You are bound to find something for everyone (or at least those who have been nice) on your list at these holiday markets in Iowa. From unique stocking stuffers to handmade gifts that support local businesses, don’t be surprised if these finds will have you are singing fa-la-la during this merriest time of year.
Nov. 30 to Dec. 2: Kerstmarkt: Pella Dutch Christmas Market
Bring your family and friends for heartwarming memories at Krestmarkt, a Dutch Christmas Market, in Pella, from Nov. 30 to Dec 2. Stroll along the Molengracht Plaza enjoying a toasty beverage and a stroopwafel, a delicious waffle Dutch treat, while perusing goods from local vendors. Inspired by outdoor markets in the Netherlands, this family-friendly holiday market in Iowa celebrates history and culture and is held in conjunction with Pella’s Christmas Tour of Homes.
For more information: visitpella.com.
Nov. 30 to Dec. 3: Christkindlmarket Des Moines
Shopping, food and entertainment await at Christkindlmarket at Principal Park in Des Moines. Open Nov. 30 through Dec. 3, Christkindlmarket is a holiday market celebrating European culture. Enjoy tasty bratwurst, candied nuts and authentic German foods, including gluhwein, a traditional warm mulled wine. Shop old-world, artisanal, hand-crafted goods. Visit the kid-friendly KinderKorner for stories, sing-a-longs, and crafts and activities. Enjoy festive tunes from Jager and the Polka Meisters, Malek’s Fisherman Band, and the Heartland Youth Choir while shopping for Steinbach nutcrackers, handmade tinware, charcuterie boards and more.
For more information: christkindlmarketdsm.com.
Dec. 2 and Dec. 3: Old World Christmas Market
Old World Christmas Market on Dec. 2 and Dec. 3 at the National Czech and Slovak Museum & Library in Cedar Rapids is inspired by traditional European markets with old Midwest magic. Shop local vendors, nibble tasty marble bundt cakes and beef goulash, and enjoy free museum admission as well as seasonal-themed activities, including ornament personalization by Master Czech-American Folk artist, Marj Nejdl. You can even have your photo snapped in front of the Christmas tree in Rozek Grand Hall. Visiting on Saturday? Savor a new pop-up restaurant featuring authentic Czech and Slovak foods.
For more information: ncsml.org.
Dec. 9 and Dec. 10: Holiday Thieves Market
Holiday Thieves Market is a 50-plus-year tradition in the Iowa City area. This year it’s held on Dec. 9 and Dec. 10 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel & Conference Center Expo Hall in Coraville. Attendees can browse aisles of handmade ceramics, fiber, drawing, glass, jewelry, metal, mixed media, sculpture and more. There will also be a silent auction to benefit Iowa’s City Summer of the Arts, an organization that brings people together to experience, learn and enjoy free arts and cultural programming. Free to attend.
For more information: summerofthearts.org.
Dec. 9: The Peppermint Trail
Oh, peppermint, what an aroma that evokes all the feels during the holiday season! The Peppermint Trail on Dec. 9 is an annual holiday market in the Roosevelt Cultural District and The Avenues of Ingersoll & Grand in Des Moines showcasing more than 50 local shops, restaurants and businesses featuring peppermint- or holiday-themed specials. Guests can hop on the Bee-merry Line, a free holiday trolley for convenient hop-and-stop shopping. The Peppermint Trail will also feature fun holiday activities, including a gingerbread house-decorating contest. Santa Claus will be strolling Ingersoll Avenue from noon to 2 p.m.
For more information: www.theavenuesdsm.com/peppermint-trail/.