2018: Winter Break Survival Guide 4 Des Moines Kids & Parents

2018: Winter Break Survival Guide 4 Des Moines Kids & Parents

We get it. School vacation is intimidating for many parents.The kids will be home for over a week and in need of entertainment. Yikes!

Well, we’re here to help.  We’ve rounded up our top December break camps, classes and activities for Des Moines kids and families. We also  offered a number of fun FREE options for your family to enjoy during break. And don’t forget to check out our Holiday Fun Guide that includes New Year’s activities and lingering holiday events.  Additionally, we’ve also launched our Winter Fun Guide.

For most #DSM kids holiday break runs from Saturday, December 22 through Sunday, January 6. For a full list of events and happenings in Des Moines, check out our daily Events Caleandar. And our December Play List has a number of fun activities for kids through the end of the month.

Winter Break Camps & Classes in Des Moines

Painting Classes with Painting With a Twist

A super creative way to spend winter break, Painting With a Twist is offering several kids’ painting workshops throughout winter break. Each session will feature a different wintery or kid themed painting project.

When: December 22 – 30, 2018.  Class times vary each day.

Cost: $25-35

Ages: 7+

Winter Break Camp at Living History Farms

Sign up for one day or every day of these history focused winter break camps at Living History Farms in Urbandale.  Kids can choose from themes like Historic Holidays, Iowa Statehood Day, Day in the Life of a Kid and more.  All Camps run from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm each day and the registration deadline is December 14th.

When:  December 26 – 28, 2018. Times Vary.

Cost: Costs vary by camp and number of days attended.  Camp costs start at $44.20/members and $52/non-members for one day and go up to $132.60/members and $156/non-members for all three days.

Ages: Grades 2-6.  All ages can attend Family Camp.

Fun, Snow & Sled Day Camp with Clive Parks & Recreation

Join Clive Parks and Recreation for this winter break day camp! Your child will be involved in daily adventures including field trips! Campers will need to bring a sack lunch and water/drink bottle.

When: December 26, 27 & 28, 2018 at 7:30 am to 5:30 pm.

Cost: $70 per child per day.

Ages:  8 to 13

Pinot Palette’s Winter Break Kid’s Camp

Just when the kids are getting tired of their new toys and looking for something different to do let Pinot’s Palette take them off your hands! Send them in for painting and crafts! They are offering three separate classes, kids can attend one or all three!

When: December 26, 27 & 28, 2018.  1:00 to 4:00 pm.

Cost: $35 per child per session.

Ages:  5+

Red Cross Babysitting Training hosted by Waukee Parks and Recreation

Attend the American Red Cross Babysitting Certification class and gain life experience by practicing lifesaving babysitting skills on manikins and with other participants. This is a great class for girls and boys getting ready to start babysitting on their own or for those who will be in charge of younger siblings for short periods of time.

When: Thursday, December 27, 2018 at 8:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Cost: $80

Ages: 11+

2018 Hoop-Stars Winter Break Basketball Camp with Ankeny Parks and Recreation

Hoop-Stars Winter Break Basketball Camp is a two-day clinic for kids in 2nd-7th grade who want to keep their skills sharp during the winter break. These two clinics will incorporate skills and drills, along with team and individual competition. The instructors for this clinic will be Faith Baptist College players and coaches.

When: Thursday – Friday, December 27-28, 2018.

Cost: Resident $45; Nonresident $54

Ages: Grades 2-4 at 9:00 am to 12:00 noon; Grades 5-7 at 1:00 to 4:00 pm.

Winter Safari Camp at Blank Park Zoo

Antarctic Adventures – Brrrr… sub-zero temperatures, ice, snow, and bitterly cold winds – oh my! Let’s explore Antarctica and discover how animals survive in this not-so-pleasant habitat.  Bundle up and join us on a thrilling expedition to the South Pole.  What would you bring along and what would you eat?  Let’s learn from the animals!

