2018: Guide to Halloween Events and Activities 4 Kids in Des Moines - dsm4kids.com

2018: Guide to Halloween Events and Activities 4 Kids in Des Moines

For Des Moines kids, Halloween is much more than just trick-or-treating on Beggar’s Night. The entire month of October is filled with a terrifying number of costume parties and plenty of FREE Halloween happenings leading up to the big night of trick-or-treating. You think getting your kid to choose a costume is hard? Trying to figure out which DSM Halloween celebrations to hit is enough to make you run screaming into the night, which is why we’ve rounded up the absolute best ways to get into the spirit of the season.

37 Halloween Celebrations for Des Moines Kids:

Halloween Bash

Gigi’s Playhouse • 6507 University Avenue • Windsor Heights, IA 50324 • (515) 252-PLAY
Come dressed in your Halloween costume and celebrate Halloween at the Gigi’s Playhouse. They will have sweet treats, salty snacks, Halloween activities, games, and crafts!

When: Saturday, October 6 at 11:00 am to 2:00 pm

Cost: FREE

Fall Family Fun Fest

Union Park (Rocket Slide Park) • 1801 Pennsylvania Avenue • Des Moines, Iowa 50313 • (515) 248-6330
Head down to the Union Park area for the first ever “Fall Family Fun Fest”.  The event will feature food eating contests, a Youth Music Showcase, carved pumpkin contest, face painting, FREE rides on the Heritage Carousel, a FREE movie in the park – “Ghostbusters” and more!

When: Saturday, October 13 at 12:00 noon to 9:00 pm

Cost: FREE

Pumpkin Palooza

Journey Church • 4409 121st Street • Urbandale, IA 50323 • (515) 657-7623
You are not going to want to miss Pumpkin Palooza at Journey Church in Urbandale! They will have pony rides, face painting, bounce houses, pumpkin painting, cookie decorating, carnival games, popcorn and candy at this FREE event with family fun for everyone!!
When: Saturday, October 13 at 3:00 to 5:00 pm
Cost: FREE

Night Eyes

Blank Park Zoo • 7401 Southwest 9th Street Des Moines • (515) 285-4722
Night Eyes at Blank Park Zoo has become the sweetest Halloween fun in Central Iowa, and this year’s 28th annual event is sure to continue the tradition! Be sure to join them to see all their magical characters, take a ride on their train and gather as many sweet treats as you can!

When: October 18-21 & 25-28; Thursdays & Fridays: 5:30 to 8:00 pm; Saturdays & Sundays: 1:00 to 8:00 pm

Cost: Advanced Tickets $4 (available at Hy-Vee and Blank Park Zoo); Gate tickets: $6; Zoo Member: $5

Family Halloween

Living History Farms • 11121 Hickman Road • Urbandale, IA 50322 • (515) 278-5286
Horse-drawn wagon rides, storytellers, trick-or-treating, pumpkin bowling, and games delight all ages during this non-scary family event. On October 20, enjoy “spooky” stories with IPTV’s Dan Wardell from 6:30 to 8:30 pm in the Visitor Center. Be sure to visit LHF’s website for each night’s theme. Children aged 12 and under can trick or treat through town, and they’ll have free refreshments for all.

When: October 18-21 & 25-28 at 5:30 to 8:30 pm

Cost: Advanced Tickets Available on-line until October 17th.  Tickets at the Door: $7.25 Adult 13+; $6.50 Child 2-13; $6.00 Member Adult; $5.50 Member Child

Halloween Hoopla

Raccoon River Nature Lodge • 2500 Grand Avenue • West Des Moines, IA 50265 • (515) 222-3424
Halloween is lurking just around the corner, and this haunted holiday would not be complete without a fun, family-friendly event at Raccoon River Park! Please note: All children must be supervised by a paying adult to participate in the evening festivities, and to ride the hay rack. Registration required.

