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 15-17- 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 15-16- 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 2-4, September 9-10 and September 16-17-  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 7-10- 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 22-23- 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 FairOctober 7-8– 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. Fresh Fest-September 23rd-24- Fresh Fest is Iowa’s annual hip hop festival. This is just it’s second year so come see up and coming hip hop artists before they make it big.  It’ll be located at 520 Robert D. Ray Drive (Brenton Skating Rink) There will be free parking available and plenty of food and art/clothing vendors to appeal to everyone in your family. Children are welcome with those under 10 having free admission when accompanied by an adult.  Admission is $10 for adults.

  8. Madison County Covered Bridge Festival– October 14-15- 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. Taco Festival–  October 7- If you have an insatiable love of tacos, this festival was made for you. Held at Western Gateway park from 12pm-6pm, you’ll be able to indulge in your favorite food by paying a general admission ticket which will give you access to restaurants, food trucks and vendors selling $2 tacos. They operate on a token system to purchase the tacos so be sure to load up on tokens before you get in a line to order. General admission is $12 and for $20 you can go to the Tequila Expo to sample 10 top shelf tequilas. No dogs are allowed so be sure to leave your pets at home.

  10. Ankeny’s North Pole Village Arts and Craft Show– November 4- 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 @




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