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 2019 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! Want to skip ahead to another section? Just click on any of the links in this paragraph and it'll take you right there!

Sioux City Christmas Events






Christmas at the Homestead at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve
Saturday, 11/9
  • from noon to 4pm at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota
  • Historical buildings will be festively decorated
  • In past years, has featured free crafts, Christmas carolers, and Santa, plus festive treats and gifts available from vendors. I'll try to confirm whether all those things will be back again this year and update this once I hear! 

Deck the Center at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive center
Saturday, 11/16


  • 1-3pm: Kids are invited to make a pair of wooden ornaments, then hang one on the museum's Christmas tree and take the other home to keep or gift!
  • Free event with all supplies provided

Sioux City's Downtown for the Holidays
Monday, 11/25
  • 6:15pm: parade on 4th street beginning at 4th & Iowa, ending with Santa leading the lighting of the big tree in front of the Sioux City Public Museum
  • 6:30pm: Festival of Trees opening with live music and festive dancing in Ho-Chunk Center 
  • FREE admission to LaunchPad Children's Museum before the parade, from 2:30-4:30pm, with donation of hand warmers, socks, or travel sized toiletries for The Warming Shelter

Santa's House
by Unity Point St. Luke's
Open select dates, between Monday 11/25 and Thursday, 12/19
  • Inside the Ho-Chunk Center, suite #109
  • Free admission which includes visits with Santa, stories with Mrs. Claus, and holiday crafts
  • Also features seasonal activities for small fee, including face painting, treats from Mrs. Claus's kitchen, and photos with Santa
  • Gift shop features gifts under $10 kids can choose for their loved ones
  • Open:
    • 11/25, 6-8pm
    • 12/7, 10am-4pm
    • 12/8, 1-4pm
    • 12/10, 6-8pm
    • 12/12, 6-8pm
    • 12/14, 10am-4pm
    • 12/15, 1-4pm
    • 12/17, 6-8pm
    • 12/19, 6-8pm

Festival of Trees
auction in Ho-Chunk Center
  • Community groups and organizations from around Siouxland decorate artificial Christmas trees to be auctioned, often with creative and elaborate themes, and proceeds go to charity. 


Santa's Helpers Black Friday Camp at LaunchPad Children's Museum
Friday, 11/29
  • 9am-4pm at LaunchPad Children's Museum in downtown Sioux City
  • Kids will make homemade gifts, participate in fun seasonal activities, and play at LaunchPad!
  • Groups for kids 4-7 and kids 8-12
  • $65 for LaunchPad Members and $77 for non-members
  • For more information or to register, visit the LaunchPad website


Sioux City Parks and Rec Breakfast with Santa
Saturday 11/30
  • 9-11am at the Long Lines Family Rec Center
  • free for babies and toddlers under 2
  • $8/person ages 2+
  • Includes breakfast, served from 9-9:30am
  • Attendees can make a snowflake craft, decorate cookies, enjoy Christmas music, and take pictures with Santa!
  • Register by calling (712)279-6126 or online using the Parks & Rec registration website (It didn't show up in search for me, but I found it at the very bottom of the in the "Recreation Event Tickets" section!)
It's a Wonderful Life
Saturday, 11/30
  • Watch the classic Christmas movie projected on the huge screen at the Sioux City Orpheum Theatre
  • Movie starts at 7pm
  • Free admission, with donations requested for the Food Bank of Siouxland
  • For more information, check out the event post on Facebook.


Christmas Movies at the Wells Visitor Center & Ice Cream Parlor
Mondays, 12/2, 12/9, and 12/16
  • Shown in the newly renovated theater on the second floor of the Wells Visitor Center & Ice Cream Parlor (accessible by stairs or by elevator)
  • Movies include Elf on 12/2, The Grinch on 12/9, and Polar Express on 12/16
  • Movies showing each night at 6pm, with free admission
  • Treats inspired by the movies available for sale for $6 (Elf sundaes, Grinch floats, and hot cocoa floats)
  • Because of limited seating, tickets are required.


