Dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh… there’s snow on the ground, a chill in the air, and you’re looking for some family time. The winter season is a great time to get out and about on an open sleigh. Here are five spots where you can enjoy sleigh rides and wagon rides near Des Moines.
Center Grove Orchard
2835 610th Avenue • Cambridge, IA 50046 • (515) 383-4354 • http://www.centergroveorchard.com/
Get whisked around the beautiful grounds of Center Grove Orchard on a horse drawn wagon. After kids have enjoyed Brunch with Santa and Rudolph, crafts and other holiday activities, they’ll be ready for a little fresh air.
When: December 5th, 6th, 12th and 13th at 8:00 am to 2:00 pm.
Cost: $11.95 ages 3 and older; $6.95 for 2 year olds (in advance); $13.95 ages 3 and older; $8.95 for 2 year olds (at the door, if seating allows).
Jester Park Equestrian Center
11171 NW 103 Court • Granger, IA 50109 • (515) 999-2818 • http://www.polkcountyiowa.gov/equestriancenter
While the snow flies, Jester Park Equestrian Center’s draft horses take passengers for a 45-minute ride through the surrounding woods. Even if there’s only a few inches of snow, plan for a wagon on wheels instead of a sleigh on runners. During the month of December, the Center offers special events like Pony Express to Santa and Holiday Sleigh Rides. Pony Express to Santa starts with fun games and crafts, a pony ride through Santa’s wonderland, a chat and photo with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and ends with cookies and hot cocoa!
Sleigh Rides: December 1st – 31st at 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Pony Express to Santa: December 12th, 13th, 19th and 20th at 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Holiday Sleigh Rides: December 23rd – 26th at 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
The Center recommends calling to reserve a time a week in advance to be assured availability for the Sleigh Rides and Holiday Sleigh Rides.
Sleigh Rides: $10/per person
Pony Express to Santa: $10/per child
Holiday Sleigh Rides: $15/per person
Living History Farms
Living History Farms • 11121 Hickman Road • Urbandale, IA 50322 • (515) 278-5286 • http://www.lhf.org/
Bundle up for a horse-drawn wagon ride through Living History Farms. It’s part of the farm’s annual Family Christmas celebration which includes music, storytelling, crafts and a visit from Santa in his sleigh.
When: Saturday, December 5th at 3:00 pm
Cost: $6.50/person; $5.00 LHF member
Pella City Hall • 825 Broadway Street • Pella, IA 50219 • (641) 628.4173 • http://www.cityofpella.com/
Bring a classic Christmas carol to life with a delightful carriage ride around downtown Pella. Holiday carriage rides depart from the Information Windmill at the southeast corner of Central Park. Santa just happens to be in town too, so be sure to check out all of the holiday events taking place while you’re there.
November 28th at 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
December 4th at 1:00 to 8:00 pm
December 5th at 10:00 am to 2:30 pm
December 12th at 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
December 19th at 12:00 to 4:00 pm
Cost: $5 per adult and $2 per child (children must be accompanied by an adult).
Walnut Ridge Tree Farm
1400 E Hillcrest • Indianola, IA 50125 • (515) 961-6979 • http://www.walnutridgefarms.com/
For the full holiday experience, head to Walnut Ridge Farm to get your Christmas tree and enjoy a horse drawn wagon ride. You won’t have to worry if there’s snow or not, draft horses will wind you around this tree farm’s scenic acres, plus no long walk dragging the tree!
When: Saturday, December 12th at 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Have you tried any of these sleigh and wagon rides? Let us know in the Comments section below.