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DSM Activities & Events 10/17 – 10/23


There are lots going on in the Des Moines area this weekend! Do not forget to check out my list for Pumpkin Patches & Orchards AND my list of Haunted Houses!


1. Living History Farms – Family Halloween

When: Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

What: Go out to Living History Farms for a horse drawn wagon ride, roast marshmallows, listen to stories, pumpkin bowling, and see scarecrows! Children under the age of 12 can trick or treat through town. For more information check out their website!

2. Blank Park Zoo – Night Eyes

When: Thursday & Friday 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm AND Saturday & Sunday 1 pm – 8 pm

What: Walk through Blank Park Zoo and trick or treat! The park will be decorated in various ways such as a spooky forest, pumpkin patch and a yellow brick road! Check out admission prices and more information on their website!

3. Scary Jump 

When: Friday 7 pm – 9 pm

Where and What: Go to Pump it Up and jump! $12 per child/$15 at the door. Each child will receive a treat bag and a glow necklace. The bounce houses will be decorated in halloween decor! For more information or to purchase tickets check out their website!

4. Mysteries of the Castle

When: Saturday 10 am – 4 pm

Where and What: Walk through the rooms at the Salisbury House and explore! There will be story telling, face painting, science experiments, learn about owls from the Owl Lady, arts and crafts, balloon animals, and more! Make sure to wear your costume. Gusto Pizza will also be available! $5 admission. More information on their website.

5. Octoberfest at Penoach Vineyard & Winery 

When: Saturday 12 pm – 6 pm

Where and What: Located at the Penoach Vineyard and Winery in Adel, come out for free wine tastings, free popcorn, tractor and wagon rides, live music and barbecue! Check out their website for more information!

6. Family Hayride & Bonfire

When: Saturday 3 pm – 7 pm

Where and What: Iowa Primate Learning Sanctuary is hosting a Family Hayride and Bonfire. All proceeds will go towards the bonobo ape family. Take a hay rack ride through the sanctuary and when you are finished roast marshmallows and drink hot cocoa! $10 per person (before), $12 day of the event and children 2 and under are FREE! For an additional $5 you can go in and visit the bonobo ape family. For more information check out their website.

7. Spooktacular 5k Fun Run 

When: Saturday at 6 pm

Where and What: This is a kids fun run with food and drinks afterwards! Proceeds go to the Johnston Partnership. The run will take place at Johnston High School. Register now through October 17th $20. $25 to register the day of the event. Check out here to register online!

8. Mysteries and Movies After Dark 

When: Saturday 7 pm – 10 pm

Where and What: This is a perfect date night event to get in the Halloween spirit! Located at the Salisbury House, join others for adult beverages, snacks, spooky stories, and movies. Please RSVP! Check out the website for more information and to RSVP.

9. Great Iowa Pet Expo 

When: Saturday 10 am – 6 pm AND Sunday 10 am – 4 pm

Where and What: This event is being held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Come out and learn about all sorts of animals, enjoy entertainment, education, and win prizes! There may be some animals available for adoption also! Check out their website for scheduled events and prices for admission.

10. Spirits in the Gardens 

When: Saturday and Sunday 4 pm – 7 pm

Where and What: Located at Reiman Gardens in Ames! Come dressed in your costume and enjoy different craft and activity stations. Listen to stories and see live owls and raptors! Of course there will be trick or treating! FREE for all youth under 18 years of age. Adults are $8 and $7 for seniors. For more information check out their website.

11. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Where and What:  Located at the Wells Fargo Arena, you will not want to miss taking your kiddos to “The Greatest Show on Earth” full of animals and shows! Check out the website to see times and to purchase tickets.

12. Sample Sundays

When: Sunday 12 pm – 5 pm

When and Where: This is one event I definitely want to check out sometime! Located at Picket Fence Creamery in Woodward, walk around and try samples of items from various, local places. There will be root beer floats, kids activities, live music, and much more! And it’s all FREE! Check out their website for more information and other dates they host this fun event.

 Plan Ahead …

1. Wonder of Words Festival 

When: November 2nd – November 12th

What: This is a very neat event! The Wonder of Words Festival is an event that connects readers, writers, and publishers. There are many sponsors and several scheduled events. Check out the official website for more information and how to get involved!

