It’s cooling off, the leaves are changing colors, and everything smells like pumpkin!
That means it’s FALL! My favorite time of year!!
This time of year means pumpkin patches open, apples are ready for picking, farms open with lots of fun activities, corn mazes, and it’s time to do fun crafts! I thought I would share some previous posts from Midwest Mom and Wife to give you ideas of what to do in the Des Moines area to celebrate this fun time of year!
2. Center Grove Orchard is one, of the many listed, pumpkin patches and orchards we visit every year. We already made our visit early this year. Check out last years post on all of the fun they have to offer. They are also offering season passes if you think you will visit multiple times this year!
3. Monte and I checked out Wills Orchard last year and had lots of fun picking apples. Make sure you visit when they have Apple Pumpkin Fest going on. This years dates are September 27 & 28, October 4 & 5, and October 11 & 12. Check out their website for even more information.
Make sure to check out the event calendar on the right hand side of the page! Also, for a list of places and times to visit Santa, check out my list I created “Places to visit Santa”.
1. Windsor Polar Express Movie Night
When: Friday 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Where and What: Located at the Windsor Heights Community Center in Colby Park, bring the family to see the classic holiday movie Polar Express! There will also be several activities and toy train on display. There will also be hot chocolate, popcorn, and hot dogs. $3 per person or $10 per family.
2. Peter Pan
When: Friday, December 6th – Sunday, December 29th
Where and What: Bring the family to see a Disney classic at the Des Moines Playhouse. Showtimes vary on days and times. To purchase tickets and view the details check out the Des Moines Playhouse website.
3. Snowball Express to Santa
When: Saturday 10 am – 2 pm
Where and What: Located at Jester Park, your children will take a ride, on a pony through a Winter Wonderland to Santa! They will get their picture with Santa, drink some hot cocoa and eat cookies! $20 per child and reservations are not required. For more information check out the Jester Park Equestrian website.
4. Santa at the Blank Park Zoo
When: Saturday 10 am – 2 pm
What: This event is for the whole family! Take a picture with Santa and his reindeer, write a letter to the North Pole, enjoy hot cocoa and cookies, and explore the zoo! For scheduled events going on through out the day, check out the Blank Park Zoo website.
5. A Flynn Family Christmas
When: Saturday 4 pm – 8 pm
Where and What: Celebrate Christmas at Living History Farms in beautiful decorated Victorian house! Frost cookies, make ornaments, dancing, music, horse-drawn wagon rides, and so much more! For more information and admission prices check out the Living History Farms website!
6. Windsor Wonderland Breakfast with Santa
When: Saturday 8:30 am – 12 pm
Where and What: Located at the Windsor Heights Community Center in Colby Park, bring the whole family for a pancake breakfast, music, and a child/pet photo with Santa (for FREE)!$6 per ticket which includes the Santa picture and pancake breakfast. Check out the Windsor Heights website information and to purchase tickets!
7. Brunch with Santa at Center Grove Orchard
When: Saturday 9 am – 12 pm & Sunday 11 am – 2 pm
What: Eat breakfast, do crafts, and visit with Santa & Rudolph! There will also be a coloring contest! For more information about the brunch and other events going on at Center Grove Orchard, check out their holiday flyer!
8. Nada Silent Night
When: Saturday at 7 pm
Where and What: The Nadas are putting on their 11th annual Nada Silent Night at the Scottish Rite Temple! This could be made into a “date night” OR and event for the entire family. The admission to this event is one ticket and at least one unwrapped toy per person attending. The toys will be donated to U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots. A ticket is $20 and children 10 year and younger are FREE. You can purchase tickets here!
9. Jingle Bell Rock ‘n Run
When: Sunday at 9 am
Where and What: This is another fun holiday run hosted by the Science Center of Iowa! Get dressed up in your festive attire and dash through downtown Des Moines and end at the Science Center. After the run there will be live music, and food catered by Hy-Vee. To register and more information check out the Science Center of Iowa event page.
10. Pajama Party with Santa
When: Tuesday 6 pm – 8 pm
Where and What: Bring your children to Jordan Creek Town Center, in the photo area. They can bring a blanket and/or a stuffed toy. You can also take a picture with Santa! Bring a toy donation for Toys for Tots, and you can also donate $3 and received a personalized letter from Santa!
11. Pathways Connect – Discussion Group
When: Tuesday 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Where and What: Pathways Connect uses the Pathways to Family Wellness magazine as a launching point for discussions on living a conscious, holistic lifestyle. We take articles from the current issue to spring board the conversation and help educate each other on the path to conscious and holistic living. We hope you will join us, and bring a guest! This meeting’s topics will include: “All Your Health Solutions…As Simple As I Can Put It “How do we lose health? One main answer is STRESS. Stress comes in the form of physical, chemical or psychological.Conscious Path – “Fear or Freedom” We will all experience fears in life, and the way to live in freedom from being controlled by fear is to see fear as a sign of growth and challenging yourself beyond your comfort zone. All gatherings are FREE and located at Little Padded Seats in Valley West Mall.
I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgivings! Now, the fun begins 🙂 Lots of holiday events are going on through out the Des Moines area. Here are some events and activities, but do not forget to check out my event calendar on the right hand of the page!
