Top Ten Things to both love and hate about fall in Iowa


Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year. It’s also a time that can be both great and annoying, oftentimes at the same time. The following are the reasons why fall in Iowa can have it’s perks and it’s downfalls. Let’s pretend we aren’t in Pandemic times and remember how these used to be our biggest problems.

  1. The Weather- Iowa has trouble with having an actual fall season. We can have extended summers and we can have shockingly early winters. We rarely seem to hit that magic point where we have more than a couple of weeks of fall like weather.  When the weather actually feels like fall then you feel ready for winter to come but when it goes from 100 degree days in October to snowstorms in November, it’s kind of hard to not be resentful of missing a full season.

  2. The Leaves- This is impacted by the weather since the temps need to be ideal to get the full color changing effects. The changing of the leaves gives you a visual reminder that fall has finally come even if you’re viewing this while wearing shorts and sandals.  Des Moines has some good spots to check the leaves out but it’s best to venture outside of the city to get a better leaf peeping experience.

  3. Festivals and outdoor events peter out- Our summers are pretty full of major outdoor activities that can involve pretty much anyone in your family but come fall those will all be disappear except for a select few. By October you’re going to be left with Halloween events and after that you’ll be in the long stretch of boring weekends. It’s nice to have summer events but it would be even nicer to have things continue once the summer is over too.

  4. You can’t wear your fall clothes as early as you’d like- Again, the weather impacts this but when families go back to school shopping in August, they have to make their purchases knowing that the fall items won’t be able to be worn until October at the earliest though the selection of summer stuff in Augusts is all but gone. It’s frustrating to those of us who are ready to be done with summer clothes and having to constantly re-apply sunscreen.

  5. Apple Orchards and Pumpkin Patches- Both are great activities for both families and couples and both let you get outdoors for a few hours to do something slightly productive. Yes, you’ll end up paying more for apples at an orchard than at your grocery store but you also get the experience of actually picking those apples as well. Plus the orchards and pumpkin patches tend to sell good items in their stores that you can pretend you made yourself. For the best orchards in the Des Moines area, click here.

  6. The Iowa State versus University of Iowa game- This comes in mid-September but it’s pretty much Iowa’s official start of the fall season. This is an incredibly difficult game to get tickets to but if you do, you will definitely remember the game and the amount of dedication the fans have for their team. Even tailgaters will have a good time since most start at the crack of dawn and end well past the end of the game.

  7. The Farmer’s Markets will come to an end- Just when you get used to having fresh vegetables from local farmers every weekend, all of the farmer’s markets around town will come to an abrupt end. Yes, the main downtown farmer’s market will have a winter market in December but it mainly sells gift items and they only have it 2 weeks.  We have to wait a long five months for the market to come back in the spring once those two winter markets are over. It would be nice to have the event in the winter but maybe it’s a way to guarantee anticipation for when it does come back.

  8. The Time Change is hard on your body- Having it be dark when you go into work and be dark again when you get off at 5pm is hard on the body and the mind.  No one seems to be able to handle the time change well no matter how much we may try to prepare for it.  Yes, it’s nice to have some darkness when you’re going to bed but it feels like we don’t get a break from the darkness until spring.

  9. Nesting time- This is the time to start baking and doing all of the indoor projects you’ve put off all summer. Winter saps your motivation with the extreme colds but fall is just the right time of year to be productive.  Now’s the time to make your home cozy since you’re going to be potentially stuck in it for a few months straight.

  10. Winter is Coming- Fall marks that season just before all heck breaks loose with winter.  It makes everyone a little cranky but also a little happy to know that Christmas is coming soon.  Fall gives us a transition time to ease into the cold weather and mentally prepare for what’s to come.

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