DSM Activities & Events 10/3 – 10/9


Don’t forget to check out the events calendar on the right hand side of my page! Lots of fun things going on in the Des Moines area!

1. Mixology Night 

When: Friday 5:30 – 9 pm

Where and What: Perfect date night activity! Located at the Science Center of Iowa. Come for drinks, live entertainment (The Parlours), and adult-themed presentations. Admission is $5 and FREE to Science Center members.

2. Slaughter House

When: Friday and Saturday

Where and What: This haunted house is located in Pleasant Hill. Definitely not recommended for the kiddos, but if you are a fan of terrors and haunted house, this is a definite must this Halloween season! Check out their website for times and also a $2 off coupon.

3. Soap Box Derby Association Haunted House

When: Friday and Saturday 7 – 10 pm

Where and What: This is the 29th year for the spooky haunted house! Located at Linn’s Supermarket, the tour takes approximately 20-25 minutes. The admission is $12 which also includes a free line of bowling at Plaza Lanes AND a coupon for Trophy’s. There are $4 off coupons available at Plaza Lanes and other Halloween shops around the metro area.

4. New Moms Event by Des Moines Moms Blog

When: Saturday 10 – 12 pm

Where and What: Located at the Valley Community Center in West Des Moines. There will be food, drinks, giveaways and a great chance to meet other new moms. There will also be swag bags valued at over $300! Oh yeah, and FREE massages! Do NOT miss this! $15 and reservations are required. Click here to purchase tickets. Also, check out the Des Moines Moms Blog. It is a great blog to follow!

5. DSM Sushi Roll

When: Saturday at 11:45 am

Where and What: Do you LOVE sushi? This is the perfect event for you! Make it into a date activity also. A party bus will pick you up at Appare Steakhouse and drop you off at about 4 pm at Appare Steakhouse. You will travel around the Des Moines area, traveling to different sushi restaurants including: Sakura Sushi, Wasabi Tao, Wasabi Chi, and Waterfront. $45.00 per ticket and reservations are required. Check out here for reservation information and schedule.

6. Corn Harvest: Living History Farms

When: Saturday 10 am – 3 pm

Where and What: Discover how hard it is to harvest 80 bushels of corn a day! There will be horse drawn wagon rides and demonstrations on how corn is harvest! You can also see what tools are used in person. Check out here for more information!

7. DSM Zombie Walk 

When: Saturday at 1 pm

Where and What: Event will start at 1 pm downtown in the East Village at Zombie Burger! This is something you will NOT want to miss. Starting 1 pm go get your make up done, check out the vendors, and eat some crazy burgers and drinks. There will also be a costume contest beginning at 3 pm with CASH prizes. At 4:30 pm the Zombie Walk will begin through downtown Des Moines ending at Zombie Burger. For adults, enjoy the Zombie Pub Crawl which starts at 6:00 pm. Bars that will be included are El Bait Shop and High Life Lounge. This is truly an event for the whole family! For more information check out their website.

8. Cat-N-Around Cat Club 

When: Saturday and Sunday 9 am – 4pm

Where and What: This event is for all you cat lovers! It will be held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. There will be over 200 cats and 30 different breeds being judged. There will also be lots of different vendors for food, treats, beds, toys, and other fun cat products. Admission is $10 for a family, Adulst $5, and Children $4. Children 4 and under are FREE!

9. Apple Pumpkin Fest

When: Saturday 9 am – 6 pm & Sunday 1 pm – 6 pm

Where and What: Come out to Wills Family Orchard! Lots of events, activities, and entertainment! Pick pumpkins, pick apples, go on a hay rack ride, meet some farm animals, paint gourds, and much, much more! Check out our visit from last weekend, we had so much fun!

Check out their website here for more information!

10. Star Wars Reads Day

When: Saturday at 1 – 3 pm

Where and What: For ages 3 – 1o come to the Franklin Library to celebrate Star Wars Reads Day. Dress like your favorite character, participate in games and trivia. There will also be special appearances from the galaxy far, far away! All of this is FREE! You do NOT want to miss it!

11. Oktoberfest

When: Saturday 2 – 6 pm

Where and What: Located in Windsor Heights at Colby Park. Lots of fun things to do including: inflatables, live music from a Polka band, costume contest, pumpkin carving contest, balloon animals, food & drinks, and more! Check out here for time of certain events and contests.

