Corridor Holiday Events Guide 2014


2014Corridor HolidayEvents Guide (2)

The Corridor is full of wonderful events for your family to enjoy this holiday season! Here is a list of some of our favorites! If you know of a great event that should be added to this list, please email contact(at) Most of all, we hope you have a wonderful holiday season full of laughter, hope, and love! Enjoy!

Merry Performances

Christmas Guide MerryPerformancesA 1940s Radio Christmas Carol at the Old Creamery Theatre in Amana. November 20th – December 14th. It’s Christmas Eve in 1943 and listeners to WOV Radio out of Newark, New Jersey settle in for a one-of-a-kind telling of the classic Dicken’s story A Christmas Carol. Come see what happens behind the scenes as the Feddington Players try to save the show from one disaster after another in this delightful holiday comedy filled with the music and the spirit of Christmas.  Showtimes are Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays at 2:00 pm and Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $28 for adults and $18.50 for students. Rated G.

Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells Batman Smells at the Old Creamery Theatre. Part of our 2014 Theatre for Young Audiences Season. It’s time for the holiday party and Secret Santa gift exchange in Junie B. Jones’ first grade classroom. But Junie can’t seem to find the spirit of giving anywhere. Find out what happens in this holiday treat for the entire family! Tickets are $9 and everyone gets the opportunity to meet the cast after the show! Nov. 29 at 10 am & 1 pm, December 6 at 10 am, December 11 at 7 pm, and December 13 at 10 am.

The Nutcracker at The Englert Theatre. December 5th-7th. Nolte Academy of Dance and The Englert Theatre are proud to present a unique and highly entertaining version of the beloved Christmas classic, The Nutcracker. No holiday is complete without a visit to Clara’s house where her beloved Uncle Drosselmeyer presents the magical gift of The Nutcracker. Tickets: $16-$28.

A Seussified Christmas Carol at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum. December 5th @ 7:00 p.m. and December 6th @ 2:00 and 7:00 p.m.  This Christmas, the Young Footliters present a Readers Theatre performance of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, followed by the joyful comedy A Seussified Christmas Carol by Peter Bloedel.  Free to the public, with not ticket required. Part of A Christmas Past Celebration in West Branch.

Merry Tuba Christmas at the Downtown Cedar Rapids Library. December 6th from 2:00-3:00 p.m. Listen as the sound of tubas fill the air with your favorite Christmas songs. Part of the Fire and Ice Festival.

Mannheim Steam Roller at the U.S. Cellular Center. December 6th @ 8:00 p.m. This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the Christmas Tour and release of Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, an album that revolutionized the Holiday Season music category.  Grammy Award® winner Chip Davis will direct and co-produce Tour performances with MagicSpace Entertainment.  The show features classic Christmas hits from Mannheim Steamroller and multimedia effects in an intimate setting.

Tuba Christmas on the steps of the Old Capitol. December 12th @ 12:30 p.m. Come to the steps of the Old Capitol to hear the UI Tuba Euphonium Studio play Christmas favorites! In addition to enjoying the unique sound of the tuba ensemble, audience members can contribute toys that will be distributed to needy children. Toys for Tots will accept all new, unwrapped toys appropriate for children up to 15 years of age.

Holiday Cabaret: Naughty and Nice at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts.  December 13th and 20th. 7:00 p.m. “Nice” Cabaret, 10:00 p.m. “Naughty” Cabaret. City Circle is back with TWO Cabaret shows, so there’s something for everyone – even if there’s a Grinch or Scrooge in the family! The “Nice” Cabaret is a family-friendly show, featuring a Children’s Choir, the Hawkettes, and carols sweet and funny; old and new. It is definitely G-rated.  The “Naughty” Cabaret features music and comedy with an edgy, irreverent take on the holiday season. It usually slips into R-rated territory at some point! Best plan: Bring the kids to the early show, meet your sitter at home during the break, then come back for a glass of wine and the late show. Tickets to each show are just $10, but a ticket to both shows is only $15!

A Year With Frog and Toad at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts. December 12th-21st. This heartwarming musical tells the story of a year in the life of forest neighbors Frog and Toad and their many woodland friends.  Based on the beloved books by Arnold Lobel and adapted by Willie and Robert Reale, this musical will charm audiences of all ages.  (Rated Theater G). Tickets: $12-$27.

Santa Sightings

Christmas Guide Santa SightingsPictures with Santa at Filmscene, Downtown Iowa City. Every Saturday from November 29th until December 20th. Free pictures with Santa at FilmScene (118 E. College St.) from 11:30am-2:30pm. {Free Horse Drawn Carriage Rides are also offered at this time…see our Festive and Family-Friendly section for more info!}

Breakfast with Santa at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts. November 29th at 9:00 a.m. or 10:00 a.m. Join us for breakfast with Santa! Breakfast includes pancakes, fruit, coffee, and juice. Saint Nick’s helpers will be on hand with crafts, and each family will get a picture with Santa. We’ll email the photo the next day, perfect for holiday cards! Tickets: $8.

