Throughout November and December, the Quad Cities has wonderful events and performances to celebrate the holidays. Plan your holiday getaway in the area around one or more of these events!
Holiday Hop – Friday, Nov. 8
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 holiday characters, and other seasonal decorations. Santa is certain to make an appearance!
Kwik Star Festival of Trees – November 23-December 1
For 11 days in November, the 30,000 square foot River Center complex in downtown Davenport, Iowa, is completely transformed into a winter wonderland featuring over 150 designer displays with trees, holiday rooms, wreaths, decorated fireplace mantles, and gingerbread village creations. This treasured holiday tradition also consists of several ticketed special events held throughout the 11-day spectacle.
Festival of Trees Holiday Parade – Saturday, Nov. 23
Don’t miss the annual kick-off to the holiday season at the 27th annual Holiday Parade in downtown Davenport, Iowa, at 10 a.m. This FREE event features large helium character balloons, floats, dance groups, bands, antique cars, and pageant queens, all to help usher in the holiday – including a visit from Santa Claus himself!
Lighting on the Commons – Saturday, Nov. 23
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.
Walnut Grove Christmas Walk – Sunday, Dec. 1
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.
19th Century Christmas – Sunday, December 1
A Quad Cities tradition is just around the corner – 19th Century Christmas at Butterworth Center & Deere-Wiman House in Moline, Ill., is Sunday, December 1 from 12-5 p.m. Free family activities are planned for all ages, from Santa handing out books to children in the Butterworth Education Center to cookies and punch for all visitors in the elegant Butterworth Center dining room.
Winter in Bloom Holiday Open House – Sunday, Dec. 1
You are invited to the annual “Winter in Bloom” holiday open house at the Hauberg Estate in Rock Island, Ill., from 12-5 p.m. With every room elegantly decorated, it’s the perfect place to take holiday photos with friends and family. Kids will enjoy fun crafts and games. There will be live music, cookies & cocoa for everyone. Come and see this historical treasure in our community, all dressed up for the holidays! The event is FREE to the public and everyone is welcome.
Christmas in LeClaire – December 6-8
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. LeClaire is located 20 minutes outside of the metro Quad Cities (just off I-80 on Hwy 67).
Hometown Holiday – Friday, Dec. 6
Join us in downtown Eldridge, Iowa, as we celebrate the Christmas season! Businesses will be opening their doors from 5:30-7:30 p.m. to welcome you with treats, drinks, or goodies. Enjoy a horse and carriage ride, visit with Santa, roast marshmallows, and watch the sky lanterns fade into the night sky!
Christmas in the Village – December 6-7
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. 7 at 9 p.m. The Village is located at Mound & 11th Street, Davenport, Iowa.
OMGBeckyfest – December 6-7
Join us for 100+ of the Midwest’s best artisans in handmade, vintage, sweet treats, and crafty kids at the RiverCenter, 136 E. 3rd St. in Davenport, Iowa. Live, festive music provided by the River Music Experience. Admission: suggested $2 donation to be given directly to the River Music Experience to help fund youth music education in the Quad Cities. Find gifts for everyone on your list, enjoy a cocktail and get festive with us! Hours: Friday 6-9 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. www.craftedqc.com/beckyfest
Christkindlmarkt – December 7-8
Christkindlmarkt includes over 45 vendors with traditional European crafts and fresh greenery, Christmas trees, candles, and treats at the Freight House, 421 W. River Drive in downtown Davenport, Iowa. Enjoy the traditional Christkindlmarkt favorites such as gluhwein (German mulled wine), hot chocolate, and pretzels, along with seeing the German legendary characters such as Christkind, Krampus, and St. Nicholas. Hours are Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Shuttles available to take you to Christmas in the Village and OMG Beckyfest. For more information, visit Facebook
Canadian Pacific Holiday Train – Saturday, Dec. 7
The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train entertains hundreds of thousands of people, celebrating 21 years of collecting food and raising funds for food banks across North America. Every pound and dollar raised at each stop stays with the local food bank to help feed those in need in that community. It stops near Modern Woodmen Park in downtown Davenport, Iowa, at 9 p.m. for a performance until 9:45 p.m. Attendees are asked to bring money or a heart-healthy donation for their local food bank.