12. Craftoberfest 

When: Saturday 6 pm – 12 am

Where and What: Located at Keg Stand this is the first year of Craftoberfest! There will be 20 seasonal beers available with live entertainment. Advance tickets are $6 and include a commemorative mug and first beer of choice. You can also purchase tickets at the door for $10. Check out here to purchase tickets before!

13. Pumpkin Train 

When: October 5 & 12 at 10 am and October 8 & 9 at 6 pm

Where and What: Located at the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad and Museum in Boone. Seating is limited so make sure to make your reservations ASAP! Ride the train, across the Bass Point Creek High Bridge, to the pumpkin patch and have your kiddos pick out their own pumpkin for FREE. $15 for all ages 2 and up. Check out their website for reservations.

14. Nature Friends: Bats

When: Monday 6:30 – 7:30 pm

Where and What: Located at Quail Cove Park in West Des Moines, all preschoolers with an adult are welcome! Guided exploration, art activities, and snack provided. Reservations are required at it is $7 per child with adult. Check out here for reservation information.

DSM Activities & Events 9/19 – 9/25


There is a LOT going on this weekend! Check out all of the Fall & Halloween activities, and even a few runs! As always make sure to check my events and activities calendar on the lower right hand of the page.

1. World Food Festival

When: Friday and Saturday 11 am – 10 pm and Sunday 11 am – 5 pm

Where and What: Located in Historic East Village, this all weekend event is going to be filled with lots of food from around the world and live music. There will also be cooking demonstrations. $1.00 for tastes and all entrees are $5.00 or less. It is FREE to attend. For more information and schedules of performances and cooking demonstrations check out here.

2. Fall Festival: “Appel Pluk”

When: Thursday 5 pm – 8 pm, Friday 10 am – 4 pm, and Saturday 10 am – 2 pm

Where and What: The Pella Historical Society is hosting the Appel Pluk! Come and drink wine and beer, while eating cheese and chocolate! Doesn’t get any better then that, right? There will be live music, Vermeer Mill Tours, apple themed games, and lunch. Admission is $5 per family or $2 per person. Check out here for more information!

3. Run DMU 5k 

When: Friday at 6 pm

Where and What: Need to get some exercise Friday evening? Sign up for the Run DMU 5k! Located at Des Moines University, this run is $25 per person ($35 day of race) and $15 youth 12 and under. The funds for this race go towards educational offerings at Des Moines University. There is also a new route this year! Check out here for more information.

4. King of BBQ Competition

When: Friday 6- 10 pm

Where and What: Located in the Merle Hay Mall parking lot. Lots of BBQ sampling, beer garden, and live music! No cover charge! This would be a great date night! Check out their website for more information.

5. Harvest Moon Walk 

When: Friday and Saturday 6 – 8 pm

Where and What: Geisler Farms in Bondurant. Explore their 10 acre corn maze underneath the full moon! Make sure to bring your flash lights so you can read the map that is provided for you. The admission is $7 and afterwards there will be beverages available in the barn. For more information about this event and Geisler Farms check out their website.

6. Puppy Mill Awareness Dog Walk

When: Saturday at 10 am

Where and What: Here is an event you can bring your furry friend to! Meet at Grays Lake and walk! Registration includes the walk and a t-shirt. All dogs must be up to date with their Rabies vaccination. Register online here!

7. Fall Family Hike

When: Saturday 9 – 11 am

Where and What: Located at the Iowa Arboretum in the Cafferty Building. Take a hike with Mike Havlik and learn about nature, sing songs, and see a few animals. This is an activity for the whole family! $10 per family for members and $15 per family for nonmembers. For more information about the Iowa Arboretum check out their website.

8. Fall Festival at the Franklin Library

When: Saturday at 11 am- 3 pm

What: Come to the Franklin Library for games, prizes, live performances, and food! This is an event for all ages! Check out the Des Moines Public Library for more information on this event and other events to come.

9. Halloween Hustle Dance Party 

When: Saturday at 11 am

Where and What: Located at the Beaverdale Books Store. This is for kiddos ages 3 and up! Come dance and listen to Halloween stories. Your little ones will receive a coloring page and book mark and it’s all FREE! Check out Beaverdale Books Store for more information!

