2018 Fall Festival Fun in Des Moines - dsm4kids.com

2018 Fall Festival Fun in Des Moines

Usher in the fall season in Des Moines with a host of family autumn festivals. The area’s community and cultural celebrations are packed with fun seasonal activities for kids, including pumpkin fun, apple-picking and more. We’ve rounded up details on the best upcoming fall festivals in Des Moines, a few of which made our September Play List.

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Family Friendly Fall Festivals in Des Moines:

September Festivals

Renaissance Faire at Sleepy Hollow – Des Moines

Weekends – September 1, 2 and 3; September 8-9 & September 15-16, 2018

Experience medieval times at the Des Moines Renaissance Faire at Sleepy Hollow. Shout the battle cry of your favorite knight at the jousting arena. Partake in demonstrations by glass blowers, blacksmiths, potters, wood carvers, and painters. Go Hungry! The irresistible aromas of the various vendors’ baked goods, smoked meats, roasted nuts and caramel corn will delight even the pickiest eater.

Pufferbilly Days – Boone

September 7 – 9, 2018

This three-day community festival fills the streets of Boone with tons of awesome events and entertainment. Pufferbilly Days features; Lil Ms. and Mr. Contests, Mud Volleyball Tournament, Horseshoe Tournament, Disc Golf Tourney, Bike Ride, Spelling Bee, Pet Show, Photo Contest, and more. They will also have two nights of rockin’ entertainment with a food court and a Carnival.

Multicultural Fall Festival – Forest Avenue Library and Evelyn K. Davis Park, Des Moines

September 8, 2018

All are welcome to the Friends of the Forest Avenue Library Multicultural Fall Festival! There will be games, live performances, a book sale, parade, and much more. The event runs from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm outside the Library and at Evelyn Davis Park.

Beaverdale Fall Festival – Beaverdale

September 14-15, 2018

Beaverdale Fall Festival is one of the oldest fall festivals in the Des Moines, Iowa metropolitan area. Held annually this fun fall event incorporates all the ingredients for an exciting family friendly happening. Complete with parade, vendors, teen dance, live music and fireworks and much, much more; Beaverdale Fall Festival has something for everyone.

World Food & Music Festival – Western Gateway Park, Des Moines

September 14 -16, 2018

For three days each September, the World Food & Music Festival offers international cuisine, live music and cultural dance, cooking demonstrations, wine and craft beers and a vibrant atmosphere that can’t be compared. Savor the experience with friends, family and the diverse people of DSM.

Apple Festival – Penoach Winery, Adel

September 15, 2018

Enjoy a family fun day at Penoach Winery. FREE wine tasting, hot apple wine and slushies for sale. Tractor and wagon rides around the vineyard, face painting and marshmallow roasting. There will also be food, produce, and craft vendors and music by Code Blue.  The festival is from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

South Des Moines Sculpture Park Art Festival – Southwest 8th & McKinley, Des Moines

September 15, 2018

The South Des Moines Sculpture Park Art Festival is celebrating it’s 10th Year. There will be 20 to 25 art vendors, all local artists, as well as the Festival’s friends from the Blank Park Zoo. The Festival offers FREE parking, shuttle service, FREE food and entertainment and children’s activities. Join the fun from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Harvest Fest – Outlets of Des Moines, Altoona

September 15, 2018

Join the Outlets of Des Moines from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm for a Harvest Fest with fun for the whole family!  There will be live Music by The Sheet & Brad Seidenfeld, kids activities, food trucks, Iowa craft beer and more.

Blank Park Zoo Monarch Festival – Blank Park Zoo, Des Moines

September 16, 2018

The Blank Park Zoo Monarch Festival will highlight the miraculous migration of the monarch butterfly and will offer everything from traditional Mexican dancing, puppet shows, monarch tagging and habitat education to FREE seeds to start your own butterfly garden, crafts and activities. Make sure the kids put on their best insect costume for the Bug Parade! Event is from 12:00 to 4:00 pm and will go on, rain or shine.

White Eagle Multicultural Pow Wow – Iowa State Fair Grounds, Des Moines

September 21-23, 2018

“A gathering to bring down the walls of misunderstanding and to help mend the Sacred Hoop”. The goal of the White Eagle Multicultural Pow Wow is to bring families of all races together, to share a little of all heritages through drumming, music, dance, and story, and to understand that we are not that different.  This year’s event will be on the Anne and Bill Riley Stage at the Iowa State Fair Grounds.

Applefest – Living History Farms, Urbandale

September 22, 2018

Spend the afternoon in our 1875 town celebrating all things apple! Try your hand at stirring the copper kettle of apple butter and take your turn cranking the cider press. Children’s games and crafts round out the fun. Fresh local apples and other goodies will be on sale in the Visitor Center.

Art on the Lake – Copper Creek Lake, Pleasant Hill

September 22, 2018

Enjoy the Pleasant Hill arts festival at Copper Creek Lake Park. Art on the Lake will provide the public an opportunity to meet, talk with, and purchase artwork from 20-30 Iowa artists. Entertainment will be provided and kids can come enjoy the fun by visiting the Kids Tent to create an art project. Food will be available for purchase at the festival.