When: Friday, October 19 at 5:30 pm

Cost: Ages 12 and up $6.00; Ages 2-11 $4.00; Under age 2 FREE

Halloween Party

Doanes Park Youth Center • Doanes Park Road • Pleasant Hill, IA 50327 • (515) 266-7815
Come in your Halloween costume and enjoy indoor games, snacks, and prizes at this Halloween bash sponsored by the Pleasant Hill Library and Pleasant Hill Parks and Recreation.

When: Friday, October 19 at 6:30 pm

Cost: FREE

Special Friends Halloween Bash

Buxton Room • 2204 W. 2nd Avenue • Indianola, IA 50125 • (515) 961-9420
Individuals of all ages with special needs, and their families, chaperones, respite providers or SCL workers are invited to attend! Wear your costume!

When: Friday, October 19 at 6:30 to 8:00 pm

Cost: $3 per person at the door

Spirits in the Gardens

Reiman Gardens • 1407 S University Boulevard • Ames, IA 50011 •  (515) 294-2710
See 600 plus amazingly detailed lit Jack-O-Lanterns at Reiman Gardens in Ames. Wear your costume and trick or treat and join in a variety of activities, including storytelling, Meet-A-Scientist, and more. Preregister this year to skip the line!
When: Saturday, October 20 at 4:00 to 10:00 pm and Sunday, October 21 at 4:00 to 9:00 pm

Cost: $5 in advance and $6 at the door. Kids under 2 are free.

Great Pumpkin Celebration

Bass Pro Shops • 1000 Bass Pro Drive • NW •Altoona, IA 50009 • (515) 957-5500
Halloween fun for everyone at the Bass Pro Shops in Altoona! Kids can go trick-or-treating and join in a costume parade on October 30 and 31, FREE crafts, and FREE photo opp with the Peanuts Gang!

When: October 20-21 & 26-31; Friday 6:00 to 8:00 pm; Saturday & Sunday 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm; Halloween Night Only 4:00 to 8:00 pm

Cost: FREE

Pumpkin Express Trains

Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad • 225 10th Street • Boone, IA 50036 • 1-800-626-0319
Ride the train across the 156′ tall Bass Point Creek High Bridge, and the Des Moines River bridge, as you make your way to the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad’s pumpkin patch.  Each child, age 2-12, gets to select their very own pumpkin.

When: Sunday, October 21 at 10:00 am (all other departure times are sold out!)

Cost: $17 per person age 2 and up

Family Halloween Bowling Party

Warrior Lanes • 190 Southeast Laurel Drive • Waukee, IA 50263 • (515) 987-4840
Bring the family for a safe, fun-filled afternoon of bowling. This is an alcohol-free event with Glow-in-the-Dark Bowling, concert lights, fog, phenomenal concert sound and black lights. Maximum of five bowlers per lane. Pre-Paid Non-Refundable Reservations are required.

When: Sunday, October 21 at 12:00 to 2:00 pm
Cost: $55 per lane includes: bowling (2 hours), shoe rental, large one topping pizza and a pitcher of soda

Fall Fun For All!

The Playground for Kids • 2401 Southeast Tones Drive #7 • Ankeny, IA 50021 • (515) 965-9899
Come on out to the PFK (Playground For Kids) Fall Fun For All! There will be fun fall games, inflatables, crafts, prizes and food available!

When: Sunday, October 21 at 3:00 to 6:00 pm
Cost: $15 per kid with a maximum of $50 per family

Special Needs Night at Valley Church

Valley Community Church • 4343 Fuller Road • West Des Moines, IA 50265 • (515) 226-9973
This special night of the Great Pumpkin Party is for children with Special Needs and their families. Kids, wear your non-scary costumes and enjoy giant inflatables, pony rides, carnival games, free popcorn, and more! Plus the Iowa League of Heroes is back and the princesses are joining them!

