Des Moines Halloween Events in 2023

© Choreograph name photo by Canva

Don’t limit the Halloween fun to beggar’s night and a pumpkin patch. Celebrate the spooky (and fun!) season all month long.

Whether you are looking for an adult-only event or something for the whole family, make the most of those costumes around town. You can never have too much candy, right? Or at least, you can never have too much fun!

More Halloween Fun

Haunted Houses

Jokes for Beggar’s Night

25 Non-Candy Halloween Treats

Halloween Events around Des Moines

September 23–October 29 | Phantom Fall Fest, Adventureland Altoona
Select dates and times
Enjoy your favorite rides during the day, then fright all night with horror around every corner. Hang on to your friends through more fog, more freaks, more FX- starting with four haunted houses.

October 7 | Fall Festival & Candy Crawl at Grimes South Sports Complex
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Cost: Free
Enjoy plenty of candy, food trucks, a kid zone, demonstrations, great vendors, and activities for all ages. Costumes are encouraged!

October 7 | Pumpkins & Pints Harvest Market, Uptown Ankeny Farmer’s Market
4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Join in for an evening farmers market at the Ankeny Market & Pavilion. See regular-season vendors, shop pumpkins from the Ankeny Area Historical Society, and Thirsty Pigs will be on site with seasonal beer, cider, and more.
October 7 | Trunk Or Treat, Shottenkirk Chevy 755 Hickman Rd, Waukee
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
This free event features food trucks, face painting, music, and games. Wear your costumes! 
5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Cost: $10, free for members
This adult-only event features music by The Punching Pandas, delicious seasonal brews, lighted displays throughout the zoo, costume contests, a haunted train ride experience, and adult brews trick or treating.

October 13-15, 20-21 | Spirits in the Garden at Reiman Gardens
5 p.m to 9 p.m.
Cost: $7 and up
See amazing Jack-O-Lanterns, visit the Candy Factory, and enjoy a magic show! A local community group will be selling prepackaged snacks and warm drinks as a fundraiser near Lake Helen. Advanced tickets are required with a specific entry time window.

October 19 | Halloween in Uptown, Uptown Ankeny
5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Join in for a night of trick or treating. Meet the trunk or treaters on SW 3rd between Cherry and Walnut. There will be several lighted pumpkins in front of businesses as well where you can go inside and trick or treat.

October 19-23 and 26-29 | Night Eyes at Blank Park Zoo
5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Cost: starting at $6
Roam through enchanted lighting displays, a merry-not-scary treat safari, and enjoy live entertainment and games. Advance ticket purchase is suggested.

October 20-22, 27-29 | Family Halloween at Living History Farms
Fridays/Saturdays: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Sundays: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Cost: $8-$9
Enjoy a fun trick-or-treating experience through the historic businesses in Living History Farms’ 1876 town of Walnut Hill. There will also be games and horse-drawn wagon rides.

October 21 | Ghosts & Goblins in the Garden, Ted Lare Design Build & Garden Center
9 a.m. – noon
Trick or treat the kiddos to a spook-tacular good time. The Garden Center will be decked out in Halloween decorations with jack-o-lanterns hidden throughout for the kids to collect candy and prizes. Along the way, there will be several activity stations including crafts, games, and more. Tickets are limited so be sure to sign up soon. Tickets are only required for participating children.

October 21 | Halloween Candy Drop, Union Park
12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Get ready for a sweet surprise as Des Moines Parks and Recreation teams up with the Des Moines Fire Department to bring you an unforgettable Halloween Candy Drop like never before! They’re taking candy to new heights as they dump hundreds of pounds of delicious treats from the fire truck into the sky. 

October 21 | 10th Annual Bondu Spook-Tacular
2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: Free
Head to Bondurant for a fun and safe Trick-or-Treat opportunity with a costume contest and donut eating contest. There will also be games, activities, and candy for the little ones.

