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Discover Iowa's Holiday Destinations


Music Man Square, Mason City, IowaLooking for a new tradition for your Christmas holidays? Check out some of the offerings below around the state. Then pack up the car and take a road trip.

Through Dec. 14: 1940s Radio Christmas Carol, Old Creamery Theatre, Amana Colonies. It’s Christmas Eve 1943, and listeners to WOV Radio in Newark, New Jersey, settle in for a one-of-a-kind telling of the classic Dickens 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. Rated Theater G. Visit www.oldcreamery.com, or call 319-622-6262.

Dec. 13-14: Pioneer Village Christ­mas Wonderland, Plymouth County Fairgrounds, Le Mars. An authentic pioneer village is beautifully lit up for the holidays. Take a horse-drawn sleigh ride on a winter’s night, or see a live nativity scene and musical performances. Roast marshmallows and sip hot chocolate around a campfire in the snow. Open 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Free admission. Visit www.lemarsiowa.com, or call 712-548-4971.

Through Dec. 25: Festival of Lights, Swan Lake State Park, Carroll. Christmas lights and animation unite. You will be enthralled with a campground full of lighted scenes, all of which can be viewed from the winter comfort of your own vehicles. For more information, call 712-792-1335.

Through Dec. 28: It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas, Music Man Square, Mason City (see photo above). A lively, animated holiday display featuring music by composer and Mason City native Meredith Willson, including his holiday classic, “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.” Display is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Fridays 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Closed Mondays and holidays. $6 for adults; $3 for students. Call 641-424-2852.

Through Dec. 21: A Christmas to Remember, Bell Tower Theater, Dub­­uque. As if the holidays aren’t hectic enough, this year Callie and her husband are moving her parents into a retirement community. It’s Dec. 23, their house is sold, and they have some last-minute packing to do. The problem? Dad has changed his mind and refuses to leave the house. Visit www.belltowertheater.net, or call 563-588-3377.

Through Dec. 31: POW Nativity Scene, POW Museum, Kossuth County Fairgrounds, Algona. Built by six German POWs during World War II, the nativity scene contains 65 one-half life-size figures. At the end of the war, it was donated to the city of Algona. Visit www.pwcamp.algona.org, or call 515-295-7201.

Through Dec. 31: Christmas Walk in the Historical Village, Pella. Twenty-two buildings are decorated for the holidays and feature eight beautiful trees lavishly decorated. Enjoy a complimentary “kaffee tijd” with Jaarsma Bakery’s Saint Nick cookies and hot beverages in the village bakery. Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Sundays. Admission charged. Visit www.pellahistorical.org, or call 641-628-4311.

Wednesday, Dec. 31: Noon Year’s Eve, Science Center of Iowa (SCI), Des Moines. Why should adults have all the fun ringing in the New Year at midnight? Bring the whole family to SCI to celebrate 12 hours early! A massive balloon drop will take place in Founders Hall, and noisemakers will be handed out as the 2015 is kicked off at noon. Activities start at 9 a.m. Regular SCI admission includes Noon Year’s Eve activities. Visit www.sciowa.org, or call 515-274-6868.