2018: Go on a Guided Hike this Fall in Des Moines - dsm4kids.com

2018: Go on a Guided Hike this Fall in Des Moines

Hiking around Des Moines and its surrounding areas is one of our favorite active pastimes; there’s just nothing quite like exploring the great outdoors with your kiddos and watching as they discover new things happening in their environment. Our city is full of great trails to tackle with the kids in tow, however sometimes having a guide lead the way is the best option for budding explorers and naturalists. We rounded up 10 of the best options for getting out and about in nature with your kids this fall, turning hiking into an activity that is both educational and fun.

For more family fun like area apple orchards and pumpkin patches and fall festivals, see our Fall Fun Guide. 

Family-Friendly Fall Hikes in Des Moines:

September 16th  

Exploring Oak Savana

All Ages Welcome—ideal for ages 6—10. Join Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge for activities and a hike as summer comes to a close and the leaves in the Oak Savanna start to turn. You will learn about plants and animals that call the wonderful Oak Savanna habitat home, and hopefully spot a few critters along the way! This is a FREE event, but registration is required.

September 22nd

Night Hike – In Balance

Join Brenton Arboretum naturalists for an extra-dark night hike. This family-friendly hike will take walkers of all ages on an educational adventure you won’t soon forget! Learn about the Fall Equinox and what it means to be in balance. Wear sturdy shoes. You may also want to bring a flashlight. $5 registration fee for non-members, $2 members.

October 2nd

Hike it Baby

Parents and their children from birth to school age are invited to join the Des Moines Hike It Baby chapter at the Jester Park Nature Center for a casual naturalist led hike. Hike It Baby is a national non-profit organization with the goal of raising a generation to love the outdoors. Participants need not be members of Hike It Baby to attend. Dress appropriately for the weather. Strollers not recommended. FREE. No registration required.

October 13th

Fall Colors Hike

Enjoy a nature hike through the woods in Jester Park with a Polk County naturalist as they explain the brilliance of fall colors. FREE. No registration required.

October 25th

Wild Night Life & Hike

Join Polk County conservationists for a campfire program about the wild night life in Jester Park. A short hike will follow as you search for some of these nocturnal animals. Afterwards enjoy eating s’mores around the campfire. Pre-registration required. Registration Fee is $5.

October 26th

Owl Prowl

After a brief discussion, around the campfire, about these flying predators of the night, you’ll go for a hike in Jester Park and learn how to call three different species of owls. FREE. No registration required.

November 3rd

Hike it Baby

Parents and their children from birth to school age are invited to join the Des Moines Hike It Baby chapter at the Jester Park Nature Center for a casual naturalist led hike. Hike It Baby is a national non-profit organization with the goal of raising a generation to love the outdoors. Participants need not be members of Hike It Baby to attend. Dress appropriately for the weather. Strollers not recommended. FREE. No registration required.

November 17th

Turkey Trek

Enjoy a 3-mile hike through beautiful Brown’s Woods, Iowa’s largest urban forest preserve. You’ll talk about turkeys and how animals are preparing for winter all while burning some calories. FREE. No registration required.

November 18th

Animal Homes on the Refuge

All Ages Welcome—ideal for ages 6—10. If you were an animal, where would you live? Explore this question and more as you examine how different animals build homes and what they need to survive. Hike the Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge and search for hidden homes and put yourself into an animal’s shoes as you try to find your own home on the refuge. This is a FREE event, but registration is required.

November 23rd

#OptOutside Hike

Choose to #OptOutside on Black Friday with your friends and family. Polk County naturalists will reconnect you with nature on a hike through Jester Park. FREE. No registration required.

 

 

What is your family’s favorite fall hike? Let us know in a comment below.

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