Halloween 2019: Events and Activities for Des Moines Kids

Halloween 2019: Events and Activities for Des Moines Kids

You don’t have to go too far to find faBOOlous Halloween happenings. The month of October is filled to the brim with events and activities to keep your little ghouls entertained! We’ve got the skinny on spooky Halloween fun in Des Moines and the ‘burbs. Check out our list of happenings, if you dare . . .

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Halloween Events and Activities for Des Moines Kids:

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: October 5, 12, and 19, 2019 at 10:00 am

Cost: $18 per person age 2 and up

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 12 at 11:00 am to 2:00 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 29th 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 17-20 & 24-27; 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

Take part in a 32-year old tradition at Living History Farms – Family Halloween! Families are welcomed into the 1875 town of Walnut Hill to enjoy safe, non-scary trick-or-treating at their historic businesses, play fun games, and take a horse-drawn wagon ride. Living History Farms offers “teal pumpkins” stops for trick-or-treaters with allergies. Save money when you get your tickets in advance online.

When: October 17-20 & 24-27 at 5:30 to 8:30 pm; Saturdays 3:30 to 8:30 pm

Cost: Advanced Tickets Available on-line until October 16th.  Tickets at the Door: $7.25 Adult 13+; $6.50 Child 2-13; $6.50 Member Adult; $6.00 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 18 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 18 at 6:30 pm

Cost: FREE

Special Friends Halloween Bash

Buxton Room • 2204 W. 2nd Avenue • Indianola, IA 50125 • (515) 961-9420

Wear your costume and enjoy dancing, dessert and door prizes! Individuals of all ages with special needs, and their families, chaperones, respite providers or SCL workers are invited to attend!

When: Friday, October 18 at 6:30 to 8:00 pm

Cost: $3 per person at the door

Caucus for Kids Halloween Event

Iowa State Capitol – 1st Floor Rotunda • 1007 E Grand Avenue • Des Moines, IA 50319

Every Child Matters Iowa is hosting a kid friendly event for Halloween. Kid and family friendly, civic engagement and education. With activities for children and caucus related information for parents. Non-profit and non-partisan.

When: Saturday, October 19 at 2:00 pm

Cost: FREE

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 19 at 4:00 to 10:00 pm and Sunday, October 20 at 4:00 to 9:00 pm

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

Halloween Event!

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 26 and 31, FREE crafts, and FREE photo opp with the Peanuts Gang!

When: October 19, 20, 26 and 27 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm; October 25, 28, 29, 30 5:00 to 7:00 pm; October 31 Only 4:00 to 8:00 pm

Cost: FREE

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 20 at 12:00 to 2:00 pm

Cost: $59.95 per lane includes: bowling (2 hours), shoe rental, large one topping pizza and a pitcher of soda

Halloween Hike

Annett Nature Center • 15565 118th Avenue • Indianola, IA 50125 • (515) 961-6169

Join the Friends of Warren County Conservation for a non-scary Rule Breakers’ Halloween Hike! This year’s theme is all about species that break the rules!  Afterwards, you can enjoy a craft and a snack in the nature center. Register on the website or by phone.

When: Monday, October 21; 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

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 22 at 6:00 to 7:00 pm

Cost: $7.00 per child

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 26 at 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

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

Halloween 2019: Events and Activities for Des Moines Kids – dsm4kids.com

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 26 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

The entire Indianola square will be filled with fun Halloween activities. Children are invited to wear their Halloween costume and parade around the square! Trophies for cutest, scariest or most creative costume will be awarded/ Take your picture with the Iowa League of Heroes and/or princesses and enjoy Story Time at Pageturners Bookstore.

When: Saturday, October 26 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 26 at 4:00 to 6:30 pm

Cost: $1.00 per person or $5.00 MAX per family (Ages 2 and Under are 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 27 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 10th 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 at the parade start 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 27 at 2:00 pm

Cost: FREE

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 27 at 3:30 pm

Cost: $5 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 27 at 4:00 to 6:00 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 Giovannetti 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 28 at 6:00 to 7:00 pm

Cost: $8

Family Storytime: Halloween Fun!

Southside Library • 1111 Porter Avenue • Des Moines, IA 50315 • (515) 283-4152

Families and kids can celebrate Halloween early at South with our Halloween-themed storytime! Listen to not-so-spooky stories, songs, fingerplays and decorate a mini pumpkin to take home! Costumes are welcome, but not required. For youth ages 3 and up.

When: Monday, October 28 at 6:30 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 28 at 6:45 pm and October 30 & 31 at 10:30 am

Cost: FREE

Baby & Toddler Halloween Bash

East Side Library • 2559 Hubbell Avenue • Des Moines, IA 50317 • (515) 283-4152

Stop by the East Side Library for a special Halloween edition of Mother Goose on the Loose! Wear your costume, enjoy music and dancing, silly stories, a tiny tot parade, and fun fall sensory activities after storytime in their meeting room. Costumes welcome!

When: Tuesday, October 29th at 10:30 to 11:00 am

Cost: FREE

Spooktacular Halloween Celebration

West Des Moines Public Library • 4000 Mills Civic Parkway • West Des Moines, IA  50265 • (515) 222-3400

Kids ages 5-10 can show off their Halloween costume and enjoy some spooky fun at the West Des Moines Library.

When: Tuesday, October 29 at 4:15 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 SCI’s terrace for a lesson about gravity. Bring your pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns to SCI to participate.

When: Wednesday, October 31 at 3:00 to 6:30 pm

Cost: Included with General Admission

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 31 at 6:15 pm and Friday, November 1 at 10:30 am

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 decked out in Halloween splendor. This all trick and no treats event begins at The Kathedral, located on the corner of 19th Street and Crocker Street where you can pick up a map.

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

Cost: FREE



What are your family’s favorite Halloween events and activities to attend in the Des Moines area?

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