5 Fun Fall Activities in Des Moines

Brenton Arboretum. Des Moines Mom
Brenton Arboretum, Dallas Center

With the last days of summer upon us, it is time to focus on Fall! If you are anything like me and my family, you look forward to enjoying the last couple of months outside before the cold temps and snow set in.

Luckily for us in the Des Moines metro, there are lots of fun things to do during the fall season. Here are my favorite things to do and places to go for fun fall activities.

Fall Festivals and Celebrations

Beaverdale Fall Festival | September 15-16
Enjoy food, vendors, music, and even a parade! There are also carnival rides, games, and inflatables. 

Iowa’s Latino Heritage Festival | September 23-24 at Western Gateway Park
Iowa’s only 2-day Latino Heritage Festival is a great way to spend a few hours or a whole day. Immerse yourself in Latino heritage including, art, music, dancing, and of course, amazing food! Kids will love the fun activities at various locations around the festival grounds.

Ongoing Fall Fun

Downtown Farmers Market is one of the best in the country! It is a great time of year to get fresh apples, pumpkins, baked goods, and all the other amazing vendors there. The market is from 8 am-noon through October 28.

Valley Junction Farmer’s Market and Music in the Junction: Enjoy the wonderful Valley Junction Farmer’s Market every Thursday through the end of September from 4 pm to 8 pm in Historic Valley Junction. Bring a chair and enjoy live music from 6 pm to 8:30 pm. Shows are free and open to music lovers of all ages.

Living History Farms: Fall is a great time to take a trip back to Iowa’s past. Regular admission fees will get you and your family access to lots of fun activities. This fall you can enjoy Apple Fest (9/16), Indigenous Iowans Day (10/7), and a Medicine Show (10/21). Living History Farms also offers a ton of historic skill workshops; check out the schedule here. These special events, along with the regular activities LHF has to offer can make for a day of fun and learning. 

Iowa Arboretum and Brenton Arboretum: You could spend the whole day exploring the main campus and the sprawling woodland trails of Iowa Arboretum in Madrid or Brenton Arboretum in Dallas Center. There is no better way to see the fall foliage color change while admiring the fall flowers in bloom. The views are breathtaking. Don’t forget your camera, it is a great place for taking photos!

What are your “can’t miss” fall events or traditions? Drop them in the comments so I can add them to my family list!

Looking for more things to do in Des Moines? Check out fall family fun! 


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