As sweltering summer days begin to melt away, your attention may turn to corn mazes, cozy sweaters, and pumpkin-spice everything. Fall in Des Moines offers stunning seasonal foliage and a break from the summer heat.
Whether you want to connect with the people you love over some hot cider and a bonfire or want to scare yourself silly with a Halloween tall tale or ghost story, the region offers plenty of autumn fun and splendor. Here are our top picks for the best fall attractions in Des Moines.
Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes, and Other Halloween Attractions
Is it even fall without a trip to the pumpkin patch? Grab your sweater, a wagon, and a friend or two and visit these perennial favorites for fall in Iowa:
- Enjoy a greenhouse, dried florals, and a pumpkin patch at Howell’s.
- Get lost in fall plants and enjoy kid-friendly activities at Pumpkinville & Corn Maze.
- Navigate the Mega Corn Maze and stop by the pumpkin patch at The Pumpkin Ranch.
- Pick apples, stroll through sunflowers, and find your family’s pumpkin at Center Grove Orchard.
To make pumpkin patches even more fun, head out early, then spend the afternoon carving pumpkins with the people you love.
Farmers Markets and Craft Fairs
Fall in Des Moines offers unique shopping experiences that take full advantage of the season. Check out these great options:
- The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden Fall Bulb Market makes it easy to stock up on bulbs that will bloom next spring.
- Fall is prime farmers market season. Check out our list of top Des Moines farmers markets. A farmers market offers an ideal opportunity to eat locally, learn more about the food you love, and become inspired to rev up your gardening game.
- Love supporting makers and artisans? Head to Iowa’s Largest Arts and Crafts Show at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.
If you’re itching to get out of the house with family and friends for a day of autumn entertainment, these can’t-miss fall events in Iowa have you covered:
- Enjoy beer, entertainment, and delicious food at Des Moines’ 18th Annual Oktoberfest.
- Want to enjoy a slice of Des Moines history while sending chills down your spine? Check out one of the region’s beloved ghost tours.
- Head to Penoach Vineyard and Winery for its annual Apple Festival.
- Enjoy music and meals you already love — along with some new tunes and treats — at the World Food & Music Festival.
- Explore life in a different era and enjoy a joust or two at The Renaissance Faire at Sleepy Hollow.
- If you’re passionate about canine friends, check out the Des Moines Kennel Club annual dog show.
- Adventureland offers fall fun for the whole family during the daytime and spooky Halloween evenings at the Phantom Fall Fest.
- Take in some historic baseball and seasonal foliage, as well as some delicious apple pastries, at Applefest at Living History Farms.
Outdoor events usually require some walking. They’re a great opportunity to get low-impact exercise. But if you feel exhausted after your first corn maze, Wellness at 50: 5 Habits For a Healthier Body, Mind & Soul offers easy tips you can implement now so you can maximize your enjoyment of fall attractions.
Eager to spend some time outside without the crowds? These trails are ideal for fall in Des Moines:
Check out our roundup of the best walking trails in Des Moines for more paths to explore.
Enjoying Fall in a WesleyLife Community for Healthy Living
Each community for Healthy Living celebrates the transition to fall in Des Moines with a wide range of events, many of which our residents help plan. Last year at Hearthstone, residents enjoyed a presentation of various pumpkin recipes and their health benefits.
Of course, there’s never any obligation to participate! You can always just spend some quiet time in one of our beautiful green spaces as they turn yellow and orange. If you’re considering a move, our guide to touring a senior living community can help.
Enjoy the fall in good health with The Complete Guide to Healthy Senior Living in the Des Moines Metro Area.