This is a magical time leading up to the holidays. In the Quad Cities and surrounding communities, many of the historic downtown districts decorate for the season and celebrate with events, parades, shopping, fireworks, living windows, and Christmas walks. Thousands of people come to ring in the holiday season at these events.
Holiday Hop – Friday, Nov. 17
Head down to the Moline Centre and join in the festivities! Local retailers showcase their businesses and offer great specials, door prizes, music, food and beverages starting at 4 p.m. Stick around and enjoy the beautiful lights along 5th Avenue, the creative Christmas trees and other seasonal decorations. Santa is certain to make an appearance!
Lighting on the Commons – Saturday, Nov. 18
Come to the John Deere Commons in downtown Moline, Illinois, and enjoy the free Lighting on the Commons event from 3:30-6:00 p.m. Take a tractor-drawn wagon ride; meet Santa and Mrs. Claus; listen to carolers and performing groups; warm-up with cider, hot cocoa and cookies; and take part in children’s activities. Join in the festivities as nearly ½ million lights and fireworks brighten the skies in the Commons area and along the Moline Riverfront at 6:00 p.m. The Quad City Mallards have a hockey game at 7 p.m. at the TaxSlayer Center, 1201 River Dr. in downtown Moline. Get a free kid’s ticket with an adult ticket purchase.
Julmarknad – Nov. 24-26 & Dec. 2-3
This annual Swedish Christmas Market takes place in the historic village of Bishop Hill and is reminiscent of medieval Scandinavian markets. Seasonal Swedish folk characters roam the village and there is music and Swedish food specialties. Enjoy the Chocolate Walk at the Dairy Building. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Bishop Hill is located 60 minutes south of the Quad Cities in between Cambridge and Kewanee, Illinois.
Walnut Grove Christmas Walk – Sunday, Nov. 26
Enjoy the historic buildings beautifully decorated at the Walnut Grove Pioneer Village from 12-4 p.m. Visit with Santa Claus and enjoy make & take crafts, refreshments, and much more. Admission is free with a North Scott Food Pantry Donation! Walnut Grove in the Scott County Park in Long Grove, Iowa, was a Scott County crossroads settlement and stagecoach stop in the 1860s.
Christmas in the Village – Friday, Dec. 1-Saturday, Dec. 2
It’s a family tradition for over 40 years in the Village of East Davenport. Come and enjoy carolers, children’s activities, Nativity scene and petting zoo with animals, and, of course, Santa will be there along with other holiday characters. 6-9 p.m. each night. There will be Winter Sparkle fireworks on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 9 p.m. The Village is located at Mound & 11th Street, Davenport, Iowa.
Holly Days – Friday, Dec. 1
Get into the holiday spirit during the Christmas Walk in Aledo, Ill., and enjoy food, drinks and holiday cheer from 5-8 p.m. The warming station includes hot cocoa, hot cider and coffee for $.50 cup and free popcorn. Buy a $5.00 raffle ticket to win gift baskets. Holly Days begins on Friday night with an Aledo Main Street Electric Parade at 5:30 p.m.
Christmas in LeClaire – Friday, Dec. 1-Sunday, Dec. 3
The charming village of LeClaire, Iowa, is transformed into a scene from a Norman Rockwell painting with its delightful shopping, trolley rides, activities, bazaar, Santas from around the world, craft demonstrations with a wooden shoe maker and chainsaw carver, and breakfast with Santa. On Saturday there is an Ugly Christmas Sweater 5K at 10 a.m. Christmas in LeClaire is where Santa comes to shop.
Christmas in Silvis – Dec. 2
Silvis Main Street hosts their holiday open house with the businesses of Silvis with the theme of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” Businesses will have activities from 5-8 pm.
Gallery Hop! – Friday, Dec. 8
Gallery Hop! showcases local and regional artists in many downtown locations including galleries, restaurants, retail shops, and entertainment venues Downtown Rock Island from 6-10 p.m. Find unique gifts to give to your loved ones!
Lucia Nights Festival of Lights – Friday and Saturday, Dec. 8-9
Historic Bishop Hill, Ill., holds its Lucia Nights celebration from 6-9 p.m. both evenings. Around the village, each building will have a single candle in each window and sidewalks will be illuminated by luminaries. Each business and museum will be open until 9:00 p.m. and will have a Lucia girl serving cookies. Activities begin on Friday with the lighting of the park Christmas tree with poetry and holiday singing.