There are so many Halloween events that go on this time of year, in the Des Moines area! It’s so hard to pick and choose a few to do and see. We did some more fun activities this past week and none of them disappointed!
The Great Pumpkin Party was a three day event held by Valley Church in West Des Moines. We were not able to make it out until the final night, Thursday. Tuesday night was was specifically for families with special needs, which I thought was awesome! This event was so large, it was held at the Valley Church and the Valley Community Center across the street.
We were there right at 6 pm when the doors opened!
They had pony rides, right outside. Monte was soooo close to ride, but he got very nervous once he sat down on the pony.
The worship area was full of inflatables and right when you walked in,there was a huge Lightning McQueen inflatable slide. You should have seen the look on Monte’s face!
This event also consisted of live music, an illusionist, face painting, photo booth pictures, games, a petting zoo, ice cream, popcorn, lemonade, and MORE! All of this was FREE!
Monte’s favorite part of the evening (besides the large inflatables) was taking his picture with the super heroes!
The whole building was filled with fun activities. As you walked through the building there were people dressed up, handing out candy. There were two different bake sales going on! Inflatables to play on (one of Monte’s favorite), a haunted house (we did not go in), a soft-play area for the little kids to run and jump, AND free tours of an ambulance and fire truck!
Monte though the fire truck and ambulance were way cool!
Sunday after carving and painting our pumpkins …
We went to the Valley Junction Pumpkin Walk. The event was 2-6 pm and we went a bit late, around 4ish. A lot of the things were just finishing up when we got there, but we still enjoyed ourselves.
The highlight of the event was, of course, getting candy.
A lot of the stores participated and as you walked through the junction you could stop and get candy! One store, gave away fancy, collectible rocks! Monte thought that was pretty neat!
Green Grounds Cafe hosted children’s activities and you could get a balloon animal! Monte got a GIANT sword! There was also a chance to get a FREE pumpkin.
What fun Halloween activities have you been checking out?!
We checked out a new pumpkin patch and orchard this past weekend and LOVED it! We usually go to Center Grove Orchard every year, because they are awesome! We did make a trip this year, but decided to try out a new place also.
Deal’s Orchard is about an hour drive, depending where you are coming from. It’s located in Jefferson, Iowa. Saturday was the perfect fall day to make the drive. Not only was the weather perfect, but it was also their Fall Festival!
It was very busy because it was Fall Festival, but parking was not a problem. They had hayrack rides that picked you up and your parking area and drove you right to the entrance.
There was SOOOO much to do, we did not get a chance to do it all or see it all. A lot of things were going on specifically for the festival, but they had a lot of things that are available all season long such as:
Goats & Donkey!
Wiggle Cars (which Monte loved!)
Hamster roll (for the bigger kiddos)
The area where all these fun activities were located is called Apple Acres. It’s $6 for adults to enter and $4 for kids. Children 2 years and younger are free!
There were so many other fun activities specifically for the Fall Festival, such as:
Spook Cave – A haunted house put on by the Boy Scouts
Spin Art and Sand Art
Balloons and Face Painting
Lots of food (I think this is all season long!)
Train Rides (Not sure if this was just for Fall Festival or not)
Picket Fence Creamery had a stand
Samples of their own Hard Cider
Delish Hard Cider!
There is also a cute little shop with gifts, pies, already picked apples, pumpkins, there own honey, apple cider, and so much more!
Of course, there is a pumpkin patch to pick your own pumpkins! And an apple orchard to pick your own apples!
We really enjoyed our time at Deal’s Orchard! Next year, we will definitely make an entire day out of it so we make sure to see and do everything!
Have you been to Deal’s Orchard? What is your favorite thing to do?
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.
The original recipe for the Frozen Yogurt Banana Ghosts can be found here.
What you will need is …
Mini Chocolate Chips
Cut the bananas in half and freeze for about 30-45 minutes. Insert the popsicle sticks, then spoon the yogurt all over the bananas. The original recipe says to “dip into the yogurt” but my bananas began falling apart and falling off the stick so I just spooned the yogurt on top. Add the mini chocolate chips for the eyes, then freeze until you are ready to serve!
I also found this Candy Corn Fruit Cocktail recipe! Of course, the link was broken but you can tell what needed to be done by the picture.