1. Frosty Returns with the Grinch
When: Friday 6pm – 8 pm
Where and What: Meet Frosty, The Grinch, Flip the Penguin and Santa! Get your picture taken with one, and there will be special skating exhibitions! $5 to skate and FREE skate rentals! For more information check out the Southridge Mall event page.
2. Disney on Ice: Passport to Adventure
When: Wednesday, November 27th – Sunday, December 1st
Where and What: Is your kiddo a fan of the Disney gang? Or are you even a fan of the Disney gang? You have to see everyone at Disney on Ice at the Wells Fargo Arena. This is a fun event for the whole family! To purchase tickets and to see show times check out the Iowa Events Center website.
3. Festival of Trees and Lights
When: Wednesday, November 27th – Sunday, December 1st
Where and What: This is an event that has been going on in the Des Moines area since 1984! You do not want to miss the decorated trees, children’s area, food, shopping and entertainment. The revenue from this festival helps support the Blank Children’s Hospital. For more information about this events, times, and ticket prices check out the Iowa Events Center website.
4. Jolly Holiday Lights
When: Tuesday, November 26th – Wednesday, January 1st: 5:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Where and What: A classic Des Moines event, that goes on everyday until the New Year. Grab your family, jump in a car and drive through to check out all the holiday light displays! All proceeds go to benefit Make-A-Wish Foundation! $10 per car load,$20 per limo load, $45 per bus load.
5. Little Padded Seats 1-Year Anniversary
When: Saturday 10 am – 12 pm
Where and What: Come out to Little Padded Seats, located in Valley West Mall to celebrate their 1-year anniversary being located at Valley West Mall! There will be cake, prizes, specials, and much more! Get a little Christmas shopping done and stop by!
6. Spirit of the Season at the Science Center of Iowa
When: Saturday 5 pm – 8 pm
What: Join others at the Science Center of Iowa to kick off their holiday events, every weekend up to the New Year! FREE general admission 5 – 8 pm. Tree lighting. FREE cocoa and cookie decorating. Holiday crafts. Discounted admission to see The Polar Express at the IMAX for $5. Fireworks to end the evening! Check out the Science Center of Iowa event page for more details!
7. Cloth Diaper 101 at Little Padded Seats
When: Sunday 2 pm – 4 pm
What: Are you wanting to learn more about cloth diapers? Not sure what to purchase or how to care for them? This class is PERFECT for you! Located at the local Little Padded Seats, you will learn everything you need to know. Check out Little Padded Seats website for more information.
8. Pet Photos with Santa at Jordan Creek Town Center
When: Monday 6 pm – 8 pm
What: This is the perfect opportunity for your furry, four-legged friend to see Santa. Cats AND dogs! Bring your pet out to Jordan Creek Towncenter in the photo area. There will be several packages of pictures to choose from.
9. Southridge Mall Tree Lighting and Santa
When: Tuesday 5 pm – 8 pm
What: Bring the whole family to check out the beautiful lit tree and handmade ornaments. There will be entertainment, shopping and hot cocoa & cookies available! You can also receive a FREE picture with Santa! For more details check out the Southridge Mall event page.
10. Rainforest Romp and the Science Center of Iowa
When: Wednesday 10 am – 11 am
What: For ages 3-5 and their families! Genercal admission to the Sciece Center is included. Discover one of the world’s biggest and most incredible mysteries as we uncover life in the rainforest! Where are rainforests located? What animals live there? Find out all about this amazing ecosystem, the animals that live there and the amazing explorers who help us to understand it better.
11. Children’s Craft Days and Center Grove Orchard
When: Wednesday 10 am – 12 pm
What: Bring the children out and create a kids holiday craft, eat some sweet treats, do a scavenger hunt, and story time! There will also be some lunch items available for purchase. $4.95 per child. Check out the Center Grove flyer for more details!
First thing we did, when we entered the Farm Fun area, was check out the kid toy tractors! Monte thought he was such a big boy “riding” around.
Next, we were off to check out the farm animals. Monte isn’t too sure of goats. Remember when he wouldn’t get near the goats at Wills Family Orchard? Well, same thing here!
One of my favorite things is the 3 Little Pig houses they have. They are sooooo cute! They are perfect size for Monte to walk in and check out.
The bridge and old school house was fun too! Monte enjoyed the small desk. He was ready to learn!
Off to the corn pit! I wanted to do this last year with Monte, but he was still a bit young. Monte had so much fun “swimming” in the corn and would not stop laughing 🙂
The Jumping Pillow is another highlight at Center Grove and GREAT exercise!
Riding on a hayrack ride was also on our bucket list. We hopped on the hayrack ride to go find us some pumpkins! Monte enjoyed all of the bouncing and scenery along the way.
When we got out to the pumpkin patch there were so many pumpkins to pick from! Monte picked one out just his size 🙂
Last, but not least, we could not leave without trying some yummy apple cider made from apples at Center Grove. The perfect ending to a great experience!
Overall, Center Grove Orchard is a definite must! There are so many activities to do and see! I couldn’t list them all!
Some other things include …
Horse bounce races
Lots of food to eat such as apple cider doughnuts and caramel apples
Admission is $9.95 per person for ages 3 and up BUT if you go during the week it is $7.95 per person for ages 3 and up. The main advantage for going during the week is it’s not as crowded. There are some things that are not available though, such as the restaurant and science shows they offer.
If you think you may go multiple times, purchasing a season pass would be smart for $21.95 and you can visit the Farm Fun area as many times as you like for the 2013 season!