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Sioux City Christmas

Christmas is coming! The Sioux City area has so many fun and festive events to celebrate the Christmas season, and this post will be updated throughout the coming weeks as new events and details  for 2020 are announced. I'm thrilled to share all the festive fun with you! You might also enjoy my posts on Christmas Road Trips (Christmas events in places like Omaha, Sioux Falls, Okoboji, and more!) Christmas Tree Farms in Siouxland, Family Friendly New Year's Eve, Experience Gifts for Siouxland Families (coming soon!), and Last Minute Christmas Gifts You Can Buy in Siouxland!

in the background, green holly leaves and red holly berries are visible. in foreground, the words "Christmas in Sioux City"

This post features the best Christmas events in Siouxland, the best places in Siouxland to see Christmas lights, and some of the best places in Siouxland to see Santa

Sioux City Christmas Events

Holiday Tour of Homes at the Warrior Hotel
Thursday 11/19 through Saturday 11/21
  • Five suites will be elaborately decorated at the Warrior Hotel
  • Tickets are $45 per person with proceeds going to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Siouxland
  • Tours run every half hour, and reservations are required. Tour participants must be ages 8+

Christmas at the Homestead at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve
Every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in December 
  • from 5 to 9pm at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota
  • Historical buildings will be festively decorated for guests to stroll past and enjoy! 

Deck the Center at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive center
  • Kids are invited to pick up supplies make a pair of wooden ornaments and are encouraged to bring one back to go on the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center tree, and keep one for their own tree!
  • Free event with supplies provided (you can of course get creative with supplies from home as well if you want to!

Sioux City's Downtown for the Holidays
Monday 11/23, 6:30-7:30pm
graphic used with permission from Sioux City Downtown Partners

  • This year, parade floats will line the route along 3rd Street from Virginia Street to Nebraska Street, ending at the museum at 4th & Nebraska. 
  • Visitors are encouraged to drive along the route to enjoy the parade, and there will be treat bags given to the first 100 cars!
  • Tune into 95.5FM to hear festive music during the parade

Santa's Helpers Black Friday Camp at LaunchPad Children's Museum
Friday, 11/27
  • Two sessions, from 9am-noon and 1-4pm at LaunchPad Children's Museum in downtown Sioux City
  • Kids will make homemade gifts, participate in fun seasonal activities, and play at LaunchPad!
  • $35 for LaunchPad Members and $40 for non-members
  • For more information or to register, visit the LaunchPad website

Hometown Christmas in Le Mars
Friday 11/27 and Saturday 11/28
  • Tons of fun throughout the weekend, starting with a drive-in Movie at Total Motors showing Elf at 6:30pm on Friday 
  • Then, on Saturday, catch live dance performances from the Nutcracker, musical performances from the Browns , a tree lighting ceremony, and more, streamed on Facebook to view safely from home!

Sioux City Parks and Rec Breakfast with Santa
Saturday 12/19
  • 8-10:30am at Cone Park
  • free for babies and toddlers under 2
  • $15/person ages 2+
  • Includes breakfast and activities in the lodge, with sessions starting at 8am and 9:15 (Face masks required in Lodge except while seated to eat)
  • Also includes open tubing from 8-10:30am
  • Attendees can make a craft, decorate cookies, enjoy Christmas music, and take pictures with Santa (bring your own camera!)
  • Register by calling (712)279-6126 or online using the Parks & Rec registration website. If you have trouble, try going through the link from their FB event post

Winterfest at the Norm Waitt Sr. YMCA

  • YMCA Winterfest 2020  will be a drive through light display held at the South Sioux City Scenic Park Campground area open all December!
  • Plus, on Saturday 12/12 at 6:30pm, watch The Grinch on the South Sioux City drive-in movie screen!

Kids Day Holiday Take & Make Craft Kits at the Sioux City Public Museum
Saturday 12/12
  • from 10am-noon, families can pick up free holiday themed craft kits with supplies for 4 different festive crafts! 

Maddie Poppe Acoustic Christmas at the Sioux City Orpheum Theatre
Thursday 12/17
  • 7:30pm at the Orpheum
  • Maddie Poppe is an Iowa native turned American Idol winner, and is back in her home state with Christmas classics audiences will love, like Jingle Bell Rock, I'll Be Home for Christmas, and Sleigh Ride!
  • Tickets go on sale 11/18/20

Sweet Treats with Santa Christmas party at LaunchPad Children's Museum
Thursday 12/17
  • Santa will be at LaunchPad Children's Museum to read festive stories while kids decorate cookies
  • Cost is $20 per child ($5 for additional kids in the same family) which includes stories, cookies, and a holiday goodie bag!
  • For more information, check out the LaunchPad Children's Museum website.

