Holiday Events & Festivals | In & Around the QCA


Winter Nights Winter Lights

November 18 – January 1

Be amongst the first to experience this year’s light display. Guests will gather around the pond for the first lighting of the season after a short introduction of our presenting sponsor, MidAmerican Energy Company. Advanced ticket purchase is highly recommended.

Lights & Flights 21+

November 18; December 15 & 29

New this year, experience the light display and sample locally-crafted brews from Wake brewing. Wake will be serving up sample flights of their riff-infused, artistic brews. Each ticket includes one flight of beer, admission to the light display, and access to the Lights & Flights room. Enjoy live music by Roger Carlson and friends.

The Lighting on the Commons

November 19

The Lighting on the John Deere Commons is a free annual community event that kicks off the holiday season. Join your friends and neighbors on Saturday, November 19th from 3:30-6:00 pm in downtown Moline for attractions that include Santa, horse-drawn wagon rides courtesy of MidAmerican Energy, live music, a children’s craft area and of course, the famous Lighting Ceremony and Fireworks. Free cookies and hot cocoa will be available to all guests between 4:00 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Festival of Trees

November 19 – 27

Welcome to the Festival of Trees, where holiday magic comes to life each year in downtown Davenport! Featuring over 150 designer displays, fun-filled attractions, special events, and the largest helium balloon parade in the Midwest, join us as we welcome back this 10-day holiday extravaganza in-person, bigger and better than ever before!

Holiday Parade

November 19 

The Holiday Parade is not only the largest helium balloon parade in the Midwest, but it’s also the only televised parade in the Quad Cities!

Sensory Friendly Night @ Winter Nights Winter Lights

November 20

This night is designed for those who may benefit from a sensory-friendly experience, including a calmer, less crowded environment.  Limited tickets are available per entry time, however, walk-ups will be accommodated but may experience a wait time.  Social stories describing what to expect during your visit will be available in advance and upon arrival.

A Rather Curious Brunch 21+

November 20

The Mad Hatter and his accomplices will keep you laughing (and guessing) at every turn during this immersive, adults-only “tea” party. Enjoy whimsical cocktails served in teapots and delicious “brunchitizers” as you travel down the rabbit hole solving riddles, playing games, and uncovering the magic and mayhem of wonderland.

Teddy Bear Tea

November 20

Children are invited to bring their favorite plush toy to the cutest party at the Festival – the adorable Teddy Bear Tea party! Youngsters and their adult guests will enjoy a special tea party experience with yummy snacks, activities, and an appearance by the Festival’s costumed characters. Each special guest will take home their very own bear! Mary Macaroni will entertain and keep everyone dancing and singing with her songs.

Sugar Plum Ball

November 22

This perfectly sweet date consists of dressing up, enjoying a lovely dinner, and dancing the night away. The Festival Costume Characters will greet you to start this fun-filled evening, while Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse proudly presents excerpts from their Youth Theater Musical Series, “Santa Claus: The Musical.”

Celebrity Lunch

November 23

Help raise money for the arts while having a wild and crazy time! Celebrity Lunch is THE place to be the day before Thanksgiving. Local Celebrities will become waiters for a day and entertain guests by showcasing their outrageous and wacky talents for tips. Give any size donation to challenge your waiter to perform in front of the whole crowd! Music, fun, and A LOT of laughter is had by all who attend.

ImpactLife Blood Drive

November 23

Donate blood at the donor bus in our parking lot on November 23 to receive two free tickets to the light exhibit plus a pair of light glasses.

Symphony of Lights: Family Walk

November 23

This is your opportunity to enjoy the enchanting 1.1 mile view of the displays on foot and at a leisurely pace. No pre-registration needed. Walkers will park outside the gates at Eagle Point Park and pay $5.00 per person to walk thru the park. Santa will be inside the lodge to greet all visitors. Food vendors will be set up in the lodge parking lot for items to purchase.

Symphony of Lights

November 24 – December 30

Visitors to the festival will enjoy the viewing of over 40 lighted displays, 500,000+ supporting lights, castles, streams, and a gingerbread lodge that fill a 1.1-mile loop of Eagle Point Park located off highway 67 North. Its beauty and splendor will take you back to those holiday memories of your childhood

Make and Take Dala Horses

November 25 – December 11

During the holiday weekends, paint stations will be set up in the Vasa National Archives for painters to decorate their own wooden Dala Horse. Paint, brushes and smocks provided. During the week, the paint stations will not be available, but you can take Dala Horse kits home to paint. The Dala Horses are available for a $5 per horse donation whether you paint here or at home.

Festival After Dark: Silent Disco 21+

November 26

Join us as the Festival goes clubbing with a unique silent party experience! The party gets started after the Festival closes to the public. With a valid ID, grab a wireless headset and dance the night away as 3 live DJs battle it out for your attention. Choose between 3 different genres of music with the flip of a switch.

Advent Workshop

November 26

Come and make an Advent candle wreath and decorations for the season at the Bishop Hill United Methodist Church.

Letters to the North Pole

November 26 – December 15

‘Tis the Season! Your favorite Parks and Recreation department is working with the Big Guy (AKA Santa) and his helpers this season! Santa’s helpers are hard at work helping him get ready for Christmas Eve night, but they want to hear from YOU! Kids of all ages can drop off Letters to the North Pole at 3 Davenport Parks and Recreation locations. In the week leading up to Christmas, keep an eye on your mailbox for a response from one of Santa’s helpers!

