December in Decorah

The countdown to Christmas is on! Make the most of this holiday season in Decorah with festive events for the whole family in early December. Find even more holiday fun on the Visit Decorah events calendar!

Holiday Lights | Now – Christmas Day, 5-9 PM Daily

Pulpit Rock Campground, 505 Pulpit Rock Road

Take time to drive-through and see the lighted displays at Pulpit Rock Campground in Decorah! Santa will be visiting each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday Until Dec. 18 from 5:30 – 8 PM. Free-will donations benefit Helping Services for Youth & Families Programs. And be sure to catch the Holiday Lights Fireworks December 9 at 6:30 PM in Decorah! 


Countdown to Christmas Shopping | Now – December 23

40 Locations around Decorah!

Decorah’s annual Countdown to Christmas is back! For each $25 you spend locally at participating locations, receive an entry into the Decorah Area Chamber’s Countdown to Christmas drawing for a chance to win a Gift Bag filled with local merch and gift cards (Each of the 16 bags are valued over $200). Winners are selected each Friday (December 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd). 

31st Annual Water Street Lighted Parade | December 1 @ 6 PM

Downtown Decorah, Water Street

Join others in Downtown Decorah for this family-friendly tradition, held the first Thursday of December every year! The Lighted Parade will travel seven blocks through Decorah’s historic downtown. 

After the Water Street Lighted Parade, join for Photos with Santa in the upstairs space of T-Bock’s (206 W Water Street, Decorah, IA). Surrounded by gift ideas from local retailers, bring the kiddos for a snapshot from Photography by Nick Chill.

Christmas at Luther | December 1-4, On-Demand December 9-31

Luther College – 700 College Drive, and Online

In early December, the sounds of the season fill the Luther College campus as students prepare the annual series of Christmas at Luther performances. Tickets are often all spoken for quickly, but you can always enjoy Christmas at Luther from the comfort of your own home! Buy a ticket to join the livestream performance at 2:30 PM December 3 or to watch on-demand December 9-31.


Norwegian Christmas Celebration | December 3, 10 AM – 4 PM

Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, 520 W Water Street

Kick off the holiday season with the annual Norwegian Christmas celebration at Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum! Activities in Heritage Park and Bethania Church are free, and admission to the museum’s Main Building is free for youth under age 18. Enjoy traditional festive family activities, folk art, treats, and live music.


Dickens on Mill Street | December 3, 1-4 PM

Winneshiek County Historical Society, 302 N Mill Street

The Winneshiek County Historical Society presents the first annual “Dickens on Mill Street”. This event will have fun for the whole family including visits with Mrs. Claus, live Dickens’ characters with children’s activity, carolers, english treats, and displays of early English Settlers in Winneshiek County. Free-will donation. For a small fee, take a horse-drawn carriage ride!

Porter House Holiday Open House | December 3, 1-4 PM

Porter House Museum, 401 West Broadway Street

The Porter House Museum welcomes visitors to their free Holiday Open House. Join to enjoy the holiday decorations of the season, live music, and treats. 

Local Holiday Markets

Shop for yourself and/or for others at local pop-up markets in Decorah!
  • Indoor Farmers Market | December 3 & 17, 8:30- 11:30 AM
    • This is your opportunity to find your favorite local food and farm vendors, plus seasonal craft people and artisans. Shop local this holiday season! Held in the Danan Lansing Building at the Winneshiek County Fairgrounds.
  • Holiday Craft and Vendor Expo | December 10, 10 AM – 3 PM
    • Shop hundreds of unique gifts, shop local vendors, and support a great cause. No cost to enter,  donations encouraged to support the Humane Society of Northeast Iowa! Held at the Winneshiek County Fairgrounds.
  • Last Minute Market! | December 11, 11 AM – 3 PM
    • Are you a last minute holiday shopper? Support local artists and small businesses while shopping prints, cards, wreaths, paintings, pottery, herbal products, knit wear, vintage clothing, and so much more! Held at Pulpit Rock Brewing Company.
Receive the latest

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.