Iowa Casinos Hosting Live Music, Promos, Contests And More For Christmas, New Years

Written By Sarah Pfennigs on December 21, 2021 - Last Updated on July 22, 2022
Holiday season

Iowa casinos are ready to bring some joy — and put some jingle in your pocket — this holiday season. Casino promotions, entertainment and delicious dining can take your Christmas and New Year’s from humbug to humdinger.

Magic and music at Iowa casinos

Everyone’s New Year’s resolution should be to have more fun. From singing sensations to magic tricks, fun and frivolity await — so get out there and deck the halls.

Be sure to visit for the latest news on Iowa casinos. You must be 21 years or older to enter the following events:

Pianos at Diamond Jo Dubuque

Dueling Pianos return to the Dubuque casino’s Mississippi Moon Bar for a special New Year’s Eve performance starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10.

Spazmatics at Hard Rock Sioux City

Party like it’s 1999 with Hard Rock Casino’s New Year’s Eve bash featuring ’80s tribute band The Spazmatics. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35.

Live bands both Fridays at Horseshoe Council Bluffs

The legendary bar, nightclub and concert venue Whiskey Roadhouse at Horseshoe Casino has live entertainment starting at 9 p.m. every Friday, including over the holidays.

Rock band Top Fuel plays Christmas Eve and Red Delicious will deliver a mix of rock, pop and country on New Year’s Eve.

All Whiskey Roadhouse concerts are free.

Free concerts at Prairie Meadows Altoona

On your way into Prairie Meadows, get a look at the casino’s 2022 ice sculpture at 6 p.m. at the main entrance.

On New Year’s Eve, enjoy acoustic vocalist Bruce Day from 5:30-9 p.m. before wrapping up your night with Final Mix at 9:30 p.m. at the Finish Line Show Lounge. Don’t miss the country sounds of Cody Hicks at 8 p.m. on New Year’s Day.

All Finish Line Show Lounge concerts are free.

Classic rock at Riverside

Are you a bonafide Bon Jovi groupie or got a crush on Queen? Look no further than tribute band Arch Allies. Doors open at 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve at the Riverside Casino event center. Tickets are $25.

Rolling Stones lovers at Rhythm

Ready to paint it black this New Year’s Eve? Satisfaction/The International Rolling Stones Show will pay homage to one of the world’s greatest rocks bands live at 10 p.m. Dec. 31, at the Rhythm City Casino Event Center. Seating is first-come, first-serve. Tickets are $25.

Wild Rose Jefferson

Add a little enchantment to your holiday season with Ohio magician David Anthony on New Year’s Eve. Doors open at 7 p.m. at Wild Rose in Jefferson. Tickets start at $25.

Holiday dining at Iowa casinos

Christmas buffet at Rhythm City

Don’t want to cook this Christmas? Robert’s Christmas Buffet at Rhythm City Casino in Davenport.

  • Hours: 4-10 p.m. on Dec. 25
  • Cost: Adults are $29.99, ages 6-12 are $15.99 and younger than 5 eat free.

And if a juicy prime bone-in porterhouse is more your speed, Ruthie’s Steak & Seafood is hosting a special for December-only. Reservations are required.

Christmas at AJ’s in Altoona

AJ’s Steakhouse at Prairie Meadows is offering a Christmas menu. Choose between prime rib, filet mignon, ham or chicken, along with a choice of starters and dessert. You can make your reservation here.

  • Hours: 4-10 p.m. Dec. 24, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Dec. 25, 4-9 p.m. Dec. 26
  • Cost: Fixed price of $50

Blue Plate special at Woodfire Northwood

Enjoy the Blue Plate New Year’s Eve special at Woodfire Grille. The elegant dining room at Diamond Jo Northwood is offering carefully selected wines and entrees explicitly chosen for New Year’s Eve.

  • Hours: 4-10 p.m. Dec. 31
  • Cost: Starting at $24-$30

Iowa casino holiday promotions

Forget tired stocking stuffers; there’s nothing like a few bucks to make spirits bright. Head to Iowa’s gaming hot spots to enjoy holiday promotions and events. From cash drawings to car giveaways, you’ll find all the action.

