Person tying ice skating laces

It’s official — the end of 2020 is in sight. We did it. We’ve adjusted our schedules, changed plans, expanded our view of what an “office” can be, we’ve become virtual meeting experts, and much more. We’re in the home stretch of an unforgettable year, and that is definitely worth celebrating.

And although celebrating may look a little different than in years past, there are some great activities available to keep you and your family busy (and safe) through the New Year. You’ve got to love Des Moines.

Ice skate at the Brenton Skating Plaza

It’s time to lace up your skates and do your best Kristi Yamaguchi impression. Ice skating at the Brenton Skating Plaza, located right in between the heart of downtown Des Moines and the Historic East Village, is a family favorite activity for a reason. Ice skating is the perfect winter activity that lets you be physically active outdoors.

Double-check the plaza’s capacity and get ready for the rink!

Test your luck on Des Moines’ sledding hills

Famous for its soft, rolling fields of corn, Iowa actually isn’t all flat. There are some great hills for sledding right here in the Des Moines metro.

Grab your quarantine crew, your fastest sled, and a thermos of hot chocolate. Sledding is still in style for 2020.

Create your own virtual holiday promenade

A highlight of the season in the East Village each year is the holiday promenade. It’s the perfect opportunity to browse local shops, have a few holiday treats and enjoy a great time. 

Child during a holiday festival

While we won’t be able to gather in nearly the same numbers this year, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fun. We recommend grabbing a drink or dinner to go from one of our favorite East Village spots and settling in at home for some themed online shopping. You can still virtually shop local!

Catch a show at the Des Moines Community Playhouse

You’ve supported local businesses. Now it’s time to support your neighborhood actors. The Des Moines Community Playhouse has reopened (with limited capacity), providing a perfect evening getaway for when the cabin fever starts to get too real.

Dazzle from a distance at Jolly Holiday Lights

Nothing feels more like winter than holiday lights. And if you’re looking to get out of the house but not necessarily leave your car, then Jolly Holiday Lights is the perfect outing.

Holiday lights

Take a drive around Adventureland Resort and support Make-a-Wish® Iowa — it’s their biggest fundraising event of the year!

Des Moines is still a bustling city with plenty to do, even when the temperatures start to plummet.

People holding drinks

As for my plans during the twilight hours of 2020? A socially distanced toast from my couch with a to-go cocktail from the Bartender’s Handshake. Feel free to join me (in spirit).

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