Holiday Events & Festivals | In & Around the QCA

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Letters to the North Pole

November 1 – December 20

Are you ready to embark on a magical journey to the North Pole? Well, grab your pens, paper, and your little ones because it’s that time when kids can send their heartfelt letters to Santa Claus! The Quad Cities area is buzzing with excitement as children eagerly prepare their wish lists and pour their hearts out onto paper.


Holiday Garden Party

November 9

The store will be fully transformed into a beautiful “Christmas Winter Wonderland” filled with twinkling lights, beautiful colors, the wonderful scents of fresh pine & evergreen, and chocolate, coffee & peppermint from Aroma! Make sure to save the date so you don’t miss out on our amazing hourly sales! Our favorite Holiday foods & drinks will be served to you on platters as you browse the store while enjoying the best LIVE Holiday Jazz music by a locally loved musician!


Christmas at the Barn

November 10 & 11

The two-story reclaimed barn will be overflowing and restocked each weekend. Plus, a few of our favorite vendors will be set up under the magic of lights and tents. Then head over just a couple blocks to our newly reclaimed feed store turned AirBnB and event space for more R7 shopping, wine tasting and handmade vendors!


Winter Nights Winter Lights

November 17 – January 1

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 17 | December 14 & 28

Experience the light display and sample beer and pizza from two Rock Island businesses, featuring Radicle Effect Brewerks and Huckleberry’s Pizza.


The Lighting on the Commons

November 18 | 3:30 – 6:00 pm

The Lighting on the John Deere Commons is a free annual community event that kicks off the holiday season. Join your friends and neighbors 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.


Festival of Trees

November 18 – 26

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 18 | 10:00 am | FREE

This FREE event features large helium character balloons, floats, dance groups, bands, antique cars and pageant queens all to help usher in the holiday – including a visit from Santa Claus himself! The parade route starts on 3rd Street and Pershing and goes west down 3rd Street to Scott Street. It then turns left and goes back down 2nd Street ending at 2nd Street and Iowa Avenue.


Downtown Hunt for the Holiday Pickle

November 18 – January 1

Find 10 pickles to win a pickle ornament for your own tree and be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a grand prize! Pick up an official card at one of the 40+ participating businesses to play!

Holiday Vendor Fair

November 18 & 19

In addition to all the vendors providing a variety of home decor, crafts, arts, and more, there will also be food, beverages, entertainment for the kids, and so much more. We even heard Santa might stop by for the kids


Lights & Leashes @ Winter Nights Winter Lights

November 19 & December 3

Experience the decorated gardens with your furry friends by your side. Bring your pups for a nighttime stroll on these two select nights. To ensure safety for all visitors and pets, all dogs must be on a leash and under control at all times.


Teddy Bear Tea

November 19 | 2:00 pm | $30

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.


Sugar Plum Ball

November 21 | 6:00 – 9:00 pm | $65

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 22 | 11:00 am | $65

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.


Symphony of Lights: Family Walk

November 22 | 5:00 – 8:00 pm | $5

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 through 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 23 – December 30 | Mon-Fri: 6:00 – 9:00 pm & Sat-Sun: 5:00 – 9:00 pm | $8

Visitors to the festival will enjoy the viewing of over 40 lighted displays, 500,000+ supporting lights, castles, streams, and a gingerbread lodge that fills 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 24 – 26 & December 2 – 3

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.


A Charlie Brown Christmas

November 24 – 26

The classic animated television special A Charlie Brown Christmas comes to life in this faithful stage adaptation in which Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang discover the true meaning of Christmas. This production will take place in the auditorium at the Lincoln Community Center in Davenport, Iowa.

Silent Disco Party 21+

November 25 | 8:00 pm | $25

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.


Pioneer Village Christmas Walk

November 26 | 12:00 – 4:00 pm

Stroll along the beautifully decorated Board Walk, see old-world craft demonstrations throughout the Village, Visit Santa in the Dammann Building, Listen to Christmas music in the Church, and Purchase cookies & hot chocolate in the Soda Fountain!


Canadian Pacific Holiday Train

November 26 & 27

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.


Disney on Ice: Find Your Hero

November 30 – December 3

Discover the hero inside us all at Disney On Ice. Step inside the story of Encanto with Mirabel and her family and learn that everyone has a special gift. Sail away with Moana and Maui on their journey across the ocean. Join Elsa on her quest to protect Arendelle. Be inspired as you swim under the sea with Ariel, explore with Belle, and sing-along with Rapunzel. Experience world-class ice skating, iconic music, and stunning costumes that will make Disney On Ice presents Find Your Hero an experience the whole family will treasure forever.

