By Cyote Williams
A catch all listing of the best festivals, food, art and whatever your heart desires.
A catch all listing of the best festivals, food, art and whatever your heart desires.
- SEPT. 29 - OCT. 1: Iowa’s Largest Arts and Crafts Show. More than 250 creators bring their best handmade products to the Iowa State Fairgrounds, E. 30th Street and E. University Avenue, Des Moines; www.iowastatefairgrounds.org/event-calendar/iowas-largest-arts-and-crafts-show-3.
- OCT. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29: Sunday Tunes at the Summerset Winery. Live music every Sunday from various local acts. From 2-5 p.m. 15101 Fairfax St., Indianola; summersetwine.com.
- OCT. 1, 7-8, 14-15, 21-22: Apple and Pumpkin Festival. Wagon rides, corn maze, corn pool and, of course, apple and pumpkin picking. From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays at Wills Family Orchard, 33130 Panther Creek Road, Adel; willsfamilyorchard.com/apple-pumpkin-fest.
- OCT. 1, 8, 21: 5K Beer Run. The 2023 Iowa Brewery Running series continues through the fall at various breweries in central Iowa. All beginning at noon; breweryrunningseries.com.
- OCT. 1: Manhattan Short Film Festival. Starting at 6 p.m., hosted by the Des Moines Art Center, Levitt Auditorium, 4700 Grand Ave., Des Moines; desmoinesartcenter.org.
- OCT. 3 through DEC. 21: Cocktails and Cardboard. Hosted by the Dealt Hand every other Thursday night. Enjoy some of your favorite adult beverages alongside top-tier board games at 6 p.m. 321 E. Walnut St., Des Moines; thedealthand.com.
- OCT. 4: Fall Ball golf tournament. Shotgun start at 9 a.m. at Briarwood Golf Club, 3405 N.E. Trilein Drive, Ankeny; web.ankeny.org/events.
- OCT. 5: Knittin’ for Kittens. Thanks to yarn donated to the Animal Rescue League, volunteers can knit beds for kittens residing at their shelters at 6 p.m. 5452 N.E. 22nd St., Des Moines; www.arl-iowa.org/events.
- OCT. 7: Cars and Coffee from 8-11 a.m. at 5901 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines; carsandcoffee.com.
- OCT. 7: Worldwide Food Truck Tour. This food-filled tour makes a stop in Des Moines with a wide range of food trucks and entertainment for the whole family. Starting at noon on the Court Avenue Bridge, Court Avenue, Des Moines; worldwidefoodtrucktours.com.
- OCT. 7: Adult night at Skate South. The longstanding roller rink invites you to turn back the clock and lace up those skates at 8:30 p.m. 10494 County Line Road, Des Moines; skatesouth.com.
- OCT. 7: Movies in the park. Free event hosted by the City of Windsor Heights, a showing of “Hocus Pocus” in Colby Park at 6:15 p.m. 6900 School St., Windsor Heights; windsorheights.org/526/Movies-in-the-Park.
- OCT. 7: Yu-Gi-Oh! Regional qualifier. All comers are welcome in hopes to earn a chance to make a trip to the North American Championship. 730 Fourth St., Des Moines; iowaeventscenter.com/events/detail/yu-gi-oh-regional-qualifier.
- OCT. 7: Easterseals Fall Festival and Walk. Experience horseback riding, a rock wall, face painting and more. From 8:30 a.m. to noon at 401 N.E. 66th Ave., Des Moines; easterseals.com/ia.
- OCT. 8 - DEC. 10: A music showcase of local talent at TeeHee’s Comedy Club every second Sunday at 3 p.m. 1433 Walnut St., Des Moines; teeheescomedy.com.
- Oct. 13: RuPaul’s Drag Race: The Night of the Living Drag at 8 p.m. Stephens Auditorium, 1900 Center Dr., Ames; www.center.iastate.edu/locations/stephens-auditorium.
- OCT. 13-14: Halloweenapalooza film festival at the Bridge View Center of Ottumwa, 5-11 p.m. on Friday, noon to midnight on Saturday. 102 Church St., Ottumwa; halloweenapalooza.com.
