The holiday season is just around the corner. Crazy, right? In fact, you’ve probably even started to notice holiday catalogs, commercials and decorations popping up around you. From shopping to snowshoeing, the Cedar Valley has you covered this holiday season. We’ve rounded up all kinds of fun (and some FREE) ways to enjoy this special time of year.
Since there are so many things we dig about the holidays in the Cedar Valley, we’ll be sharing a series of holiday-themed blog posts. This first one is sure to get you in the holiday spirit!
Celebrate Santa’s Arrival
What better way to kick off the holiday festivities than with Santa’s arrival to the Cedar Valley. Head to downtown Cedar Falls on November 27 to welcome Santa and celebrate a month of Holiday Hoopla. While you’re there, be sure to visit Santa, Mrs. Claus and their elves at Santa’s Workshop. Or, take a horse-drawn trolley ride down Main Street. Santa will be making his grand entrance at Crossroads Center and College Square Mall as well. Bring the little ones, or your pets even, for photos with the jolly old man himself all season long.
Other fun activities for the little ones include:
Flippin'-for-Wishes Pancake Breakfast
Dec 5 | 7:30-10:30am
HuHot Mongolian Grill, Cedar Falls
Admission: $5 in advance; $7 at the door; Ages 3 & under free
Breakfast at the North Pole
Dec 5 | 8-11am
Cedar Falls Community Center, Cedar Falls
Breakfast with Elf on the Shelf & Santa Too
Dec 5 | 8:30am
Phelps Youth Pavilion, Waterloo
Admission: $8 Members; $10 Non-Members
Dec 12 | 3-6pm
Black’s Building, Waterloo
Admission: Free (charge for photos with Santa)
Shop Until You Drop
Whether you’ve already started your holiday shopping or you tend to wait until the last minute, you’re sure to find something for everyone on your list right here in the Cedar Valley. The Waterloo Center for the Arts’ annual Holiday Arts Festival features original artwork for sale from some of the finest Midwest artists working in mixed media, painting, drawing, photography, wood, glass, jewelry, metal, ceramics, fiber and more. The Holiday Arts Festival is free to attend and will take place on November 14-15. Downtown Waterloo retailers will once again be hosting their Holiday Fudge Walk on November 28 as part of Small Business Saturday. Have fun shopping while sampling different types of fudge at each stop along the way. Plus, don't forget to enter their grand prize drawing!
Enjoy Holiday Entertainment
This holiday season is full of excitement when it comes to entertainment. On November 30, the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Cedar Valley and wcfsymphony will usher in the holiday season with a "Cedar Valley Christmas" - an old-time Christmas Carol Sing featuring amazing music from area choirs. If you have never been to this event, it’s a MUST! The Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center also has an incredible line-up of performances, such as the Minnesota Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”, an a cappella Christmas show called “Home Free”, and “A Big Band Christmas” featuring Bill and Nola Rose Shepherd.
Other area events you won’t want to miss: UNI Varsity Men’s Glee Club Christmas Variety Show, Christmas with Wartburg, Hearst Holiday Concert, and UNI Choirs Holiday Concert.
As for theatrical performances during the holiday season, the Waterloo Community Playhouse will present “The Man Who Came to Dinner”, while the Oster Regent Theatre will present "Mary Poppins". Or, if you enjoy taking in a little dessert with your entertainment like I do, the Lampost Theatre will once again be having their Christmas Dessert Theatre.
Additional Holiday Activities
The holiday season wouldn’t be complete without mentioning a few other popular area events.
Festival of Trees
Nov 18-22 | Wed Noon-8pm; Thurs 9am-8pm; Fri 9am-5pm; Sat 9am-6pm; Sun 11am-4pm
GBPAC, Cedar Falls
*Note: Other paid events available throughout the festival
A Victorian Christmas Tea
Dec 5 | 10am
Snowden House, Waterloo
Admission: Members $8; Non-Members $10
Cedar Falls Historical Society Christmas Walk
Dec 6 | 1-4pm
Victorian Home & Carriage House Museum / Cedar Falls Woman’s Club, Cedar Falls
For a full listing of events taking place in the Cedar Valley, check out our events calendar. You'll find dates, times and additional event details. Plus, be on the lookout for our next blog post, where we'll be featuring ways to stay active and escape cabin fever this holiday season!
- Beth Keeney, Waterloo Convention & Visitors Bureau