Breakfast with Santa at the North Liberty Community Center.  December 6th from 8:00-11:00 a.m. Santa will be waiting for kids to enjoy a hot meal provided by the North Liberty Lions Club. Event also includes live music, crafts, special holiday movies on the big screen, a Christmas Village with full operating train to enjoy. Don’t forget to visit with Santa and tell him what you want for Christmas. Bring your camera for a picture with Santa. This will be a great time! Ages Infant-10. Tickets: $3 ages 3 and up.

Breakfast with Santa at the Waterfront Hy-Vee. December 6th from 8:00-11:00 a.m.  Join us Saturday December 6th from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. for pictures and breakfast with Santa. Enjoy a free kid’s breakfast buffet with the purchase of an adult breakfast buffet.

Santa, Snacks, and Stories at Brucemore. December 7th and 9th from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The Mansion’s holiday décor and the estate’s seasonal spirit add to the evening’s activities. In the Visitor Center, children will be delighted by sing-a-long caroling and a snack making station. In the mansion, children will participate in a craft, listen to holiday stories, and give Santa their wish-lists. In between activities, children and parents are invited to view the first and second floors of the Mansion and to ask any questions to the available stationary guides. Cost: $7/child ($5/child of Brucemore member) in advance. $10 at the door if available. 1 free adult/child. $5/each additional adult.

Breakfast with Santa at the Coralville Marriott.  December 13th from 7:30-10:30 a.m.  The Rotary Club of North Coralville is hosting their Breakfast with Santa fundraiser.  Visiting Santa is free and you can take your own photos! Breakfast includes pancakes, eggs, sausage, coffee and juice. Breakfast cost is $6/person. Ages 3 and under are free. Funds raised go toward club projects and scholarships.

Aisle of Lights Festival at the Coralville City Hall.  December 14th from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Free refreshments, entertainment, and children’s activities sponsored by the University of Iowa Community Credit Union. Bring a camera and take photos with Santa in an antique sleigh. Live music presented by the Community of Christ. {Part of Aisle of Lights Weekend}.

Visit with Santa at South Slope Community Center.  December 15th and 16th from 5:30-7:00 p.m. Santa (and Mrs. Claus) will be visiting the South Slope Community Center twice this year! Mark your calendars for December 15 and 16 from 5:30-7:00pm for photos with Santa, fun activities, and great goodie bags. Santa at South Slope is a great opportunity to take your own photos with Santa and to enjoy a fun evening with your family – all for free!

 Festive and Family-Friendly

Christmas Guide Festive and Family-FriendlyA Shakespeare Christmas at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Museum in West Branch. November 15th-January 4th. In celebration of the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth and of Herbert Hoover’s love of Shakespeare, the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum presents A Shakespeare Christmas. The exhibition will display 20 trees and each tree will represent one of Shakespeare’s plays. There will also be a tree decorated by the Cedar Valley Embroiderer’s Guild of America and two trees decorated by the Wednesday Shakespeare Club from Cedar Rapids.

Tannenbaum Forest in the Amana Colonies. November 28th-December 21st. Travel through our Tannenbaum Forest and see over 40 Christmas trees, decorated by local businesses. Bid on your favorite holiday wreath while you listen to Christmas carols. Santa and his reindeer will be visiting on the weekends! Admittance is free; a free-will donation is encouraged. Proceeds of the forest benefit Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Johnson County.

Holiday Mansion Tours at Brucemore. November 28th-December 31st. Visitors will enjoy the seasonal splendor of 13 glowing trees, a dining room set for Christmas dinner, stunning mantel arrangements, the lush garland adornment of the grand staircase, and other seasonal cheer throughout the Mansion. Sunday tours will feature live music from the original 1929 Skinner pipe organ.  Cost: $7/adults and $3/children. See website for times.

Horse Drawn Carriage Rides in downtown Iowa City. Every Saturday from November 29th until December 20th. Free Horse Drawn Carriage Rides sponsored by Hills Bank and Trust Company from 11:30 am-2:30pm.  {Pictures with Santa are also offered at this time at Filmscene.  Check out our Santa Sightings section for more info!}

The Santa Clause showing at the Englert Theatre. November 29th @ 3:00 p.m. Come down to the Englert and celebrate Small Business Saturday with a free showing of The Santa Clause movie!