- OCT. 14: Raccoon River Valley Festival. Bikes, beer, boats and bands, what’s there not to like? From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Racoon River Valley Park, 2500 Grand Ave., West Des Moines; wdmchamber.org/raccoon-river-rally.
- OCT. 14-15: Madison County Covered Bridge Festival. The county’s biggest event of the year celebrates its history and heritage alongside food and art vendors, a car show, parade and more. Starting at 9 a.m. in Winterset Square, Winterset; madisoncounty.com/covered-bridge-festival-2.
- OCT. 15: IMT Des Moines Marathon. Starting at 7 a.m. The annual marathon that has been running since 2002 makes its way into downtown once again. 1001 Grand Ave., West Des Moines; desmoinesmarathon.com.
- OCT. 20-22, 27-29: Living History Farms hosts their family-friendly Halloween event. Various start times, at 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale; lhf.org/event/halloween.
- OCT. 21: The Salvation Army: Unmasking the Singer. Guess who’s behind the mask featuring local celebrities. From 6-10 p.m. at Historic Sherman Hill, 1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines; centralusa.salvationarmy.org/desmoines.
- OCT. 21: Halloween Battle. No violence involved, only breakdancing. Hosted by DSM Breakerz, starting at 5:30 p.m. at 100 E. Euclid Ave., Suite 17 Des Moines; desmoinesbreakerz.com.
- OCT. 21: A Monster Mash Drag Brunch. The Garden continues its drag brunch series, this time with a Halloween twist. At The Garden, 525 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines at 10 a.m.; grdn.com/drag-brunch.html.
- OCT. 21-22: Great Iowa Pet Expo. Adopt, shop, learn and enjoy contests. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. 2100 N.W. 100th St., Clive; greatiowapetexpo.com.
- OCT. 27-28: Halloween bar crawl. Starting at Hessen Haus, hit several downtown bars on this spooky-themed weekend of beverages, from 4-10 p.m. 101 S.W. Fourth St., Des Moines. hessenhaus.com.
- OCT. 27-29: Cardboard Caucus. Named after the state’s first in the nation caucus, this event is all games, no politics. Starting at noon each day at 205 S. 64 St., West Des Moines; cardboardcaucus.com.
- OCT. 28-29: Des Moines Comic and Toy Show. This Halloween-themed event starts at 10 a.m. at Merle Hay Mall, 3800 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines.
- OCT. 28: Trick or Trees. Family-friendly fall festival at the Botanical Garden. Costumes encouraged. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, 909 Robert D. Ray Drive, Des Moines; dmbotanicalgarden.com.
- WEEKENDS IN OCTOBER: Phantom Fall Festival. Every weekend in October, Adventureland hosts its fall festival with several haunted houses, ghosts, ghouls, goblins and more.
- OCT. 30: Beggars Night. The night before Halloween is Beggars Night, and children across the metro will be out and about performing tricks and asking for treats. In your neighborhood, from 6-8 p.m.
- NOV. 1: Des Moines Dash Scavenger Hunt. A nontraditional scavenger hunt that will take you around the city. 505 E. Grand Ave., No. 104, Des Moines; crazydash.com/Locations/Des-Moines-IA.
- NOV. 1: Paint and Sip. Make your attempt at painting a “Harvest Moon,” accompanied by beverages. Starting at 6 p.m. at Reclaimed Rails, 101 Main St., S.E. Bondurant; reclaimedrailsbrewing.com.
- NOV. 1: Live Music Wednesdays. Presented by Republic on Grand, take in live musical performances every Wednesday through December for free. From 6-8 p.m. in the Historic East Village, AC Hotel, 401 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines; therepublicongrand.com.
- NOV. 2: Trivia Night at Paws & Pints. Bring your furry friends and your trivia knowledge, starting at 6 p.m. at 6218 Willowmere Drive, Des Moines; pawsandpintsdsm.com.
- NOV. 4: Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Starting at 10:30 a.m. at the Jester Park Nature Center, 12130 N.W. 128th St., Granger; www.jesterparknaturecenter.com.
- NOV. 4: Live Jazz at The Continental in the Historic East Village. From 8-11 a.m. at 407 E. Fifth St., Des Moines; ongrand0.wixsite.com/the-continental.
