Find 2018 Christmas Day Activities here.
After all the presents have been unwrapped and everyone is just sitting around staring at each other, you might want an excuse to get out of the house. Even though, most of Des Moines shuts down on December 25 there are a few places that are open and ready to entertain you and your little elves. Here is a list of 11 things to do on Christmas day in the Des Moines area.
Warrior Lanes is a modern bowling center that has kid friendly bumper bowling lanes, plenty of lightweight bowling balls and small shoes for kids. Bowl the evening away and make it home just in time to go to bed. They’re open from 5:00 to 10:00 pm on Christmas Day. $4.25/game or $21.95/hour + shoe rental. (190 Laurel Street, Waukee.)
Get Back to Nature
Get outside for some fresh air. For a slice of nature in the city, head to Gray’s Lake Park. There are plenty of trails to explore and the kids can keep busy counting geese in the lake or chasing squirrels. (2101 Fleur Drive, Des Moines. Info. online at http://www.dmgov.org/.)
Light it Up
Hop in your car and cruise Jolly Holiday Lights, a drive-through outdoor display of illumination. Open daily through January 1, 2017, the 2.5-mile stretch has animated displays that will put a twinkle in your eye. Admission is $10 per car. (Adventureland 3300, Adventureland Drive, Altoona.) Find other light displays in Des Moines at http://dsm4kids.com/2016-see-christmas-light-displays-des-moines/.
Hit the Ice
Is there anything more charming than ice skating on Christmas Day? Make the Brenton Skating Plaza your family’s new holiday tradition. Admission in $7.50 for Adults; $5.25 Child/Senior (60+) and skate rental is $4.25. Open on Christmas Day from 4:00 to 9:00 pm. (520 Robert D. Ray Drive, Des Moines.)
Brighten somebody’s Christmas who might not have family to spend the day with. Call your local nursing home, assisted living facility or community center to find out who might be in need of some Christmas cheer.
Let Someone Else Cook
You’ll find several restaurants open on Christmas Day. Many chains are open and local spots like House of Hunan in Urbandale and the Royal Mile in Des Moines will be serving hungry Christmas Day patrons.
Test Out New Wheels
Skates, skateboards, bikes, scooters and trikes are all begging to be road tested. Take the kids to a local skate park, hit a trail or visit a local park and let them run wild in a place that is traffic free and totally safe.
Visit Some Reindeer
Elk and caribou (aka “reindeer”) are waiting for your company on Christmas Day. Jester Park stays open 365 days a year and Christmas Day is one of its quieter times, so you should be able to enjoy the animals at your leisure. Winter park hours are from sunrise to sunset. (11407 NW Jester Park Drive, Granger.)
Take the Kids to a Movie
Settle down in the dark while the kids laugh themselves silly with a fave flick. Family friendly movies now in theaters include: Sing, Rogue One, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Moana. Find a list of Des Moines theaters here: http://dsm4kids.com/lets-go-to-the-movies-des-moines/.
Play in the Snow
Check the weather conditions, then put on your boots, coats, hat and gloves and head outside. Go sledding, throw snowballs or build a snowman.
Do Some Random Acts of Kindness
Have your kids make some Christmas cards and leave a few gifts in unexpected places. Leave quarters at a laundry mat or car wash, pay for someone’s coffee at Starbuck’s (which is open Christmas Day), put books in a Little Free Library, deliver donations to a food bank, etc.
What will your family do on Christmas Day? Let us know in the Comments section below.