First stop? Council Bluffs is home to three Iowa casinos. Ameristar, Harrah’s and Horseshoe have some special seasonal sparkle before (and after) Christmas.

Ameristar Casino Hotel has everything from free slot play to Super Bowl tickets in the prize pool. Also, make sure to look for the $50,000 New Year Giveaway on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1.  Check-in between 7 p.m-12:45 a.m. Dec. 31 and 3-9:45 p.m. Jan. 1 to be eligible to win.

At Harrah’s and Horseshoe in Council Bluffs, ringing in the New Year has never been so lucrative. Give Cheers to the New Year and receive one complimentary entry plus one entry for every 25 tier credits earned at both establishments from 6 a.m. Dec. 27 through 10:30 p.m. Dec. 31.

Promos at Prairie

Go farther east, and you’ll arrive at Prairie Meadows in Altoona. There are plenty of holiday promotions offers for casino visitors:

  • $50,000 Mistletoe Money
  • Ring In The Riches
  • Snow Much Fun Swipe & Win
  • Ho, Ho, Ho Coca-Cola Earn & Win

Caesars Iowa Sportsbook is hosting Sunday football on Level 4. Watch and bet while noshing on classic gameday pizza, nachos and ice-cold beer from the Daily Double.

Feel charitable at Diamond Jo

Giving is the reason for the season. Diamond Jo Casino will give $10,000 to local charities through their Wreaths of Hope promotion, a fundraising decorating competition designed to help those in need. Vote for your favorite festive wreath daily by completing a ballot and depositing it into the drawing drum or vote online.

Rockstar rewards at Hard Rock

With a guaranteed payout of $120,000 – the biggest payout in Hard Rock Sioux City’s history – their Rock ‘N’ Rollover Cash Sweepstakes Grand Finale is a great reason to head closer to the North Pole. And it doesn’t matter if you’re naughty or nice; there are plenty of additional promos to get excited about, too. Put your Rock Star Rewards to good use and get in on the Santa’s Riches progressive jackpot, win free slot play for a year and more.

Win cash at Rhythm in Davenport

Get ready to Stuff your Stockings every Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. in December at Rhythm City in Davenport. Pick a stocking and win up to $1,000 cash. And if one of your New Year’s resolutions is to snag your share of $44,000, make sure to Countdown to Cash on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 on the casino floor. Check with RC’s Resort Club for rules and details.

Win a CR-V at Riverside

Put yourself in the driver’s seat on New Year’s Eve and greet 2022 in one of two Rockin’ Rides from Riverside Casino, eastern Iowa’s go-to gaming hotspot. Fifty qualifiers each week will win $100 in free play and a grand prize Honda CR-V entry.

Become a resort club member to win up to $250 in free slot play now until Dec. 31, and get a $500 bonus first bet when you sign up with Elite Sportsbook.

Health and safety protocols at Iowa casinos

It’s essential to be mindful of yourself and others, especially during the holidays. Be sure to designate a sober driver and take a look at the COVID-19 protocols of each establishment you visit. Here’s a cheat sheet of the face mask rules at Iowa casinos:

  • Ameristar Council Bluffs: Masks optional
  • Diamond Jo Dubuque: Masks required for unvaccinated guests
  • Hard Rock Sioux City: Masks optional
  • Harrah’s Council Bluffs: Masks optional
  • Horseshoe Council Bluffs: Masks optional
  • Rhythm City Davenport: Masks optional
  • Riverside Casino: Masks optional
  • Prairie Meadows Altoona: Masks required
  • Wild Rose casinos in Clinton, Emmetsburg and Jefferson: Masks optional
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Written by
Sarah Pfennigs

Sarah Pfennigs is a corporate copywriter, journalist and blogger based in Arizona. Born and raised in Iowa, Sarah got her undergraduate degree in studio art. Over the last two decades, she’s created digital and print content for gaming, entertainment, culinary, hospitality, insurance, higher education and small community living. When she’s not telling someone else’s story, she’s writing her own by embracing her greatest loves: cooking, music, reading, animals, true crime, red wine, and — of course — her friends and family.

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