When: Monday, October 22 at 6:00 to 8:00 pm

Cost: FREE

Harvest Hoedown – Anyone 16+ with Special Needs at Valley Community Center

Valley Community Center • 4444 Fuller Road • West Des Moines, IA 50265 • (515) 226-9973
The greatest fall event for adults with Special Needs and their caregivers, family and friends. Come dressed for a barn dance and ready to do some line dancing and karaoke. Enjoy giant inflatables, games, face painting, photo booth, root beer floats, and more.

When: Monday, October 22 at 6:00 to 8:00 pm

Cost: FREE

Hooray for Halloween!

Giovannetti Community Shelter • 9000 Douglas Avenue • Urbandale, IA 50322 • (515) 278-3900
Join Urbandale Parks and Rec at the Giovenetti Community Shelter for a spooktacular night! Children, come dressed in your costumes and bring a sack or bucket for trick or treat candy! You will make Halloween crafts, decorate Halloween cookies, and play Halloween games. Registration required.
When: Monday, October 22 at 6:00 to 7:00 pm
Cost: $8

Halloween Hike

Annett Nature Center • 15565 118th Avenue • Indianola, IA 50125 • (515) 961-6169
Join Warren County Conservation for the Iowa’s Living Fossils Halloween Hike! This year’s theme is all about prehistoric Iowa life! Trek down the jack o’ lantern lit trail and meet some interesting species, including the paddlefish, snapping turtle, Pleistocene snail, dragonfly, and pelican. Afterwards, you can enjoy a craft and a snack in the nature center. Register on the website or by phone.

When: Monday, October 22; hikes leave at 6:30, 6:40, 6:50, 7:00, 7:10, 7:20 and 7:30

Cost: Adults $3, Kids 12 and under $2

The Great Pumpkin Party

Valley Community Church • 4343 Fuller Road • West Des Moines, IA 50265 • (515) 226-9973
Valley Community Center • 4444 Fuller Road • West Des Moines, IA 50265
The entire community is invited to the Great Pumpkin party! Kids, wear your non-scary costumes and enjoy giant inflatables, pony rides, carnival games, free popcorn, and more! Plus, the Iowa League of Heroes is back and the princesses are joining them! This event primarily takes place indoors (so don’t worry about the weather!)

When: Tuesday, October 23 at 6:00 to 8:00 pm and Wednesday, October 24 at 6:00 to 8:00 pm

Cost: FREE

Creepy Capers

Lakeside Center • 400 NW Lakeshore Drive • Ankeny, IA 50023 • (515) 963-3570
Join in the fun at the Lakeside Center for a Halloween Costume Party. Animals, creatures, superheroes, princesses and more are all invited. Kids, ages 2-7 years, will be able to participate in games, collect goodies, decorate cookies and roast marshmallows. Registration required.

When: Thursday, October 25 at 6:00 to 7:00 pm
Cost: $7.00 per child

Halloween Hop

Clive Public Library • 1900 NW 114th Street • Clive, IA 50325 • (515) 453-2221
Celebrate Halloween at the library with a costume dance party! They’ll pull out some of their favorite Halloween tunes along with treats and ghostly fun. All ages welcome. Please choose only one date to attend. Register online or contact the library.

When: Thursday, October 25 at 6:15 pm and Friday, October 26 at 10:30 am

Cost: FREE

Monster Mash Dance Party

North Side Library • 3516 5th Avenue • Des Moines, IA 50313 • (515) 283-4152
Kids ages 18 months to six years old, dress up in your favorite costume and get ready to dance, dance, dance! The North Side Library will have music, parachutes, scarves, and more to help you let the inner monster out! You’ll learn some spooky dance moves and they’ll have their green screen set up so you can take a monstrously good picture!