10. Apple Festival at Penoach Vineyard & Winery 

When: Saturday 11 am – 5 pm

What: Come to Penoach Vineyard & Winery in Adel. There will be lots of vendors including Picket Fence Creamery, Deer Creek Creations, Dallas County Orchards and much more! There will be live music from 1- 5 pm along with wagon rides, face painting, clowns, crafts, pumpkin and apples for purchasing and much more! It is FREE admission, but they are asking for a donation of a non-perishable food item for the pantry. For more information about Penoach Vineyard & Winery check out their website.

11. Metro Arts 5k Rock ‘n run 

When: Saturday 4 pm – 9 pm

Where and What: This is the 2nd annual Rock ‘n Run and will held at the Clive Aquatic Center. While running “rock out” to local bands and at the end enjoy a FREE concert by The Nadas! This is a family friendly event with different vendors, children activities, and cold beer! $35 to register, late registration is $40. For more information check it out here.

12. Doors to the Past-Tour of Historic Sherman Hill

When: September 21st & 22nd 10 am – 4 pm and September 28th & 29th 10 am – 4 pm

Where and What: Have you ever driven through the Sherman Hills area? It’s a gorgeous area with a lot of beautiful homes and condominiums. This is also where Gateway Market and Smokey Row are located. Purchase tickets and walk through to look inside these beautiful homes. Tickets are on sale at Gateway Market, Hoyt Sherman Place, and Dahls. For more information on ticket prices and the tour check out their official website.

13. Octagon Festival

When: Sunday 10 am – 5 pm

Where and What: Located on Main Street in Ames. Get out an enjoy the weather and check out some artwork! There will be live music, food and children art activities available also! For more information check out their website.


DSM Activities & Events 9/12-9/18

1. Welcome Back to Walnut Street 

When and Where: Friday 11 am – 1:30 pm, Walnut Street between 6th & 7th Street

What: This is the last Welcome Back to Walnut Street of the summer! Walk along and check out all the food vendors, and live music during your lunch break. The Des Moines Ballet will also be performing! Check out here for more information and the names of specific vendors!

2. Science Center Family Night 

When and Where: Friday 5-8 pm at the Science Center of Iowa

What: Bring the whole family to the Science Center, $5 for general admission. During this time do several activities including building a rocket, check out the I-MAX theater and much more! The Science Center cafe, The Food Chain, also has food specials available. For more information check out the Science Center of Iowa.

3. Beaverdale Fall Festival 

When: Friday 7 am – 11 pm & Saturday 7:30 am – 11 pm

What: Located in the Beaverdale area, come out for live music, a carnival, activities, food and more! Friday evening there will be fireworks and Saturday morning there will be a parade starting at 10 am. Entrance into the festival is FREE! Check out their official site for maps and more information regarding vendors here.

4. Iowa State vs. Iowa Football Game 

When and Where: Saturday @ 5 pm at Jack Trice Stadium

What: The Iowa State Cyclones (0-1) will take on the Iowa Hawkeyes (1-1) in the annual Cy-Hawk game! If you do not have tickets to watch it in Ames this year, a lot of bars in the Des Moines area will be offering specials for the game. Get dressed up, meet up with friends, and watch the game! Check out this weeks Datebook for specific Hawkeye fan bars and Cyclone fan bars!

5. Free Cheerleading Clinic 

When and Where: Saturday 10 am – 12 pm at Apex Athletics in Johnston

What: Do you have an aspiring cheerleader on your hands? This would be the perfect opportunity for your little one to learn more about cheering and tumbling. This is for kids ages 3 and up. This clinic is free! Go here to pre-register! Also, while registering check out all of the other awesome classes they offer!

6. Des Moines Renaissance Faire

When: Saturday 10 am – 6 pm & Sunday 10 am – 6 pm

Where and What: This is the FINAL weekend of the Renaissance Faire! Get out to Sleepy Hollow Sports Park where the Renaissance Fare is being held! Lots of food, entertainment, and activities. There is surely something for everyone! For more information check out their official website here.

7. Day out with Thomas the Tank Engine

When: September 14 & 15 and September 20-22

Where: Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad & Museum

What: This starts this weekend! There may be some tickets still available, so if you are interested check it out! Take a ride on Thomas and meet Sir Topham Hatt! Check out the official website here for more information and to purchase tickets.