Christmas at Morningside: Arise All Nations 
Friday, 12/6
silhouttes of a camel ride towards a nativity with  the words "Arise All Nations: Christmas at Morningside" above
Graphic used with permission of Morningside College Music


  • Held at Morningside College's Eppley Auditorium
  • Featuring performances from Morningside College vocal and instrumental music groups
  • Free admission

Friday Night Christmas Lights on the Holly Jolly Christmas Trolley

Fridays 12/6, 12/13, and 12/20


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. 
route map for friday night christmas lights trolley ride, from downtown Sioux City to 36h street

  • $10 per person (babies in arms ride free) plus tips for the driver. 
  • 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 for $250 ($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! 

A Christmas Carol
7 performances between 12/6 and 12/15
  • Catch the Christmas classic live on stage, presented by South Sioux City's New Stage Player
  • Performances include:
    • Friday, Saturday, and Monday showtimes at 7:30pm on 12/6, 12/7, 12/9, 12/13, and 12/14
    • Sunday matinees at 2pm on 12/7 and 12/15
  • New Stage Players productions are staged at the South Sioux City Middle School Theater
  • Tickets are $15 per person and are available online.



Santa's Whistlestop Tour
Saturday, 12/7 & Saturday, 12/14
  • At the Sioux City Railroad Museum from noon to 4pm both days
  • Santa will arrive by train at 12:30 each day
  • Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus
  • Make a festive craft, or watch a movie in the Gilchrist movie theater
  • Free, but with a free will donation requested from those able
  • Snacks and gifts available for purchase from vendors
  • Grand Scale train rides $2

Holiday Cookie Decorating
Sunday, 12/8


  • 1-3pm at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center Betty Strong Encounter Center
  • Kids are invited to decorate cookies to celebrate the season
  • Free event with all supplies provided

Victorian Christmas at the Linda Sue Manor
Friday, 12/13
  • Meet Santa & Mrs. Claus, shop from vendors, and enjoy festive refreshments 
  • Half hour time slots from 5 to 8:30pm available
  • Free, but tickets required due to limited space (20 people per session), and donations are requested for the CSADV
  • Tickets and more information available on the Linda Sue Manor Facebook page

A Very Merry Y-Mas at the Norm Waitt Sr. YMCA
Friday, 12/13
  • From 5-7pm at the Norm Waitt Sr. YMCA in South Sioux City, Nebraska
  • Features cookie decorating, bounce houses, ugly sweater contest, ornament craft, and more!
  • $10 per household
  • For more info or to sign up, visit the South Sioux City Norm Waitt Sr. YMCA website

A Swingin' Christmas With the Symphony
Saturday, 12/14
  • 7:30pm at the Orpheum Theatre
  • Presented by the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra and featuring visiting musician Vince DiMartino on trumpet
  • Includes a reading of  'Twas the Night Before Christmas by a surprise celebrity guest!
  • For tickets or for more information, visit the Sioux City Symphony website.
A Magical Cirque Christmas
Thursday, 12/19
  • 7:30pm at Orpheum Theatre 
  • This "Holiday Spectacular" variety show features festive music, dancing, acrobatics and much more!
  • Tickets start at $28.50
  • For tickets or for more information, visit the Sioux City Orpheum Theatre website.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas party at LaunchPad Children's Museum
Thursday, 12/19
  • 5-7pm
  • Kids can participate in a variety of Grinch themed activities to celebrate the season!

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!
  • Cherrywood Lane/Applewood Ave neighborhood in Morningside
  • Blessed Sacrament neighborhood in Sioux City (Jackson and Jones streets between 29th and 30th) ** Part of the Holly Jolly Christmas Trolley tour (more info above)
  • Grandview Blvd between 35th & 36th Street
  • The Heights, especially the Grandview Park Rose Garden
  • Christmas Acres, 18481 Impala Ave, LeMars, IA 
  • Watchorn home at 58960 882nd Road in Ponca, Nebraska as seen on ABC's The Great Christmas Light Fight

Santa in Sioux City




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

  • The Sioux City Holiday Lights Parade
  • Santa Breakfast hosted by the Sioux City Parks & Rec Department.
  • Santa will also be at the Southern Hills Mall to take pictures with kids and to enjoy several special events.
  • Santa will be at Bob Roe's Point After on Christmas Eve for Pizza; event starts at 11am and Santa will be handing out small gifts from 11:30am to 12:30pm. More info available on Facebook.


Merry Christmas, Siouxland!

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