When: Friday, October 26th at 3:30 to 4:30 pm

Cost: FREE

Mysteries of the Castle

Salisbury House • 4025 Tonawanda Drive • Des Moines, IA 50312 • (515) 274-1777
A day for families to explore Salisbury House. Come in your costume and see cool Halloween decor!  There will also be interactive and craft activities, face painting, storytelling, balloon art and much more. This is a fun, festive and safe activity for the whole family to enjoy. This event will go on rain or shine.

When: Saturday, October 27 at 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Cost: $5.00 Ages 2+; Ages 1 and under are FREE

Spooky Science

Science Center of Iowa • 401 W Martin Luther King Jr Parkway • Des Moines, IA 50309 • (515) 274-6868
Hair-raising experiments, bubbling potions and visual illusions abound during Spooky Science at the Science Center of Iowa! Dust the cobwebs off of your costume and join them to trick-or-treat your way throughout the building and experience themed programming!

When: Saturday, October 27 at 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Cost: Included with General Admission

Children’s Costume Party & Parade

Warren County Courthouse Lawn • Indianola, IA 50125 • (515) 961-9420
Indianola is having a SPOOK-tacular party. Children are invited to wear their Halloween costume and parade around the square! Trophies for cutest, scariest or most creative costume will be awarded! You’ll also enjoy games and fall activities on the courthouse lawn, trick or treating at participating businesses and you’ll be able to take your photo with superheroes and princesses.

When: Saturday, October 27 at 10:00 am to 12:00 noon

Cost: FREE

Halloween Fest

Grimes Community Complex • 410 SE Main St, Grimes, IA 50111 • (515) 986-2143
The GCC will be packed with inflatables, activities around the facility, and candy! This year, they not only want to see the kids wear their costumes, but encourage the adults to wear their most family friendly costume as well and be open for picture opportunities with others.
When: Saturday, October 27 at 4:00 to 7:00 pm

Cost: $1.00 per person or $5.00 MAX per family (Ages 2 and Under are FREE)

Halloween Party

Cupcake Addict • 8705 Chambery Boulevard #400 • Johnston, IA 50131• (515) 278-5207
Cupcake Addict’s 3rd Annual Halloween Party! Join Woodley Real Estate and Cupcake Addict with a special Halloween night with crafts, games, cupcakes and a photo booth! Get one more use out of your child’s Halloween costume!
When: Saturday, October 27 at 4:00 to 7:00 pm

Cost: FREE

Healthy Halloween

Waukee Family YMCA • 210 N Warrior Lane • Waukee, IA 50263 • (515) 987-9996
Don’t be afraid to attend this frighteningly FREE event for the whole family.  Both children and adults will have a ghoulishly good time participating in a variety of healthy Halloween activities.

When: Saturday, October 27 at 6:00 to 8:00 pm

Cost: FREE

Pumpkin Walk

Valley Junction 5th Street • West Des Moines, IA 5026 •
Join the Halloween fun as children show off their costumes and Trick-or-Treat through Historic Valley Junction.  There will be children’s activities and FREE pumpkins will be given out at Swander Gazebo, west side of 5th and Maple Streets.

When: Sunday, October 28 at 2:00 to 5:00 pm

Cost: FREE

Spooky Paws Parade

Historic East Village • E. 6th Street • Des Moines, IA • (515) 244-4211
Dogs + Costumes + Candy = FUN at the 9th Annual East Village Spooky Paws Parade.Dogs are encouraged to dress up for the parade!  A registration table will be set up at the corner of East Locust St and Robert Ray Drive Street (Near Simon Estes Amphitheater) at 1:15 p.m. Register for prizes, including gift certificates and dog items from sponsors!  Parade line up is at 1:45 pm.
When: Sunday, October 28 at 2:00 pm

Cost: FREE

Kids’ Cupcake Decorating Class: Halloween Edition

Molly’s Cupcakes Des Moines • 215 East 3rd Street, Suite 101 • Des Moines, Iowa 50309 •  (515) 244-0778
Molly’s Cupcakes will host a Kids’ Cupcake Decorating Class with a FUN Halloween-Themed twist. Learn how-to fill, frost and decorate your own cupcakes. The cost of the class includes a chef’s hat, beverage and four Halloween-inspired cupcakes. Limited space is available, ages 6 – 14 are welcome and fun is REQUIRED. To reserve a spot, call them directly at (515) 244-0778.