Jingle & Mingle: A Holiday Stroll

December 1 | 5:30 – 8:00 p

Dozens of downtown stores and various Muscatine organizations participate in the stroll, decorating their storefronts, offering refreshments such as hot chocolate or becoming performance venues for singers, dancers, musicians and others spreading holiday cheer.


Christmas in the Village

December 1 & 2

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


Krampus Nights

December 1 & 2

Meet the infamous Krampus and take your own photos. Visit with the German American Heritage Center & Museum to learn the folklore of Krampus. Krampus will be stationed in a designated area and will not be roaming the gardens.


Holly Days

December 1 & 2

Electric Parade, Large Colorful Tree Lighting, Pictures with Santa, Kids Activities, Local Shopping, Hot Chocolate Hustle 5k & more!


Christmas in LeClaire

December 1 – 3

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!


Jingle & Mingle on the Mississippi

December 1 – 3

Get ready to Jingle and Mingle your socks off Quad Cities! Introducing the area’s newest holiday tradition! Jingle and Mingle on the Mississippi offers everything you love about the holidays and then some! Hot cocoa, fantastic live music, shopping, and everything in between! Enjoy live music from talented artists from various music genres in our main tent. Get ready to check off your holiday shopping list by browsing through a variety of small businesses offering the best local items in the QC. Bring the kiddos to our heated kid’s tent for fun, free, holiday-themed activities!


Ugly Sweater 5K and Kids’ Fun Run

December 2

Whether you run, walk, or crawl, you won’t want to miss this exciting event for all ages beginning with the Half-Mile Kids Reindeer Dash Fun Run at 9:30 am, followed by the Ugly Sweater 5K at 10 am. The 5K will be followed by post-race walking tacos, a live DJ, an ugly sweater contest, and pull-tabs for drink specials. Registration is $40 for the 5K and $25 for the kids’ fun run through December 1 — register by November 21 to receive our famous sweatshirt! Proceeds benefit King’s Harvest Ministries.


DeWitt’s Hometown Christmas

December 2 | 9:00 am – 6:00 pm | FREE

9:00 – 11:00 am |  Kid’s Christmas Carnival at Emmaus Road Church! Santa arrives via Fire Truck at 9:00 am where children are welcome to come sit with him and get their picture taken.
11:15 am | Family Holiday Movie at the DeWitt Operahouse Theater. Seating is limited, first come first served.
5:00 – 7:00 pm | Live & Lit Holiday Windows, Warming Stations, Christmas Hidden Letter Search, Gingerbread House Contest, Holiday Wreath & Mason Jar Contest and more!
5:00 pm | Lighted Parade – Starting on South 6th Ave, traveling north and ending at Lincoln Park to help light the big Christmas Tree!
5:15 pm | Lighting of the Christmas Tree in Lincoln Park.


Reindeer Day at The Family Museum

December 2 | 12:00 – 5:00 pm

See a LIVE reindeer, make reindeer antlers in the Imagination Studio, play reindeer games, enjoy “Polar Express” dance performances from the Family Museum Dance Company, and more!


Cookies & Cocoa with Santa

December 2 | 1:00 – 3:00 pm

Come see Santa and enjoy some cookies, hot cocoa, and arts and crafts at the Department for Children & Family Services in Rock Island, IL.


Christmas in Silvis

December 2 | 3:00 – 6:00 pm | FREE

Join the library for their “Let It Snow” party and get professional photos taken with Elsa, Anna, AND Olaf! There will be 4 different kids’ craft stations, live holiday music, popcorn, and apple cider, and a Santa letter-writing station! Then bring your letter to Santa and Mrs. Claus at the downtown fire station where you can take photos with Santa, plus a FREE book! There will be kids’ games, face painting, crafts, cookies and hot cocoa, and a live DJ!


Village of Andalusia

December 2 | 5:00 – 7:00 pm

Annual Max “Crud” Stark Christmas Party at the Community Center! Visit with Santa, listen to the local choir and watch local dancers perform!

Symphony of Lights: Craft & Vendor Fair

December 2 & 3 | Sat: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm & Sun: 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Vendors, crafters, and food vendors!


Julmarknad (Christmas Market)

December 2 & 3

Sights, sounds, and aromas of Christmas past. Swedish folk characters will roam the village. Special music, Swedish food specialties, abundance of handmade wares, and antiques. Chocolate Walk fundraiser at the Bishop Hill Creative Commons.


