Activities you do not want to miss this fall in Des Moines and surrounding area

As summer is coming to a close, it is time to start planning your fun fall activities. West Des Moines and surrounding areas has so much to offer and this fall there are plenty of events and activities to choose from.


World Food & Music Festival

Friday, Sept. 17 | 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 18 | 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 19 | 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Come for the food and stay for the music at Western Gateway Park. This year the World Food & Music Festival is celebrating 17 years! The event has food from 25 different countries and music from various countries. This event is perfect families and those interested in learning more from about other cultures from those in the community and surrounding areas.


Saturday, September 25 at Living History Farm

Join us for a day of family fun celebrating apple harvest season!

Visit our historic sites to see how past cooks would prepare and serve apple treats, such as apple butter, cake or pie, and cider. Print an apple recipe in the print shop, and purchase apple goodies and tasty treats from local food vendors.

Iowa’s Latino Heritage Festival

September 25 & 26 at Western Gateway Park

Iowa’s Latino Heritage Festival started about 19 years ago to celebrate the contributions from the 20 Latin countries that are represented in Iowa. Activities during the event days include artist displays, food vendors, cultural booths, exhibitors, and children’s activities.


Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad & Museum

Whether you are interested in the trains or want to have dinner with a view, this is the activity for you. The Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad began in 1893. In 1912 and 1913, the current 156′ tall steel high bridge over Bass Point Creek was constructed. This old fashion ride is perfect for a fall family outing and a romantic date night. Views of the valley are draped in fall-colored leaves.

Living History Farm

Looking for something to do with your children? This is perfect you! Living History Farm in an interactive outdoor museum. The museum sits on over 500 acres of land that takes you through the changes Iowans made to land with a 300+ years of stories. Living History Farm has events throughout the year including a Applefest that was talked about earlier.

Center Grove Orchard

With over 6,000 apple trees, Center Grove Orchard is perfect for a family outing. They offer a variety of activities such as apple picking, strawberry picking, sunflower meadow, and pumpkin picking. Center Grove Orchard opens for the season in September.

Geisler Farm

Need to cross corn maze off your fall bucket list?! Geisler Farm has a maze with 4 miles of trails. The farm also offers other activities, including rubber duck races, jump pad, chicken chunkin,’ hog wash toss, and so much more. It is open on the weekends from September 11th through October 30th from 10 am to 6 pm.

If you visit any of these places, please share with us by using #HeartDesMoines.

– Natalie Jones