Discover Ames

Winter Wonderscape Holiday Light Show

With a wide variety of dazzling light installations throughout 17 acres of outdoor gardens, this walk-through light show includes old favorites as well as new surprises. Experience captivating tunnels, massive laser-lit disco balls, dynamic lights dancing across a frozen lake, a whimsical mushroom forest, and so much more.

Reiman Gardens / Dec. 1-3 (and all Thurs./Fri./Sat. evenings in December)

Snow Magic Kick-Off

Downtown Ames is always festive during the holidays! Join us as we kick-off the holiday season with a tree lighting ceremony, holiday market, carriage rides, Santa, and shopping specials throughout Downtown!

Ames Main Street / Dec. 2


Don’t miss this ISU tradition! Celebrate winter with the Jingle Jog 4K, carriage rides, Workspace crafts, bowling & billiards, photo booth, bingo, tree lighting ceremony, hot chocolate, cookie decorating, and more.

Memorial Union, ISU campus / Dec. 2

Yuletide at the Farm House Museum

Celebrate the holiday season at the historic Farm House Museum on the ISU campus. On Friday night, take part in free Victorian yuletide themed activities and crafts while you enjoy holiday treats. Tours of the historic home in full period decoration are offered Saturday afternoon along with the opportunity to meet and take a picture with Santa.

ISU campus / Dec. 2-3

Beautiful Land Holiday Market

You won’t want to miss this carefully curated holiday marketplace!

Prairie Moon Winery / Dec. 2-4

Santa Express

All aboard the Santa Express! Bring the family, and enjoy a ride from the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad’s depot to the North Pole (and return). En route, you will hear the story of Santa’s Scenic Valley Ride, and take part in other fun, family activities. Experience what has become a tradition for families from across Iowa, and beyond.

Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad / Dec. 2-4 (and other dates in December)


Tuba, euphonium, baritone and sousaphone players perform in the 12th annual Ames TUBACHRISTMAS concert. This festive event will begin at 3 p.m. Admission is free.

Stephens Auditorium / Dec. 3

Holiday Home Tour

Ames Holiday Home Tour is sponsored by Altrusa. Tour the homes of five community supporters!

Throughout Ames / Dec. 3


Homewood for the Holidays

Santa is visiting the Homewood Clubhouse! Bring the kids for a fun holiday craft and photos with Santa from 9-11 a.m. Donuts and juice will be provided.

Homewood Golf Course / Dec. 3

Dad’s Belgian Waffles

Back by popular demand! Enjoy all-you-can-eat malted waffles with all the fixings (sausage, whipped cream, butter, and syrup). Come hungry, leave happy!

Iowa Arboretum / Dec. 3

Christmas Palooza Craft & Vendor Show

Tenth annual Christmas Palooza, with 50+ crafters and vendors.

Boone County Fairgrounds / Dec. 3

Tour of Homes

Don’t miss the 2022 Boone Christmas Tour of Homes Saturday, 4-8 p.m. and Sunday, 1-5 p.m. This fun event supports Wings of Refuge.

Throughout Boone County / Dec. 3-4

Holiday Festival of Music

Celebrate the season with ISU choral groups Lyrica, Cantamus, Statesmen, Iowa State Singers, plus the ISU Symphony Orchestra.

Stephens Auditorium / Dec. 4

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