Winter in Bloom

December 3 | 10:00 am – 5:00 pm | FREE

Cookies and hot chocolate, carriage rides, a special visit from Santa Claus, children’s crafts in the carriage house, and Artsy Bookworm book reading for the kids.


Galesburg Holly Day Parade and Santa Rescue

December 3 | 4:30 – 6:30 pm

Santa Rescue at 4:30 with the parade beginning at 5:00p in Downtown Galesburg.
Parade begins at the Corner of S. Chambers and Main Streets, heading west on Main Street, before turning left onto South Cherry Street, ending at the Knox County Courthouse.


Kewanee Lighted Christmas Parade

December 3 | 5:00 pm

The parade will begin in the parking lot of the former Tenney Bowl, go onto McClure Street, and then end in Windmont Park to kick off the lighting ceremony.


Cops and Cocoa

December 5 | 5:00 – 7:00 pm

Join us the Davenport Police Department for a fun evening inside the Vander Veer Conservatory. Enjoy hot chocolate and cookies, conversations with your local officers, and explore squad cars!


Port Byron Christmas Walk

December 8 | 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Meet Santa at the library, enjoy Christmas crafts and games, eat delicious baked goods, sing holiday karaoke, and go home with festive take and make crafts like stovetop potpourri and peppermint bath bombs.


Port Byron Christmas on Main Street

December 9 | 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

Horse carriage rides, vendor show, tree lighting at 5:00 pm, and so much more!


Lucia Nights – Festival of Lights

December 8 & 9

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.


Geneseo Christmas Walk

December 9 | 8:00 am – 8:00 pm

Geneseo Christmas Walk presents: Gingerbread House Party! Get ready to dance and celebrate the season on State Street in Downtown Geneseo! Lighted Christmas Parade, Ice Sculptures, Living Windows, Christmas Shopping, Trolley Rides, Luminaries, Gingerbread House Decorating Contest!

Geneseo Jingle Run 5K

December 9

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!


GiGi’s Christmas Party

December 9 | 9:00 – 10:30 am

Gifts, games, crafts, and Santa too! Please register early to help us and Santa with planning.


Christkindlmarkt

December 9 | 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Local vendors will gather at the GAHC&M just in time for last minute gifts, stocking stuffers and much much more. A wide variety of crafts, goodies, food, and everything in between will be available. Admission is FREE all day.


The Nutcracker @ The Adler

December 9 & 10

Ballet Quad Cities’ The Nutcracker has been a hallmark of the holiday season in the Quad Cities for generations. The magic never ends! We pull out all the stops for this dazzling full-stage production: a cast of 60, live music, falling snow, colorful sets, and our sparkling Sugar Plum Fairy!


Holiday Magic at The Fun Station QC

December 10 | 1:00 – 4:00 pm

Meet Santa, Balloon Twisting, Cookie Decorating, Write a letter to Santa and Arts & Crafts Station!
Holiday Magic is included in all ticket prices. Active Memberships get free admission to this event

Light up LeClaire Parade

December 10 | 5:30 pm | FREE

Participants get to light up their cars, trucks, or anything they would like for a chance to win the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place award! The parade will travel down Wisconsin Street from 15th Street to 3rd Street. Entry is free but you must be registered to participate. Join us for this festive event and help us celebrate the season!


Polar Express Pajama Party

December 14 – 17 | $14 – $16

The beloved holiday tradition is back at the Putnam! Plan to join us for four days of holiday fun featuring a hot cocoa bar, face painting, crafts, ornaments, Lights Out Reindeer Hunt throughout the Museum, The Polar Express on the GIANT Screen and so much more!


Kids DIY-U Workshop: Holiday Delivery Truck 

December 16 | 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Kids will love hand-crafting this unique toy that also makes a memorable gift.


Hickory Creek Christmas Fair

December 16 & 17 | 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Handmade gifts, baked goods, local crafters, face painting, magicians, and more! Visit with Santa from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm both days!


Holiday Makers’ Markets & Craft Shows

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*

Event Directory Disclosure: 
Please note that the listings within this event directory might not cover all 
available events or be exhaustive. While we aim to provide accurate and timely 
information, there might be events not listed or changes to details that have 
transpired after our latest update. Before attending any event, we strongly urge 
you to verify its date, location, ticketing information, and any other relevant 
details to ensure a seamless experience.
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Holidays in the Quad Cities

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