Top Ten Fall Events in and around Des Moines

Photo courtesy Des Moines Register

Summer isn’t the only season to get to go to events in Des Moines. The following are the best to go to while the weather starts cooling down and before you’ll be cooped up for the winter.


  1. World Food and Music Festival– September 16-18- This is your chance to try foods from around the world at a very reasonable price. All of the vendors featured are Iowa based restaurants who make foods that are authentic to the country they’re representing. $1 tastes at every stand are available to make it cheap and easy to try their food without having to commit to a full serving of it. There’s live entertainment as well as cooking demonstrations to keep you busy when you need a break from eating.

  2. Beaverdale Fall FestivalSeptember 16-17- Beaverdale’s fall festival is one of the best festivals that I have been at in the city and Des Moines has lots of festivals to go to so that’s saying a lot. This festival feels like a small town affair being minutes away from downtown Des Moines. They have live music, a carnival area for the kids to play games and go on carnival rides and plenty of food and drink stands to choose from. The shops in Beaverdale have sidewalk sales with deep discounts on their good. This festival has something for everyone in your family.

  3. Sleepy Hollow Renaissance FaireSeptember 3-5, September 10-11 and September 17-18-  Sleepy Hollow built an entire village to hold their Renaissance faire so you know that they are going to make sure this is going to be an impressive event. They have 12 stages, 40 shops selling unique items and 12 food and drink stands. Watch the jousting knights while you eat a giant turkey leg and feel like you have gone back in time for the afternoon. Yes, Renaissance festivals have gotten a bad rap in the past but this faire is a fun introduction to the Renaissance faire world to those who have never been to one before.

  4. Pufferbilly Days– September 8-11- Pufferbilly days will be celebrating it’s 40th year as Boone’s annual festival.  This festival has a lot of physical activities to do like a 5k/10k race, a bike ride, disc golf tournament and mud volleyball. For those wanting to be less active, there’s a quilt show and bingo.  Try and catch the parade to see the locals showing their hometown pride.  Boone may not be as well known as nearby Ames but their Pufferbilly days are well worth the drive.

  5. Des Moines OktoberfestSeptember 23-24- This doesn’t quite match the actual Oktoberfest in Germany but it’s a fun way to celebrate the event in Des Moines either way. It’s $7 for a one day pass or $13 for a weekend pass in advance or $10 at the door which includes a commemorative mug to take home as a souvenir. The rooftop Bier garden has a perfect view of the festival while letting you participate in contests like Stein Pong and cornhole. Authentic German food will available for purchase like bratwurst, strudis, and their famous giant pretzels. If you like the Des Moines version this year, try and go to the German version next year.

  6. Vintage & Made FairSeptember 24-25– The Vintage & Made Fair will be held at Jordan Camp this year in West Des Moines and will give visitors the chance to shop for vintage home decor from local and national vendors. There will be live music and food trucks to keep everyone entertained and well fed. Admission is $6 for adults and free for children under age 12.

  7. Ballet at the Barn-October 1- This is probably the most unique opportunity to watch a ballet performance in Iowa if not anywhere in the nation. Guests sit on bales of hay in the outdoor theater as they watch a performance excerpt from Triple Bill. After the performance, a buffet dinner and cocktails are served that were made to reflect the theme of the show. A Farm Foto stand gives visitors a chance to recreate the famous American Gothic style pose complete with prop pitchfork. Casual attire is encouraged so feel free to wear your favorite jeans especially since your seats are made of hay.

  8. Madison County Covered Bridge Festival– October 8-9- This year’s theme is Quilted Gems with the concept that every person and place in Madison county are connected through a love of nature and a strong commitment to helping others. Their festival shows they how to live up to their theme by how friendly everyone is and the great amount of effort they put in to make sure everyone has a great time. There’s plenty of food vendors and live entertainment as well as a antique car show to check out. The parade is the most popular event and is being held at 2pm on October 9th at the Winterset high school.  Admission is $2 is for everyone 12 years old and older.

  9.  A Walk in the Woods– October 15- All funds for this walk in Jester Park go towards the Holding Tiny Hands Organization. Holding Tiny Hands gives financial support to families who have a baby in the neonatal unit at Blank Children’s hospital. It’s $35 per person or $100 for a family of up to 4 people. This fundraiser gives you and your family the chance the walk through the beautiful Jester Park in peak leaf changing season while helping raise money for an invaluable organization helping those in a very bad situation.

  10. Ankeny’s North Pole Village Arts and Craft Show– November 5- Though this isn’t completely a fall event, you’ll still want to make a point of going to it. With over 250 exhibitors selling everything from fine art to homemade candles, this isn’t your ordinary craft show. A shuttle is available for $1 to take you to all 3 of the middle schools the fair is being held at and each will offer a cafeteria that’ll stay open until 8pm.  All money raised goes towards the Ankeny Art center and other local non profits. Make this your first stop for your Christmas shopping this year.


Happy Fall Y’all Burlap Garden Flag $9.99 @




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s