When: Sunday, October 28 at 2:00 pm

Cost: $30

Pick Your Own Pumpkin Night

Urbandale Public Pool • 7201 Aurora Avenue • Urbandale, IA 50322 • (515) 278-3959
50 pumpkins will be placed into the Urbandale Public Pool.  “Pickers” will then swim around and find the pumpkin that they want to take home and decorate.

When: Sunday, October 28 at 3:30 pm

Cost: $4 per person 3 & older; 2 years & younger FREE with paid adult

Halloween Open House with Waukee Public Safety

Waukee Public Safety Building • 1300 SE LA Grant Parkway • Waukee, IA 50263
The Waukee Police and Fire Departments invite kids in the community to stop by the Waukee Public Safety Building for treats, fun and surprises. Put on those costumes and stop by for the Halloween Open House!
When: Sunday, October 28 at 5:00 to 7:00 pm

Cost: FREE

Preschool Halloween Party

West Des Moines Public Library • 4000 Mills Civic Parkway • West Des Moines, IA  50265 • (515) 222-3400
Put on your favorite costume and join the West Des Moines Public Library for not-too-spooky stories and Halloween fun. For kids ages 2-6 plus an adult. Registration required.

When: Monday, October 29 at 6:30 pm and October 30 & 31 at 10:30 am

Cost: FREE

Highland Park Church of the Nazarene Fall Festival

Oak Park Elementary • 3928 6th Avenue • Des Moines, IA 50313 • (309) 202-1632
Revive Church will be hosting their 5th Annual Fall Festival this year! Bring your children by for some fun games, crafts, inflatables and trunk-or-treating. They’ll also have some food and drinks for all the hungry kiddos and their parents.  The festival will be located in the parking lot on the south side of the school.
When: Tuesday, October 30 at 6:00 to 8:00 pm
Cost: FREE

Pumpkin Plunge

Science Center of Iowa • 401 W Martin Luther King Jr Parkway • Des Moines, IA 50309 • (515) 274-6868
Don’t pitch your old pumpkins… Toss them off our terrace for a lesson about gravity. Bring your pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns to SCI between 2:30 and 5:00 pm to participate.

When: Wednesday, October 31 at 2:30 to 5:00 pm

Cost: Included with General Admission

Teen Halloween Bash

Southside Library • 1111 Porter Avenue • Des Moines, IA 50315 • (515) 283-4152
Teens! Visit South and celebrate Halloween with our Teen Halloween Bash! Bring your appetite and learn how to make healthy Halloween recipes and snacks with Hy-Vee’s Registered Dietitian, Anne Cundiff! Snacks are first come, first served. For Teens ages 12-18.

When: Wednesday, October 31 at 3:00 to 4:00 pm

Cost: FREE

Halloween on the Hill

Sherman Hill •1620 Pleasant Street • Des Moines, IA 50314 • (515) 284-5717
Walk or drive around the “spooky” streets of Sherman Hill where the historic homes are dressed in Halloween fashion.  You’ll find zombies dancing to Thriller and be on the look-out for a 7 foot Frankenstein! This all trick and no treats event begins at The Kathedral, located on the corner of 19th Street and Crocker Street, where visitors drop off non-perishable food items and pick up a map.

When: Wednesday, October 31 at 6:30 to 8:30 pm

Cost: Food Donation


Find more ways to celebrate the season in our Halloween and Fall Fun Guides.  


Know of any Halloween events that we missed? Please share your favorite spots to celebrate Halloween with your little ghouls and goblins in Des Moines!

Be the first to start the conversation.

Leave a Reply

Text formatting is available via select .

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>