What you will need is …
Pineapple chunks (you can used can in natural juice or fresh chopped pineapple)
Mandarin orange segments (you can used can in natural juice or peel & separate small cutie segments)
Candy Corn (optional)
You can use whatever container that works best for you. I’ve seen some in mason jars, but I chose to use small, clear cups (easier for Monte to get his fingers in there). Divide the pineapple chunks evenly on the bottom of your container. Then place the mandarin orange segments evenly among the containers, on top of the pineapple. Place a dollop of whipped cream on top and a piece of candy corn!
I absolutely love activity boxes for Mr. Monte! It’s so simple to create a theme and place a bunch of different items into the box, so he can take it to my mom’s house. It keeps him busy and I think he enjoys all the goodies he finds 🙂 The other great thing, there is no right or wrong way to create these. You can use whatever items you have lying around. Another great place to look is the Dollar Store and dollar bins at Target!
This box includes:
Rubber toy skeleton
Assorted bugs such as spiders, butterflies, etc.
Small orange pumpkin
Several short Halloween books
A couple Halloween sticker books
Foam sheets (to put stickers on)
Halloween magic paint book
Everything was purchased from Michael’s or I already had it lying around the house!
What items would you add to your Halloween Activity Box?
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!
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 NOTwant 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!
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!
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.
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.
Sunday was a gorgeous Fall day! A perfect day to get one of our items crossed off our 2013 Fall Bucket List!
We went to Apple Pumpkin Fest at Wills Family Orchard. The orchard is located outside of Adel, so it was a bit of a drive, but we enjoyed the beautiful scenery.
When we arrived, we walked up to the store to check out what was going on. They had some yummy samples of their homemade applesauce, apple butter, some of their jams, and apple cider donuts.
Monte was a HUGE fan of their applesauce. We ended up purchasing a jar to take home with us.
In the store they have picking instruction and tid-bits for picking apples on their orchard. We glanced through the tips and purchased a bag, to place our apples in. The bag was a really good size! You pay $25 for each bag and you can fill it up with as many apples as you want! It’s a pretty good deal for fresh picked, organic apples!
Next, we walked towards the orchard, but made a stop to see the goats and chickens. Monte was not too sure about either of them and would not get very close.
We continued on our walk to the orchard. When we got there a very friendly gentlemen was there to point out which trees were good to pick from and some other tid-bits on how to pull the apples off the tree. When you pull them off, you want to leave a spur so next year an apple will grow from that spur.
Monte got the hang of it very quickly and was picking apples left and right! He did such a good job picking them and placing them in the bag.
Each bag holds a peck of apples, which is 10 lbs! Here is are peck of apples …
When we were done picking apples we headed back up to the store. For the Apple Pumpkin Fest they were grilling brats, hot dogs, and had other yummy goodies to eat. We sat down and ate some brats!
Monte had more applesauce 🙂
Monte also had a chance to paint a small gourd for 50 cents. He is so talented!
The last thing left to do was pick a pumpkin! We headed over to their 3 acre pumpkin patch! Monte had so many pumpkins to choose from, he just could not decide!
Overall, we had a great time and I definitely would recommend everyone to make the drive out to Wills Family Orchard. It is well worth it for some yummy organic apples. They also have cider, apple pies, apple butter BBQ sauce, and more! All of this is organic too!
Today is the first day of Autumn! Monte and I have created our 2013 Fall Bucket List.
In previous posts, you may have noticed I mentioned our 2013 Summer Bucket List. Since I started my blog late in the summer I did not share our whole bucket list with everyone, BUT we are definitely going to share them here on out!
I love creating bucket lists because I always want to do so many different things and our bucket lists help organize all of these activities.
2013 Fall Bucket List
1. Center Grove Orchard
2. Carve/Decorate Pumpkins
3. Pick Apples
4. Make homemade applesauce
5. Trick or Treat
6. Drink apple cider
7. Play in corn pit
8. Hay rack ride
9. Make homemade apple pie
10. Wills Family Orchard
11. Eat a caramel apple
12. Play in leaves
13. Go on a bike ride
14. Make chili
15. Make pumpkin pancakes
16. Pick pumpkins
17. Watch the Thanksgiving Parade
18. Do a Fall/Halloween craft
19. Watch – It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
20. Watch Nebraska football!!!
Make sure to check out the Bucket List tab on the top of my page. This is where I will keep track of everything we accomplish!