Christmas With the Sioux City Symphony
Saturday 12/19
  • Streamed live at 7pm on SCSO.Live (paid service, but with a one month free trial, so time that wisely!) and will be aired live on KTIV!
  • Featuring Holiday Jam with the Hegg Brothers
  • Check out the Sioux City Symphony website for more details!

Friday Night Christmas Lights on the Holly Jolly Christmas Trolley
Many dates available. Call to request the date you want!

Santa, Mrs. Claus and a group of passengers on the Travel Plus Christmas Lights trolley in Sioux City
Photo of the Holly Jolly Christmas Trolley used with permission from Travel Plus

  • Travel Plus' festive trolleys leave from downtown at 6, 7, & 8pm on Friday nights to view Christmas lights from downtown to 29th & Jones, up to 36th Street then back by way of Stone Park Blvd, the Heights, and much more! The ride takes approximately an hour, but may vary slightly. 
  • Rides on the Holly Jolly Christmas Trolley are $10 per person
  • Call Travel Plus at (712)233-1113 to get a ticket (leave a message with your phone number if they don't answer--they will call you back!) or e-mail TravelPlus.
  • Have a big group? You can rent the entire trolley! Trolley rental is $250  for the regular trolley and $400 for the extra large trolley! Travel Plus has trolleys that fit 25 or 40 people, and will work with you to find a time that works for your group on any day of the week! 

Annual events with 2020 details not yet announced:
  • Holiday Cookie Decorating at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center
  • Christmas at Morningside
  • Victorian Christmas at the Linda Sue Manor

Cancelled for 2020 (but hopefully back in future years!):
  • Christmas Movies at the Wells Visitor Center & Ice Cream Parlor
  • Festival of Trees at the Ho-Chunk Center
  • Santa's Whistlestop Tour at the Sioux City Railroad Museum

Best Christmas Light Displays in Siouxland

Siouxland is full of houses with beautiful and festive light displays, but here are a few of the best places in Sioux City and Siouxland to go if you're out driving specifically to see Christmas lights. If you know houses or neighborhoods I should add, please let me know! Some of these suggestions are sourced from friends, but if you see one on the list that ought to be taken off because it is no longer active, please let me know that too!

Sioux City
  • Cherrywood Lane/Applewood Ave neighborhood in Morningside
  • Blessed Sacrament neighborhood in Sioux City (Jackson and Jones streets between 29th and 30th) ** Featured on the Holly Jolly Christmas Trolley tour (more info above)
  • Grandview Blvd between 35th & 36th Street
  • The Heights neighborhood, especially the Grandview Park Rose Garden
  • Ketelsen Christmas Light Show, 828 Romans Road, with music on 89.5FM, and free will donations accepted towards the James M. Crow Scholarship Foundation
South Sioux City & Dakota City
  • 401 5th Avenue, South Sioux City
  • Winterfest at the South Sioux City Scenic Park/Campground (more details above)
  • 1503 Willow Street, Dakota City
North Sioux City 
  • Adams Homestead & Nature Preserve *walk through lighted display every Thursday-Sunday in December

Other neighboring communities
  • 510 Baywood Ct., Sergeant Bluff, Iowa
  • Christmas Acres, 18481 Impala Ave, LeMars, Iowa
  • Falls Park, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • Watchorn home at 58960 882nd Road in Ponca, Nebraska as seen on ABC's The Great Christmas Light Fight not decorated for 2020

Santa in Sioux City

Santa is coming to Siouxland! Santa will be at many of the festive events this season, including:

  • Santa in the Window: On Saturdays from noon to 4pm, Santa will be in the Warrior Hotel, and kids can talk to him through the window at 6th & Nebraska Streets from a special microphone! Chat with Santa in the Window on:
    • 11/28
    • 12/5
    • 12/12
    • 12/19
  • Santa will be at the Sioux City Holiday Lights Parade (more info above)
  • Eat treats, make crafts, and hit the tubing hill at the Santa Breakfast at Cone Park, hosted by the Sioux City Parks & Rec Department (more info above)
  • Santa will also be at the Southern Hills Mall to take pictures with kids. Santa will be social distancing this year, and all touch points of the set will be cleaned between guests, with the entire set deep cleaned multiple times per day. Reservations are encouraged, and more info is available on the Southern Hills Mall website.

Merry Christmas, Siouxland!


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