- NOV. 4: Nurse Blake is back on the road for his stand-up comedy tour. From 8-10:30 p.m. at Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines; hoytsherman.org.
- NOV. 4-5: Pumpkin Destruction. Normally pumpkins are put on a pedestal during the fall months, but not at Center Grove Orchard. From 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 32835 610th Ave., Cambridge; centergroveorchard.com.
- NOV 9.: Cocktails and Cardboard. Starting at 6 p.m. 321 E. Walnut St., Des Moines; thedealthand.com.
- NOV. 11: Living History Farms Race. Run for 5 miles and see 300 years of history. Beginning at 9 a.m. at 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale; lhf.org.
- NOV. 12: Jazz at Caspe Terrace by Sparks. From 2-4:30 p.m. at 33158 Ute Ave., Waukee; jewishdesmoines.org/our-community/caspe-terrace.
- NOV. 12: Skillet performing at Vibrant Music Hall, 2938 Grand Prairie Parkway, Waukee, at 5:30 p.m.; https://897theriver.com/event/skillet-and-theory-of-a-deadman-2/.
- NOV. 15: Roomful of Teeth. The Grammy-winning octet performs 7:30- 9:30 p.m. at the Sheslow Auditorium, 2507 University Ave., Des Moines; calendar.drake.edu/sheslow_auditorium.
- NOV. 18: Fall into Wine and Art. Fall-themed arts and crafts show. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Summerset Winery, 15101 Fairfax St., Indianola; summersetwine.com.
- NOV. 19: Fall Makers Market. Local vendors, crafters, artisans and more will be available for your shopping needs right before the holidays, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jester Park Nature Center, 12130 N.W. 128th St., Granger; www.jesterparknaturecenter.com/calendar-events/fall-makers-market.
- NOV. 22: A Night Under the Lights. Waukee’s second annual light parade, with activities all day, local food vendors and entertainment. From 6-9 p.m. at Centennial Park, Waukee; https://fb.me/e/3nnUYFKhy.
- NOV. 23: Des Moines Turkey Trot. Voted “Top Trot” in Iowa five years in a row by Runner’s World Magazine, the 5K and 5-mile race takes over Des Moines on Thanksgiving. Starting at 9 a.m. on Court Avenue; desmoinesturkeytrot.com.
- NOV. 24: Winterset Festival of Lights. The holiday season will be in full swing with live music, food and drinks to keep you warm and, of course, lights. From 5-8 p.m. at 73 Jefferson St., Winterset; madisoncounty.com/special-events.
- NOV. 24-26: Festival of Trees and Lights. Expertly decorated trees, local music, dance groups and a visit from Santa himself, all in the name of supporting Blank Children’s Hospital. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday at Iowa Events Center, 833 Fifth Ave., Des Moines; unitypoint.org/giving/blank-childrens-hospital-foundation/ways-to-give/events/festival-of-trees-and-lights.
- NOV. 23-26: Disney on Ice Magic in the Stars. Various start times at the Iowa Events Center, 730 Third St., Des Moines; www.iowaeventscenter.com.
- NOV. 25: Christmas in Olde Town. A holiday celebration in the heart of downtown Altoona. S.E. Second Street, Altoona; visitaltoona.com.
- NOV. 30 THROUGH DEC. 3: ChristkindlMarket. Regional vendors selling old-world, hand-crafted products from wooden vendor stalls, lively performances of polka music, traditional dance and choirs in Yuletide Hall; children’s activities; and Glühwein (warm, mulled wine) and European beer. All at Principal Park, 1 Line Drive, Des Moines; christkindlmarketdsm.com.
- DEC. 1: Light Up Polk City from 6-8 p.m. at the Polk City town square; gopolkcity.com/light-up-polk-city.
- DEC. 1: The Dallas Brass performs from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at 3650 Woodland Ave., West Des Moines; https://civicmusic.org.
- DEC. 1-2: Comedian Jeffrey Arcuri. 560 S. Prairie View Drive, No. 100, West Des Moines; desmoines.funnybone.com.
- DEC. 2: Movies in the Park. Watch “Elf” at Colby Park. Event will be moved inside the community center depending on weather. Starting at 6 p.m. 6900 School St., Windsor Heights; windsorheights.org/523/Events.
- DEC. 2: Family Christmas at Living History Farms. 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale; lhf.org.
