Des Moines Fall Festival Guide – 2019 Edition

Des Moines Fall Festival Guide – 2019 Edition

The air is crisp, the apples are almost ripe, and the fall festival season is about to get underway! We’ve rounded up 22 great harvest fests in the Des Moines area, all packed with signature autumn activities.

Find more seasonal activities in our Fall Fun Guide and our September Play List. 

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Find Family Friendly Fall Festivals in Des Moines:

September Festivals

The Des Moines Renaissance Faire – The Pines, Des Moines

Weekends – August 31, 1 and 2; September 7-8 & September 14-15, 2019

The Des Moines Renaissance Faire was on hiatus but now they’re back and better than ever at The Pines near Saylorville Lake. Beyond the castle gates you will find a village full of friendly faces; the royal family, artisans, craftsmen, and entertainers who want you to celebrate the closing of summer and the coming of the harvest with them. Join them as they sing, dance, and feast on the finest the village has to offer.

Renaissance Faire at Sleepy Hollow – Sleepy Hollow Sports Park, Des Moines

Weekends – August 31, 1 and 2; September 7-8 & September 14-15, 2019

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 6 – 8, 2019

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. 

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

September 15, 2019

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. 

Beaverdale Fall Festival – Beaverdale

September 20-21, 2019

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 20 -22, 2019

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 21, 2019

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 Brick n’ Bob.  

Art on the Lake Festival – Copper Creek Lake, Pleasant Hill

September 21, 2019

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 get in on the fun by visiting the Kids Tent to create an art project. 

Illumifest – West Des Moines

September 21, 2019

West Des Moines lights up at Illumifest, 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 – “Aladdin” and fireworks to close out the evening.

The Octagon Art Festival – Ames

September 22, 2019

Visual arts, children’s art areas and performing arts form the foundation of the 49th 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.

Oktemberfest – Marshalltown

September 26 – 29, 2019

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!  

Des Moines Fall Festival Guide – 2019 Edition  –

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

September 27-29, 2019

“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.

Fall Festival – Pella Historical Village, Pella

September 27-28, 2019

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.

Applefest – Living History Farms, Urbandale

September 28, 2019

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.

Family Fun Fest – Union Park, Des Moines

September 28, 2019

Join Des Moines Parks and Recreation in Union Park for a fun fall afternoon. Activities are open to play from 1:00 to 4:00 pm and include: an inflatable obstacle course, slide and bounce house, DJ, face painter, Police SWAT vehicle and K-9 dog, fire truck, the Rocket slide and Heritage Carousel (Rides 50¢/person). They will also host a Trikathalon for 8-year olds and under and several eating contests.

Iowa Latino Heritage Festival – Western Gateway Park, Des Moines

September 28-29, 2019

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 – Des Moines Izaak Walton League and Water Works Park, Des Moines

September 28-29, 2019

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.

Log Cabin Days Festival – Fair Grounds, Indianola

September 28-29, 2019

The 2019 Log Cabin Festival’s theme is “Herstory” 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 28-29, 2019

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 a dozen 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 12-13, 2019

The annual Covered Bridge Festival has been a time-honored tradition in Madison County for 50 years. 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.

Party in the Park – Free Fall Festival – Walker Johnston Park, Urbandale

October 12, 1019

Bring your family for some FREE fall fun hosted by Urbandale Parks and Recreation. Explore Walker Johnston Park an enjoy inflatables, virtual reality truck, lazer tag, lawn games, beer garden and a live band.

November Festivals

Art on the Prairie  – Perry, IA

November 9-10, 2019

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



What’s your families’ favorite fall festival to attend in Des Moines? Tell us in the comments below! 

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