  • Inside The River’s Edge │ 700 W River Drive
  • Fejervary Learning Center (outside the Holiday Lights Display) │ 1800 W 12th Street
  • Inside Vander Veer Conservatory │ 215 W Central Park Ave

Pet Night

November 28 & December 5

Capture Santa photos with your pets. Everyone is welcome, even without pets. During Pet Night events, we’re collecting donations on behalf of The Humane Society of the United States at participating locations. All pets visiting Santa must be leashed or in a carrier and may only visit Santa. Please come prepared to clean up after your pet.  No exotic pets, please. 

Disney on Ice: Into the Magic

December 1 – 4

Seek adventure in the great wide somewhere with Belle as she explores the Beast’s enchanted castle, experience Moana’s courage to embark on a voyage with demigod Maui to save her island, and sing along with Miguel from Coco as he follows the music in his heart. Be inspired by Anna’s devotion to her sister Elsa on her journey to the North Mountain to stop the eternal winter, and watch Rapunzel and Flynn go to great lengths to make her dream come true.

Christmas in LeClaire

December 2 – 4

Downtown LeClaire, Iowa comes alive with crafts, baked goods, and silent auctions throughout the city, plus plenty of opportunities for your little ones to meet Santa Claus himself — or one of his counterparts from around the world with our Strolling Santas!

Christmas in the Village

December 2 & 3

An event celebrated for over 40 years featuring festivities throughout the Village and lots of free family fun.
Santa, The Grinch, An Elf, Frosty the Snowman, and a Reindeer will be in the Village. Brought to you by The Village of East Davenport Business Association, and all of the small businesses in the Village of East Davenport. “Winter Sparkle” Fireworks: Saturday at 9:00 p.m

Light up LeClaire Parade

December 3

The parade will travel down Wisconsin Street from 15th Street to 3rd Street. It’ll be very festive and a great way to celebrate the season. If you would like to enter the parade, it is free.

Ugly Sweater 5K and Kids’ Fun Run

December 3

Lace-up your running shoes and throw on the most horrendous sweater you can find! Whether you run, walk, or crawl, you won’t want to miss this exciting event for all ages!

Symphony of Lights: Craft & Vendor Fair

December 3 & 4

Vendors, crafters, and food vendors!

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train

December 3 & 6

CP asks attendees to bring a cash or non-perishable food donation if they’re able. Local food shelves will set up collection stations at each event, with all donations made staying with the local food bank to help people in need in the community.

Julmarknad (Christmas Market)

December 3 & 4

Sights, sounds, and aromas of Christmas past. Swedish folk characters will roam the village. Special music, Swedish food specialties, and an abundance of handmade wares and antiques. Chocolate Walk at the Bishop Hill Creative commons.
Sponsored by the Bishop Hill Arts Council and the BHHA.


December 3 & 4

It’s a family tradition! This free event celebrates everything we love about the holiday season. ChristKindlMarkt QC is an artisan craft and gift market and so much more! Centered around a festive German theme, this unique market is sure to please even the crankiest Krampus! Food, drinks, and live music make this market a “do not miss” event for everyone.

Winter in Bloom

December 4

The Hauberg Estate is the perfect way to start the holiday season with your entire family. Beautifully decorated trees adorn the magnificent mansion. There will be a visit from Santa. Horse-drawn carriage rides will be back again this year. Kids will enjoy crafts and games—cookies and cocoa for everyone. A Cash Bar will also be available. This event is FREE to the public and everyone is welcome!

19th Century Christmas

December 4

For the first time since 2019, we will host a full-scale 19th Century Christmas celebration at all four of our sites. On the first Sunday in December, the entire community is invited to experience the wonder of a traditional Victorian Christmas.

Lucia Nights – Festival of Lights

December 9 & 10

Experience a unique Swedish holiday. Luminaries line the sidewalks and candles are in every window. Live music at several locations. Young girls dressed as St. Lucia serve drinks and sweets in shops and museums throughout the village. Soup Supper is available at the Methodist Church. All Bishop Hill restaurants, shops, and museums will be open. Christmas tree lighting in the park at 6 pm December 10th. 

Geneseo Christmas Walk

December 10

The Victorian Walk returns for one year only as the 2022 Geneseo Christmas Walk presents Victorian Walk Throwback. This year’s logo features the classic Victorian family walking towards the Central Schoolhouse to celebrate Christmas in Geneseo!

Attending the Victorian Walk Throwback will be a must for anyone’s holiday schedule, so save the date!

Geneseo Jingle Run 5K

December 10
2022 marks the 12-year anniversary of our region’s favorite annual holiday-themed 5K run. The first 100 runners will receive a shirt, and medals to be awarded to men’s & women’s top-division finishers. All runners will receive jingle bells for shoes or bibs so you actually jingle while you run!

Holiday Makers Markets

November – December

Happy Holidays Quad Cities! We’ve put together a list of holiday craft shows and makers’ markets throughout Iowa and Illinois. Shop small and support local crafters all over the midwest! *Be sure to check the websites before heading out to get the most up-to-date information*

Holidays in the Quad Cities

Previous articleChristmas Tree Lightings in the QCA
Next articleSki Resorts Within 2 Hours of the Quad Cities
A native midwesterner that grew up in Southern California. Stay-at-Home mom trying to start up a small business doing what I love. Passionate about being involved in my community and spreading the word on all there is to do here in the Quad Cities!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here