Support Local Entrepreneurs This Holiday Season
Cedar Rapids may be the City of Five Seasons, but it truly shines during winter thanks to a full schedule of holiday frivolity guaranteed to please even the biggest Grinch. The annual holiday parade kicks off at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, but the spirit doesn’t stop there. Check out these area festivities to get into the holiday spirit and support local businesses at the same time.
In the mood for some holiday music? Check out the Revival Theatre Company’s “A Broadway Christmas” production at the National Czech & Sloval Museum at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 9. Cedar Rapids resident and International Steinway Artist Jim McDonough brings his Holiday Grande extravaganza to the Paramount Theater on Dec. 10 at 2:30 p.m. Irish Christmas in America debuts at CSPS Hall at 8 p.m. on Dec. 15. For a cabaret take on the holiday season, check out Lynne Rothrock’s Christmas Cabaret at the Cedar Rapids Public Library’s Whipple Auditorium from Dec. 14-16 at 7:30 p.m or Amy Friedel Stoner’s Wrapped in Red at the Eastbank Venue & Lounge at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 15-16. Orchestra Iowa’s annual Holiday Spectacular graces the Paramount Theatre at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 16 and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 17.
Businesses on both sides of the river will host window displays through Dec. 18, lending a unique charm to shopping throughout the city. Stop by regional and local businesses thriving in Cedar Rapids, such as clothing stores Raygun, Style Encore and MODE Boutique or the gift shop Simply Soothing, which not only produces the signature Bug Soother Spray, but also offers scent melts, body cream, body wash and soaps. Pick up a popcorn basket at Great American Popcorn Company for a gift that’s guaranteed to be a hit.
You can also find local treasures in places you might not immediately associate with holiday shopping. For example, the gift shop at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art doesn’t just sell fine art from across the planet - it also has unique work from local artisans and well-known artists with ties to Cedar Rapids, including Grant Wood and Marvin Cone. The National Czech & Slovak Museum and Library's selection of Old World treasures will help round out your holiday shopping list.
Charles Dickens will visit Marion’s Granger House Victorian Museum to read aloud from some of his novels (including the classic A Christmas Carol) on Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. Also starting at 2 p.m. that day, Cork N Canvas Iowa will welcome painters of all skill levels to create the “Abstract Christmas Tree.” Tour the Brucemore Mansion while it’s decked out for the holidays with glowing trees, a dining room that’s set for a full Christmas dinner and more through Dec. 31. The mansion is hosting Santa himself from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Dec. 10, along with a Christmas craft and holiday stories; purchase a ticket ahead of time to join the fun.