2018: 10 Christmas Day Activities to Do with Des Moines Kids After Opening Gifts

2018: 10 Christmas Day Activities to Do with Des Moines Kids After Opening Gifts

Find the 2019 Holiday Fun Guide here. 

The presents have been ripped open, plastic packaging dismantled and the batteries installed. Dinner won’t be ready for hours and the kids are stir crazy. What else can you do on Christmas Day in Des Moines with the kids? What is open?

Here are 10 fun things to do on December 25 in Des Moines. You can find even more seasonal activities in our Holiday Fun Guide or Event Calendar, and sign up for our Weekend Fun Guide to get posts like this delivered to your inbox.

10 Fun Activities To Do After Opening Gifts on Christmas Day

1. See a movie. Many movie theaters are open on Christmas Day so you can catch the recently released blockbuster Aquaman, starring Des Moines’ own Jason Momoa or family-friendly releases such as Ralph Breaks the Internet or The Grinch. Prefer to stay home? TBS is showing A Christmas Story all day.

2. Hangout with 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.)

3. 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. Open on Christmas Day from 4:00 to 9:00 pm.  (520 Robert D. Ray Drive, Des Moines.)

4. Take a stroll. Enjoy a quiet Christmas stroll through one of the city’s green spaces. Ironwood Park in Altoona, Terra Park in Johnston, Centennial Park in Waukee, and all DSM parks are open.

5. Go bowling. Several of the city’s bowling lanes are open on Christmas Day.  Abbreviated hours apply, so call ahead.

6. Attend a religious service. If you weren’t able to go on Christmas Eve, several Des Moines area churches are, of course, open on Christmas Day.

7. Gawk at holiday lights. We make our annual trek to see the holiday lights in early December. But, if you haven’t made it out yet, time is running out on these awe-striking light displays, before they come down for the season.

8. Snap a picture in front of the tree. Why not begin a unique family tradition with a photo in front of a local Christmas Tree? Venture out to locations like the Iowa State Capitol, Jordan Creek Town Center Pond or Ankeny Market & Pavilion, where there’s some great outdoor lit up Christmas trees. It’s an ideal way to reflect on how your family has changed from year to year.

9. 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.

10. Go out for Chinese. You’ll find several Chinese restaurants open on Christmas Day. Hibachi Grill & Supreme Buffet in West Des Moines and Wasabi Chi in Des Moines are just a couple of restaurants that will be serving hungry patrons on Christmas Day. (Please call ahead to make sure these restaurants are open.;)




What will you do on Christmas Day in Des Moines? Let us know in the Comments section below.

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