Christkindlmarket brings European charm to Cowles Commons in downtown Des Moines

Christmas is now only one week away but earlier this month, many people of all ages descended on Cowles Commons in Downtown Des Moines to take in an annual and unique Christmas event: the Christkindlmarket.

It's hosted by the Des Moines European Heritage Association but what is it you ask? I'll let the signs speak for themselves.

Many major U.S. cities host a Christkindlmarket every December and this was the first year that I made it to Des Moines' version. The weather was unseasonably warm for December so it did not quite have that iconic blanket of white snow to go along with it, but it was a fun event with lots of different food, activities, beverages, entertainment, contests, and more.

Over several days, thousands of attendees flocked to the newly rehabilitated Cowles Commons which is sandwiched between the Des Moines Civic Center and the Capital Square office building, which is home to the Des Moines Register, among many other businesses and entities.

There were a number of food trucks on the premises as well as lots of tiny shacks that vendors sold various items, merchandise, and food from.

There was an "Iowa Beer Bus" with keg taps built into the outside. You could even drink your beverage of choice next to a cocktail table that was designed to look like Christmas trees.

Entertainment - both inside and outside - was available. I spotted a chainsaw artist drawing a considerable crowd and then inside a large tent, known as Yuletide Hall, a full agenda of performers was slated to delight the audiences.

Yuletide Hall was also home to a couple of beverage stations offering both hot and cold beverages.

There were a few contests going on, including bidding on some of the Christmas trees.

In yet another tent, I very disappointingly did not get to play either nail pooping or cookie biting, whatever those entailed.

If for some reason you got too cold, you could go inside the Capital Square office building, where an enormous Christmas tree was decorated.

Downtown Des Moines usually always has something interesting going on and Christkindlmarket was no exception. I look forward to attending again next year but in the meantime, the Iowa Adventurer would like to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas next week!

As always, I welcome your suggestions of places to visit and profile whether in Polk County or any of the other 98 counties in Iowa. If you have a good idea or would like to host the Iowa Adventurer, please drop me a note through this website.