12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Cost: $64.95 per lane (plus tax) for up to 5 guests
Book your lane(s) now! Their Kooky not Spooky event includes 2 hours of glow bowling and shoe rental for up to 5 guests per lane, a large single-topping pizza, and a pitcher of soda.
October 22 – 25 | The Great Pumpkin Party at Valley Church
6 p.m to 8 p.m.
Cost: Free
Wear your non-scary costumes and enjoy giant inflatables, barrel train rides, carnival games, free popcorn, and more! Plus October 22 is a special night for families with special needs.
October 26 | Halloween Party at Des Moines Children’s Museum
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Wear your costumes, enjoy bobbing for apples, pumpkin bowling, and more.
$10 for ages 1 – 10, free for adults and children over 10. Free for members.

October 26 | Trick or Treat Around the Lake, Copper Creek Lake
5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Join in for an evening of trick-or-treating around Copper Creek Lake Park. Businesses will have tables set up for you to visit as they hand out candy and promotional items.

October 27 | Nature Center After Dark-Halloween, Jester Park Nature Center
6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Storytelling, crafts, open Nature Center exhibits, and a short program on the theme of the night. Come in costume for this free family-friendly Halloween-themed night.

October 27 | Halloween Trick or Treat, Outlets of Des Moines
5 p.m. to 7 p.m. 
Custom Dreamz Car Club will feature special “trunk” candy giveaways for trick-or-treaters. Bring personal hygiene items and/or canned foods for donation to the Caring Hands Outreach Center. 

October 27 | Monster Mash, Waukee Public Library
10 a.m.
Join in for some (slightly) spooky fun at a monster-themed party with simple crafts, games, and a mini-dance party. Feel free to wear a costume. Recommended for kids of all ages and their caregivers. Registration required.

October 28 | Huxley Spooktacular, Railroad Park
4 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Chock full of spooky fun for all ages! Enjoy a variety of food trucks, trick or treat on the Story Walk, live music, beverages, treats, games, and activities for all

October 28 | Trick or Trees, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
This festive, family-friendly event includes activities, entertainment, and trick-or-treating in the Garden. Visitors can participate in creep-tastic educational activities about trees and spooky botanicals. Costumes are encouraged!

October 28 | Not-So-Spooky Halloween Party, Canoyer Garden Center – Grimes
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
This is a FREE, fun, and family-friendly event! Wind your way through the foggy enchanted forest as you groove to the music and play games, collecting treats along the way!

October 28 | Spooky Science, Science Center of Iowa
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Dust the cobwebs off your costumes, and bring the whole family down to enjoy spooky, science-y, and SAFE Halloween fun. There will be hair-raising experiments, creepy-crawly critters, and tons of other spook-ified programming. All activities are included with admission – free for SCI members!

October 28 | Halloween Hullabaloo, West Des Moines RecPlex
5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Calling all goblins, ghosts, and ghouls to the RecPlex for a spooky good time in a family-friendly environment. Decorate pumpkins and play fun games and activities like hula hoop pumpkin toss, monster freeze dance, snacks, and more. Space will be limited so don’t miss out.

October 28 | GPS Great Pumpkin Hunt at Greenwood Park
10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Cost: $10
Participants will learn how to use a hand-held Global Positioning Unit and then will use the GPS to find the “GreatPumpkin” in the park. A series of smaller pumpkins will be hidden in the park and leading the way to “the Great Pumpkin.”

October 29 | Pumpkin Walk, Valley Junction
2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Let your kids show off their costumes and enjoy trick-or-treating in the 100-300 blocks of 5th Street. 

October 30 | Trick or Treat on the Farm, Howell’s Greenhouse and Pumpkin Patch
Have some Halloween fun on the farm! Scavenge for treats around the farm, smash some pumpkins, enjoy all our fall activities, and more. Join the costume contest, prizes are awarded by age group and category.

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Cost: Free, suggested donation of non-perishable food
The residents of Sherman Hill are decorating their historic homes with spooky scenes and collecting non-perishable food items for the Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) Food Pantry. Halloween on the Hill has become one of the “must-do” events on Halloween night in Des Moines!

Find more Halloween and fall activities here

What are your favorite Halloween activities? Let us know if we missed anything! 

We work hard to ensure the accuracy of this information. However, you should always call ahead to confirm dates, times, locations, and other information before heading to an event or activity, since it may change.


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