- DEC. 7-8: Performance of Irish Christmas in America. Starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Temple Theatre, 1011 Locust St., Des Moines; desmoinesperformingarts.org/venues/temple-theater.
- DEC. 8-9: Winter Solstice Market. 6-9 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. 116 S. First Ave., Winterset Courthouse Square; madisoncounty.com/special-events.
- DEC. 9: Santa 5K run. 521 E. Locust St., Des Moines; fleetfeet.com/s/desmoines.
- DEC. 9: Indoor Kayaking held by the Polk County Conservation Board, learn the craft or test your skills from 2-4 p.m. at 2006 S. Ankeny Blvd., Building 5, Ankeny; https://secure.rec1.com/IA/polk-county-ia/catalog.
- DEC. 10: Peppermint Trail. Winter festival located along Ingersoll Ave.; theavenuesdsm.com/peppermint-trail.
- DEC. 16: University of Iowa basketball double header. The men and women travel to Des Moines for a unique hoops experience. Iowa Events Center, 730 Third St., Des Moines; www.iowaeventscenter.com/wells-fargo-arena.
- DEC. 16-17: QuadCon. Comic convention featuring video games, comics, vintage magazines and more. Free entry after 2:30 p.m. at Merle Hay Mall, 3800 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines; quadcitycon.com.
- NOV. 24 THROUGH DEC. 31: Santa’s Rock N Lights. Holiday-themed light show occurring daily from 5-9 p.m. at Living History Farms, 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale; lhf.org/event/santas-rock-n-lights.
- NOV. 24 THROUGH DEC. 31: Holiday Hullabaloo. Now in its second year, experience a family-friendly holiday event with festivities and entertainment every weekend through the dates posted. Horizon Events Center, 10320 Hickman Road, Clive; horizoneventscenter.com.
- JAN. 6: Live Jazz at The Continental in the Historic East Village. From 8-11 p.m. at 407 E. Fifth St., Des Moines; ongrand0.wixsite.com/the-continental.
- JAN 6-7: 12th annual Iowa Diecast Toy Show. Located at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, 3000 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines; www.agfarmtoys.com.
- JAN. 7: DMPL and Dragons. Dungeons and Dragons at the Central Library, 1000 Grand Ave., Des Moines; www.dmpl.org/event/dmpl-dragons-sunday-4.
- JAN. 11: Capital City Pride presents: Tiq Milan. Starting at 6 p.m. at the Temple Theatre 1011 Locust St., Des Moines; desmoinesperformingarts.org/venues/temple-theater.
- JAN. 11: Sip and Stroll. Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, 909 Robert D. Ray Drive, Des Moines; dmbotanicalgarden.com.
- JAN. 14: Local Music Showcase at TeeHee’s comedy club. 1433 Walnut St., Des Moines; teeheescomedy.com.
- JAN. 23-28: Mama Mia. Recurring daily at the Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut St., Des Moines; www.dmpa.org.
- JAN. 30 through Feb 1: Iowa Ag Expo. Iowa Events Center, 730 Third St., Des Moines; www.iowaeventscenter.com/wells-fargo-arena.
- FEB. 2-18: “Our Town.” Performed at the Des Moines Community Playhouse, 831 42nd St., Des Moines; www.dmplayhouse.com.
- FEB. 2-17: “EQUUS.” Recurring weekly on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. at the Tallgrass Theatre, 2019 Grand Ave., Suite 100, West Des Moines; tallgrasstheatre.org.
- FEB. 10: The Fur Ride. Put on the fake fur and ride around town. Starting at Ricochet and ending at Big Grove Brewery, 400 Locust St., Suite 105, Des Moines; aboveandbeyondcancer.org.
- FEB. 17: Prepare to be amazed by the Peking Acrobats. 11 a.m. at the Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut St., Des Moines; www.dmpa.org.
- FEB. 27 through MARCH 3: “Les Misérables,” one of the world’s most popular musicals. Starting at various times at the Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut St., Des Moines; www.dmpa.org.
- FEB. 28: Coldest Night of the Year Fun Run/Walk. Held by Central Iowa Shelter and Services at Principal Park, 1 Line Drive, Des Moines; centraliowashelter.org.