Downtown Hunt for Elves, downtown Iowa City businesses. November 29th- December 26th. Join us for a Downtown Elf on a Shelf scavenger hunt. There are 45 Elves hiding in our downtown businesses; find 25 of the 45 elves to win a prize and for your chance to win the Downtown Hunt for the Elves grand prize!

Festival of Trees at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts. November 29th from 6:30-10:30 p.m. Kick off the holiday season with an evening of food, fun, festive performances, and holiday decor! Tickets include heavy hors d’oeuvres, performances featuring City Circle and Nolte Academy talent, dancing on stage, and more!  Of course we’ll have live and silent auctions of artistically decorated trees and wreaths and the ever popular grab bags. This party is fun for all ages and the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit. Tickets: $25.

Christmas in the Park & Peppermint Walk in Uptown Marion. December 5th from 4:00-8:00 p.m. Bring the kids to visit Santa, enjoy live music, horse-drawn carriage rides, storytelling, hot chocolate and popcorn. Special retail shopping event also happening in Uptown Marion. Admission is free to the public.

Christmas in Kalona throughout the town of Kalona. December 6th from 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Celebrate Christmas in Kalona with a variety of family-friendly activities including a cookie walk, vendor fair, pictures with Santa, kids’ activities, and carriage rides.

A Christmas Past in West Branch. December 5th-6th. Visit West Branch to celebrate A Christmas Past! Events include a tree lighting, make-and-take craft, bonfire, hot drinks and goodies, horse-drawn wagon rides, Gibson’s Trains, free museum admission, musical performances, blacksmithing, snowshoeing, and more!

Prelude to Christmas in the Amana Colonies. December 5th-7th. Break out your holiday spirit and join us for Prelude to Christmas in the Historic Amana Colonies. There is an authentic experience waiting for all ages during this holiday celebration, music, holiday goodies and FUN! Prelude to Christmas Weekend will kick off with all-day activities including the Amana Church Cookie Walk and Christmas Bazaar, along with great shopping and the 2014 Christmas Haus Tour. There will also be live performances in the Festhalle Barn  and will continue throughout the duration of Tannenbaum Forest.

Holiday Time in Santa’s Workshop at Usher’s Ferry in Cedar Rapids. December 6th from 9:00-11:00 a.m. Start the holiday season with a fun-filled morning at Santa’s workshop. You’ll enjoy breakfast at Usher’s Ferry Hotel, baking and decorating in the Telephone House, and toy making in Town Hall. Don’t forget to have your picture taken in Santa. Pre-registration required. $13/Cedar Rapids residents, $14/Non-Residents.  Accompanying adult is free.

Elf at FilmScene. December 6th at 10:00 a.m. and December 11th at 3:00 p.m. Head downtown for a chance to see this family favorite on the big screen! Shows are on Saturday at 10am and Thursday at 3pm. All tickets are only $2.50 each.

Fire and Ice Festival in downtown Cedar Rapids. December 6th from 1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.  Events include a vendor fair, various performances, a Santa Meet & Greet, holiday activities, tree lighting, and parade. Get all the details here.

North Pole Park at Greene Square Park in Cedar Rapids.  December 6th from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Part of the Fire and Ice Festival, there will be train rides and carriage rides, as well as a bonfire and hot cocoa!

Holiday DeLight Parade in downtown Cedar Rapids. December 6th at 6:00 p.m. Part of the Fire and Ice Festival.

Festival of Carols at the Englert Theatre. December 9th @ 7:00 p.m. Seasons greetings from the Englert! We would like to invite you and your family to join us at the Festival of Carols on Tuesday, December 9 at 7 p.m. This event is FREE and open to the public – tickets are not required. Get into the holiday spirit with this festive cornucopia of carols, cocoa and stories, including special performances and a visit by Santa!

White Christmas at FilmScene. December 13th at 10:00 a.m. and December 18th at 3:00 p.m. Head downtown for a chance to see this family favorite on the big screen! Shows are on Saturday at 10am and Thursday at 3pm. All tickets are only $2.50 each.

Victor’s Old Fashioned Christmas in Victor.  December 13th from 7:30-7:00 p.m. Fireworks will immediately follow Closing Ceremony.  Join the town of Victor for their old fashioned Christmas celebration! Activities include breakfast and photos with Santa, horse-drawn carriage rides, live music, craft show, kids games, and more! Get the full schedule here.

Luminaries on Ice at the Coral Ridge Ice Arena.  December 13th @ 6:00 p.m. The Hawkeye Skating Club lights up the rink with a special holiday performance and luminaria lighting ceremony, followed by Open Skate.

Aisle of Lights at the Hawkeye Model Railroad Club. December 14th from 1:00-4:00 p.m. Enjoy seeing and running trains on the area’s largest model railroad display. Free Entry.