When: December 27-28, 2018.  9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Cost: $72 members; $104 non-members.

Ages:  5-6 & 7-9

Winter Break Clay Camp hosted by Urbandale Parks and Recreation

Kids will get their hands dirty and make fun projects out of various types of clay.  You will explore different clay handbuilding techniques and create sculptures and artwork you can keep. A fun, hands-on, creative learning activity to keep kids busy over Winter Break. Register with Urbandale Parks and Recreation by December 20th

When: December 27-28, 2018 at 9:00 to 10:30 am.

Cost: $40

Ages: 6-10

Winter Break Workshops at Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

For kids who love to get their hands dirty and discover new things, attending a drop-in Winter Break Workshop at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden is the perfect choice. 2018 Family Workshops theme is “Stuck on Cacti”.  Choose from a Sand Art Terrarium, Succulent Dish Gardens or Cooking with Cacti class.  They will also be hosting a number of “drop-in” activities over Winter Break.

When: December 27 – 29, 2018.  Classes are offered multiple days at various times.

Cost: Members – Adult/Child pair – $20, additional child – $15; Nonmembers – Adult/Child pair – $25, additional child – $20

Ages: All ages.  Parents attend with child.

Winter Break Day Camps at the Des Moines Playhouse

Have a budding thespian entertaining you daily? Sign ‘em up for a Winter Break Workshop at the Des Moines Playhouse.  Younger kids will participate in Creative Drama Classes and older kids will be able to showcase their talent in Acting and Performance classes.

When: December 27-28 and January 3-4, 2019.  9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Cost: $90 Subscribers; $100 Non-Subscribers

Ages: Grades 1-6.

Winter Break Camps at Science Center of Iowa

Keep those brains active during winter break at the Science Center of Iowa Winter Camps. Kids will enjoy activities that encourage creative and analytical thinking with hands-on experiments. SCI offers day-long camp experiences ranging in topic from technology to nature.

When: December 27-28, 2018 and January 2-4, 2019. AM camps run from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm; PM camps run from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.

Cost: Half Day Camp Non-Members $35; Members $30; Full Day Camp Non-Members $70 and Members $60 per day.

Ages: Pre-K – Grade 8.

Lee Cole’s Magicamp hosted by West Des Moines Parks and Recreation

Magicamp is for anyone who likes to have fun. You’ll spend two days learning from professional magician Lee Cole on how to entertain and amaze your friends, family and classmates. You’ll learn tricks that can be done anywhere, at any time, and for the rest of your life. All magic materials are provided.

When: Tuesday and Thursday December 27 & 29, 2018 at 9:00 to 11:45am.

Cost: $45

Ages: Ages 7 – 15.

Babysitting Basics with Ankeny Parks and Recreation

Learn the basics of babysitting with the Ankeny Parks & Recreation Department. Becoming a better sitter, changing diapers, basic first aid and fire prevention are just a few of the objectives of this program. A pizza lunch and snack are included.

When: Wednesday, December 28, 2018 at 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Cost: Resident $45; Nonresident $54

Ages: Grades 5-6.

Kids Day Out with Warren County Conservation

Are your kids going stir crazy from being inside this winter break? Do you need to go run some errands after the holidays? Send your kiddos out to a fun filled winter day camp! Kids can expect a fun day exploring the outdoors, making a craft, and playing games. Lunch will be provided. Activities may vary slightly depending on the weather, but please send them dressed to spend some time outside! Please register by December 20th.

When: Friday, December 28, 2018 at 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Cost: $10

Ages: 6-12

MagiCamp hosted by Ankeny Parks and Recreation

Participants will learn to entertain and amaze friends, family and classmates in this two-day camp with professional magician Lee Cole. All magic materials are provided.

When: December 28 AND December 31, 2018 at 9:00 to 11:45 am.