Bettendorf Mansion Holiday Open House – Saturday, Dec. 7
Joseph Bettendorf, the city’s namesake, built his home 104 years ago on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River at 1821 Sunset Dr. With its hand-painted wall coverings and carved wooden details, the Mansion is truly a one-of-a-kind historic treasure. Cookies and beverages will be served. The event from 1-4 pm is free and open to the public. Details on Facebook
Lighted Christmas Parade – Saturday, Dec. 7
East Moline is hosting a Lighted Christmas Parade at 5 pm along 15th Ave. near Runner’s Park, 742 15th Ave. After the parade, Santa will be at Cleary Hall, 1705 6th St. Take pictures and enjoy some chili and cookies. Details on Facebook
Winterfest – Sunday, Dec. 8
One of their most deer-ly beloved events is back again with lots of wintry fun activities for all ages from 12-5 p.m. at the Family Museum in Bettendorf, Iowa. Meet a real reindeer and have your picture taken with Santa! Make a variety of holiday crafts, enjoy performances by the Family Museum Dance Company (A Nutcracker “Sweet”), the Quad City Symphony Youth Choir, and other local musical groups. A $1 cash or canned food donation for the River Bend Foodbank is all you need for admission (members, too!). Cash donations are preferred as every dollar donated provides FIVE meals for those in need.
Season of Light – December 7-13
The John Deere Planetarium at Augustana College will be presenting its annual holiday program on December 7-13. Using images, video, animation and sound, the program tells the story of how our holiday traditions are connected to the sky above. December is the darkest month of the year and people all over the world have held festivals, lit candles and tried to bring light to the darkness of the winter sky. The planetarium show is offered Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. and weekday evenings at 7 p.m. Admission is free, but reservations are required. For reservations, go to https://seasonoflight.eventbrite.com. More information can be found by calling 309-794-7318 during weekday business hours.
Holiday Movie – Saturday, Dec. 14
Join us for this free event at RIFAC in Rock Island. The will have winter activities and crafts starting at 1 pm before the movie ELF begins at 2:30 pm. Picture with Santa packages available.
Pre-register for pictures at http://bit.ly/2NpWL3J. Registration guarantees picture, otherwise first come first serve. Cash concessions available.
Elf: The Musical – November 6-December 29
The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear! Based on the beloved holiday film, this hilarious fish-out-of-water comedy follows Buddy the Elf on his quest to find his true identity. Make your reservations at this historic dinner theatre at Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse, 1828 3rd Avenue, Rock Island, Ill.
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Tour – Thursday, November 14
This show features the original classic Christmas hits from the first Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, along with multimedia effects. See this holiday album collection mainstay at 7:30 p.m. at the Adler Theatre, 136 E. 3rd St. in Davenport, Iowa.
Christmas Wonderland Holiday Spectacular – Friday, Nov. 29
An enchanting Christmas show features glittering costumes, a dazzling cast, and the highest kicking chorus girls this side of the North Pole. Start Christmas in style as Santa and his merry helpers take you on an unforgettable nostalgic journey at 7:30 p.m. at the Adler Theatre, 136 E. 3rd St. in Davenport, Iowa.
Jim McDonough’s Holiday Grande – Sunday, December 1
Celebrate the holiday season in style with Iowa’s Own Pianist Jim McDonough, his 14-piece orchestra, sensational singers & dancers! See this all-new stage production at 2:30 p.m. at the Adler Theatre, 136 E. 3rd St. in Davenport, Iowa.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever – December 5-8
A Quad Cities Premiere following the Herdmans crash Sunday school and demand parts in the Christmas pageant. The whole town panics because they are the worst kids in the history of the world. It’ll be a joyful noise at Quad City Music Guild for these performances at Prospect Park Theatre, 1584 34th Ave., Moline, Ill.
A Motown Christmas – Monday, Dec. 9
A Motown Christmas Holiday Spectacular features a world-class vocal group assembled from past and present members of Motown’s most legendary groups….The Temptations, The Miracles and The Capitols. See these legends at 7:30 p.m. at the Adler Theatre, 136 E. 3rd St. in Davenport, Iowa.
Miracle on 34th Street The Musical – December 12-15
A holiday classic from the writer of the musical theatre classic, The Music Man! It turns out that Macy’s Santa may, in fact, be the real Kris Kringle, a wave of love spreads across New York City that melts even the most cynical hearts. See these heartwarming performances at The Spotlight Theatre, 1800 7th Ave. in Moline, Ill.
The Nutcracker – December 14-15
Boasting Tchaikovsky’s glorious score, Ballet Quad Cities and Orchestra Iowa present this holiday classic in style. The holidays will not be complete without a visit to the Historic Adler Theatre to cheer on Clara and her prince as they battle the fearsome Rat Queen, and travel through the magical Land of Snow to the Sugar Plum Fairy’s Kingdom of the Sweets. Performances are December 14 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; December 15 at 2:30 p.m. at the Adler Theatre, 136 E. 3rd St. in Davenport, Iowa.