Aisle of Lights Celebration at the Johnson County Historical Society Museum. December 14th from 2:00-5:00 p.m. Enjoy holiday craft and hot chocolate mix making. Free museum entry.

Aisle of Lights throughout Coralville. December 14th beginning at 5:00 p.m. See how 30,000 white paper sacks, each filled with sand and a votive candle, can create a magical scene on a winter evening!  Tour the Aisle of Lights by bus!  The City operates one free, wheelchair-accessible bus open to the public departing from City Hall approximately every 45 minutes beginning at 5:15 pm. The last tour departs at approximately 8:15 pm. Each round is limited to 40 people on a first come, first served basis.

Open House at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts. December 14th from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Open house hosted by the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts and Young Footliters Youth Theatre. Cookies, coffee, hot cider, and reader’s theater holiday performances at 5:30, 6:15, and 7:00 pm. Free.

It’s a Wonderful Life at FilmScene. December 20th at 10:00 a.m. and December 25th at 3:00 p.m. Head downtown for a chance to see this family favorite on the big screen! Shows are on Saturday at 10am and Thursday at 3pm. All tickets are only $2.50 each.

Noon Year’s Eve Celebration at the Iowa Children’s Museum. December 31st from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 5…4…3…2…1…Happy Noon Year! The Iowa Children’s Museum is celebrating 2015 just a few hours early and you’re invited! Bring your family and friends to create the perfect party accessory including hats and noisemakers then join us for the big countdown and balloon drop at 12 noon. Here’s to a fun-filled 2015! The museum is open from 10 AM to 4 PM on Wednesday, December 31st.

Parents’ Night Out Opportunities

Santa Carrying Shopping Bags

Black Friday Camp at the Iowa GymNest. November 28 from 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Get ready to go shopping and take your time knowing the kiddos will be entertained at the Iowa GymNest at our Black Friday camp. Crafts, games, gym time, food and fun are all provided at this 1/2 day or full day program. Full day camp runs from 7:30am to 4:30pm for $65.00. Half day camp runs 7:30am-11:30am or 12:30pm-4:30 for $35.00. *Lunch and snacks are provided for Full day *Snacks provided for 1/2 day campers.

Parents’ Night Out at the Robert A. Lee Rec Center. December 5th from 4:30-8:30 p.m. Drop your kiddos off for some fun and games while you do some shopping, or have dinner! We’ll provide an open gym, where your kids can play basketball, rollerskate, play games, and have oodles of fun! Dinner for your kids is on us (we’ll be providing dinner for all registered participants). We’ll also have some arts and craft projects where the kids can make special holiday gifts (from the heart) to give to family and friends. $10 per child to pre-register; $15 for drop off. (Pre-registration is encouraged to make sure we have enough food for everyone).

Holiday Open Gym at the Iowa GymNest. December 13th from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Need to do some last minute shopping? A quiet night with a book before the rush of the holidays? Bring your precious ones to the Iowa GymNest for a fun evening of Open Gym activities to burn off some energy. Attendees will be entered in a drawing to win a $50.00 Iowa GymNest gift certificate. Cost is $10.00 for one Session (5:30-7:00) or (7:00-8:30)  or $15.00 for both sessions. It is open to the public and no registration is required for the Open Gym. 

Night at the Children’s Museum at the Iowa Children’s Museum. December 20th from 6:00-9:00 p.m. Bring your friends, or make some new ones, as you create DIY crafts (optional), enjoy snacks and listen to a dance party soundtrack as you play the night away! Night at the Children’s Museum is just for kids – No grown-ups allowed (except for our awesome PLAYologists)! The party takes place from 6-9 pm. The cost is $20 per child and members receive a 10% discount.  Reservations are required.  Reserve your space online now.

 Christmas Tree Farms

Be sure to call ahead to check the hours and availability before you head out!

Christmas Guide Christmas Tree FarmsBarnes Tree Farm. 4439 Dane Road, SW, Iowa City, IA 52240. Phone: (319)341-9351

Handley’s Holiday Hillside Farm. 1731 White Oak Ave NE, Solon, IA 52333. Phone: (319)624-3646

Kelly Tree Farm. 1045 Stone Mill Rd, Tipton, IA 52772. Phone: (319)452-4300

*Images from Microsoft Stock Images.


Kaitlyn Swaim
Kaitlyn is the owner of Cedar Rapids Moms Blog and is an Iowa girl who has been married to her husband, Joshua, since 2007! She’s a busy work-at-home mama to their 5 children: 3 girls and 2 boys! A true Hawkeye, she graduated from the University of Iowa with her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, something that comes in handy on a daily basis while trying to raise 5 kids! Her favorite things to do include spending time with her family, cheering on the Hawkeyes, reading a good book, shopping (of course!), and checking out all the activities the Corridor has to offer!


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