Fall Festival – Pella Historical Village, Pella

September 22, 2018

Bring the whole family to Fall Festival at the Historical Village! The artisans will be out showing old-time crafts, including blacksmithing, carpentry, chair caning, rug making, spinning, folk art painting, Dutch oven cooking, and much more. Kids can fish for ducks in the pond and play games as well.

Illumifest – West Des Moines

September 22, 2018

Light Up West Des Moines at Illumifest, A Fall Festival of Light, which offers a variety of activities and events for people of all ages!  The inflatables and games will open Saturday afternoon and run throughout the afternoon and evening, as well as a wide variety of food stands.  There will also be FREE lantern making. a “Royal Promenade” around the Pond, featuring Royal characters from Little Princess Parties, a FREE outdoor movie – “Coco” and fireworks to close out the evening.

Iowa Latino Heritage Festival – Western Gateway Park, Des Moines

September 22-23, 2018

The Latino Heritage Festival will be held at Western Gateway Park in downtown Des Moines. It has grown to become one of the most widely attended cultural events in Iowa. The festival includes various musical entertainment, dancers, a children’s area and activities, Latin American foods, booths about the countries represented at the festival and more.

Iowa Outdoor Expo for Kids and Families

September 22-23, 2018

Celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day by bringing the entire family out for a fun weekend discovering new and exciting ways to enjoy Iowa’s outdoors. With over 50 free hands-on activities and daily family presentations, visitor’s are able to learn, observe and experience recreation opportunities in the great outdoors.

All-State Barn Tour in Iowa – Multiple Locations

September 22-23, 2018

It’s the Iowa Barn Foundation’s 18th annual FREE, self-guided tour of restored historic barns across the state. The All-State Barn Tour has been organized to encourage barn preservation in Iowa, to teach young people about Iowa’s rich agricultural heritage, and to renew pride in this heritage.  The tour is arranged so that you can go from barn to barn on your own, as time and distances permit. Barns are open from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm each day.

The Octagon Art Festival – Ames

September 23, 2018

Visual arts, children’s art areas and performing arts form the foundation of the 48th Annual Octagon Art Festival. You will be in good company with more than 100 professional artists from across the Midwest who produce and display high-quality original artwork in a wide variety of media. The festival is held outdoors on pavement, rain or shine, in the Main Street Cultural District in downtown Ames. Hours: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Oktemberfest – Marshalltown

September 27 – 30, 2018

As always, Oktemberfest will feature many activities during the weekend for adults and children alike to enjoy. The crowning of Little Mr & Miss Oktemberfest on Thursday, The Classic Car Show on Friday, the Grand Parade on Saturday, tons of great bands both Friday and Saturday and a whole lot more!  There are also many new things coming this year to enhance the yearly festival.

Log Cabin Days Festival – Warren County Fair Grounds, Indianola

September 29-30, 2018

The 2018 Log Cabin Festival’s theme is “Sing a Song of Warren County” and will be held at the Warren County Fairgrounds. Parade, entertainment, home cooked meals, a classic car show, antiques, quilts, crafts, a pie and cake auction, kids activities and more.

Art Harvest Tour – Perry

September 29-30, 2018

The “Art Harvest Tour” is a studio tour of Central Iowa artists held annually the last full weekend in September. Enjoy the beautiful fall weather and scenery as you visit the studios and galleries of the area’s best artists. In addition to enjoying the studios, you’ll see a much wider selection of the artists work, since it doesn’t have to all fit in a van, and great prices and specials too. There will be ten stops this year on the approximately 90-mile loop around the beautiful Des Moines River Valley.

October Festivals

Madison County Covered Bridge Festival – Winterset

October 13-14, 2018

The annual Covered Bridge Festival has been a time-honored tradition in Madison County. Each year on the second full weekend in October, county residents gather under the brilliant hues of autumn to celebrate their historic covered bridges. The festival features a wide variety of food, antique and craft vendors, nonstop music and entertainment, artisans demonstrating the old-fashioned ways, quilt show, car show, an antique vehicle parade, guided bus tours of the covered bridges, and so much more.

Harvest Festival – LSI Global Greens Farmers’ Market, Des Moines

October 13, 2018

Do your regular shopping at LSI Global Greens’ Farmers’ Market and enjoy FREE apple cider and browse beautiful crafts hand-made by participants in LSI’s Services for Elderly Refugees program.

Fall Frenzy – Walker Johnston Park, Urbandale

October 14, 1018

Bring your family for a day of FREE fall fun hosted by Urbandale Parks and Recreation. Explore Walker Johnston Park participate in a scavenger hunt, see some live critters, enjoy outdoor games, crafts and more!

November Festivals

Art on the Prairie  – Perry, IA

November 10-11, 2018

In November over 100 Iowa artists, musicians, poets, authors, and performers will gather in Perry’s downtown Cultural and Historic District to celebrate the arts with the ninth annual Art on the Prairie. It is FREE to the public. Hours: Saturday 10 – 5 and Sunday 10 – 4.

If you know of a festival to add to the list, please email nicole@dsm4kids.com.

What’s your must-do fall festival? Tell us in the comments below! 

Featured image courtesy of Greater Des Moines Partnership

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