Cost: Resident $45; Nonresident $54

Ages: 7-15

Winter Break Events & Activities in Des Moines

Ice Skating at Brenton Skating Plaza

Bundle up and take a spin around Des Moines’ coolest ice rink.  They will have extended holiday hours throughout winter break. Be sure to check their calendar, in case of inclement weather.

When: December 22, 2018 – January 6, 2019.
Holiday Hours 12:00 noon to 10:00 pm;
Christmas Eve 12:00 to 4:00 pm;
Christmas Day 4:00 to 9:00 pm
New Year’s Eve 12:00 to 11:59 pm;
New Year’s Day 4:00 to 9:00 pm.

Cost: $8.50 for Adults; $5.25 for Children (age 6-12) and Seniors (60+); $4.75 for Skate Rental; $5.00 for Skate Aids. Children five and under are always FREE admission with skate rental.

Ages: All

Iowa Christmas Nationals

Youth in 8th Grade and under will compete for the golden Santa at the Iowa Christmas classic wrestling tournament at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

When:  Saturday, December 22, 2018 at 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Cost: Adults $15, Seniors: $15; Children: $15, Children 5 and under FREE.

Ages: 8th Grade and under.

Parents Afternoon Out at Skate North Incrediroll

Drop the kids off for some roller-skating fun at Skate North Incrediroll over winter break.

When: Wednesday, December 26, 2018 at 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Cost: $25 per child

Ages: 6+

Iowa Wild Hockey Games

The Wild will be on the ice at the Well over the long holiday break.

When:   Wednesday, December 26 at 6:00 PM vs. Rockford
Saturday, December 29 at 6:00 PM vs. Milwaukee

Cost: Single Game Tickets start at $10.00.

Ages: All

Great Escape 2018 Holiday Youth Eliminator

Strike up some winter break fun during Great Escape’s Holiday Youth Eliminator.  Kids will bowl three games across three pairs of lanes to determine their seed in a Head-to-Head Bracket (bowler must keep winning their bracket to advance). Scholarship certificates awarded to 1 out of 4 places. Handicap 90% of 210 (cap 60 pins). Spots guaranteed to first 48 paid entries.

When: Wednesday, December 26, 2018.  Check in at 8:30 pm, bowling starts at 9:00 pm.

Cost: $25 in advance $30.00 at the door.

Ages: Kids must be able to bowl without the assistance of bumpers.

Iowa Wolves Basketball Games

The Iowa Energy will see lots of play at Wells Fargo Arena over Winter Break.

When: Thursday, December 27 at 7:00 PM vs. Santa Cruz Warriors
Friday, December 28 at 7:00 PM vs. Santa Cruz Warriors
Sunday, December 30 at 4:00 PM vs. Sioux Falls Skyforce

Cost: Single Game Tickets start at $10.00.

Ages: All

Finding Neverland at the Des Moines Civic Center

“Finding Neverland” tells the incredible story behind one of the world’s most beloved characters: Peter Pan. Playwright J.M. Barrie struggles to find inspiration until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. Spellbound by the boys’ enchanting make-believe adventures, he sets out to write a play that will astound London theatergoers. With a little bit of pixie dust and a lot of faith, Barrie takes this monumental leap, leaving his old world behind for Neverland, where nothing is impossible, and the wonder of childhood lasts forever.

When: Thursday, December 27 at 7:00 pm
Friday, December 28 at 2:30 and 7:00 pm
Saturday, December 29 at 7:00 pm

Cost: Tickets start at $36.00.

Ages: 5+

Kids Spa Night at Cupcake Addict

Kids Spa Night is back!  Face masks, nails/toes painted, movie, snacks (pretzels, apples, popcorn, drink) and games!  Parents are not required to stay. Children will not leave the Cupcake Addict party room. Cell phones are not allowed during event.

When: Friday, December 28, 2018 at 6:00 pm.

Cost: $32

Ages: 6-12

What does your family have planned for Winter Break in Des Moines? If it’s not on our list, let us know and we’ll add it!

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