avenue. Dubuque, Iowa’s Christmas light festival runs from, November 22 until January 1st, from 5 p.m. through 10 p.m. The cost is only $8, per car.
Santa, himself, will arrive in person on the last Monday night of November. From 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. Santa will greet guests and pass out candy canes to the kids. On the Reflections in the Park handbook, available at, www.hillcrest-fs.org/pdf/book%202010.pdf, (2010).
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Fire and Ice Festival
The Cedar Rapids, Iowa Fire and Ice Festival is one of eastern Iowa’s largest Christmas Festivals. The Fire and Ice Festival is held annually on December 4th, 2010. Admission is free and open to the public.
The first event hosted by Cedar Rapids Fire and Ice Festival, will be ice sculpting, from 12 p.m. to 2:20 p.m.
The events to follow include, professional carolers, horse-drawn carriage rides, jugglers, and the famous Chili Challenge. Later on in the night, at 5 p.m, the Christmas tree lighting takes place, and then from 7 p.m. until 8:45 p.m. the Fire and Ice Festival will host a meet and greet with Santa, for all the good little girls and boys. For more information go to, www.freedomfestival.com/Fire-And-Ice/Default.aspx.
The weather will be cold and maybe, snowy. The nights get dark fast in these winter months making the weather cold and windy. So, dress warm, enjoy the attractions, and have some warm grub as you watch the bright lights that seem to beacon out to our hearts us every year, about this time. Eat some chili at the Fire and Ice Festival in Cedar Rapids, catch a train from Canada in Clinton, just for the lights, and pass throughout the Festival of trees in Davenport for an early breakfast, with non-other than Santa, himself. Do a little of it all, or a lot of a little, just don’t miss out on the great times out doors, this holiday season.