8. Art in the Barn

When and Where: Sunday 4- 7 pm at Simpson Barn in Johnston

What: Come out to Simpson Barn and enjoy wine and cheese! This event is to help raise money for the Johnston Public Library. Last year, they raised $3,500 and used it towards purchasing computers for the children’s section in the library. This year there will be even more artists displayed! You can purchase tickets at Hy-Vee or the Johnston Public Library for $20. For more information check it out here.



1. World Food & Music Festival

When: September 20th – 22nd, Friday & Saturday 11 am -10 pm, Sunday 11 am – 5 pm

Where: Historic East Village

What: Great event for the whole family! Free to attend. $1 samples all entrees are $5 or less. Check out the live music and cooking demonstrations! For more information check out their official website here.

2. White Christmas

When: December 10th – 15th

Where: Des Moines Civic Center

What: Yes, the holiday season is just around the corner! Tickets go on sale for this classic on September 23rd at 9 am!

DSM Activities Events 8/29-9/4


As always make sure to check out the calendar events on the right hand side of the page. Here are just a few happenings coming up this week!


First and the most important … college football starts this weekend! GO BIG RED!!

  • Nebraska vs. Wyoming in Lincoln at 7:00 p.m. on the Big Ten Network
  • Iowa vs. Northern Illinois at 2:30 p.m. on the Big Ten Network
  • Iowa State vs. Northern Iowa at 7:00 p.m. on Cyclones.tv/Mediacom


2. Hy-Vee Triathlon 

When: Friday, August 30 – Sunday, September 1st

Where and What: This annual event kicks off Friday evening with a 80’s cover band at the Simon Estes Ampitheater and packet pick up for all of the weekend events. Saturday morning is the Iron Kids U.S. Championship which starts at Gray’s Lake. Sunday is the Men’s and Women’s races, ending the day with rewards. It is encouraged for people to come line up and cheer on the athletes! For more information and scheduled events check out the official website here.

3. Taste of the Junction 

When: Friday, August 30th 5-10 pm & Saturday, August 31st 12- 6 pm

Where and What: Come to Valley Junction for a family friendly event. Walk around and see the different vendors, listen to live music, try different foods, and more. For more information regarding this event check out here.

4. Des Moines Renaissance Fare Xl

When: Saturday, August 31st – Monday, August 2nd 10 am – 6 pm ALSO September 7-8 & September 14-15

Where: Sleepy Hollow Sports Park

What: This is a very FUN family event loaded with activities, entertainment, food and so much more! Entertainment is FREE (included with entrance into the festival) and includes juggler, fire breather, dancers, jousting, etc. There is a lot of unique foods and drinks to try. Tons of games for everyone! Check out their official site for everything here. This may be something you may want to attend TWICE to enjoy everything!

5. Walnut Creek Watershed

When: Saturday, August 31st 10 am – 2 pm

Where and What: This will be held at Colby Park by the Walnut Creek Watershed Coalition. You will be cleaning up around the Walnut Creek area. This would be a great opportunity for younger aged kiddos to volunteer and help with the environment. Volunteers are still needed. Check out here for contact and more information.

6. Fall Harvest 

When: Saturday, August 31st 7:30 am – 2 pm

Where and What: It’s going to be hot this weekend, but if you are a wine lover check out the Fall Harvest at Summerset Winery! You will pick the grapes off the wine, crush them with your own feet, try the wines, and enjoy breakfast & lunch at the vineyard. Reservations are required. Check out their website here for prices and how to reserve your spot!

7. Rally to Improve Birth 

When: Monday, September 2nd 10 am – 12 pm

Where: State Capitol Grounds

What: This is an international event! The whole purpose of this rally is to bring awareness about natural birth vs. medicated birth. It is an opportunity for women to be able to make more informed decisions about their pregnancies and giving birth. For more information about this event, check out the official website here.

8. Doggie Dive

When: Monday, September 2nd 4 – 6:30 pm

Where and What: Located at the Teachout Aquatic Center on Hubbell Avenue. Every year before the aquatic shuts down their pools, they open them up for all of the four-legged creatures to come and swim! It is $4 per dog and must always be accompanied by their owners. Check out here for more information.