Fall is Looking Fun for Des Moines

Crisp air and exciting cultural events make fall in Des Moines one of the most looked-forward-to seasons for residents and visitors alike. From food-based events to family-friendly festivals, the city of Des Moines embraces the change in seasons with open arms. We’ve listed the top three events we’re excited for this fall — read on to find out more about these fun fall festivities and start planning your next adventure today.

Tomato Tasting Contest


Tomato Tasting Contest - World of Wheels

Image via Flickr by Emyr Jones

Get your best tomatoes ready! The first annual Tomato Tasting Contest will take place Sept. 1 at the Botanical Gardens, where judges from the culinary community taste tomatoes grown locally and crown a winner. Prizes include a copy of “Epic Tomato” by Craig LeHoullier and two free tickets to September’s Trellis: Garden to Table — Fresh Tomato Pasta cooking class, an exciting event for anyone interested in cooking. Not entering a tomato but still want to take part? There’s also a People’s Choice contest, where participants get to sample tomatoes from the community and vote for their favorite. Members get in free, and nonmembers pay general admission at the gate to attend. The contest is family friendly, and attendees can also explore the gardens.

World Food and Music Festival


Taking place over three days, the World Food and Music Festival is a celebration of culinary arts and culture. Over 50 vendors sell delectable foods and cooking supplies from around the world. Dance performances showcase styles pulled from different international communities for a fascinating look into foreign cultures. Interactive cultural education programs also allow attendees to learn more about the world around them. Professional cooking demonstrations allow both new and seasoned chefs to learn new cooking techniques and recipes. Other entertainment acts will take place throughout the festival for an all around educational and exciting festival that’s sure to be a hit with cooking and culture enthusiasts. The event runs from Sept. 16-18 at the  Court Avenue Bridge in downtown Des Moines. Tastes of different dishes are  just $1, and entrees run around $5 on average. Admission is free.

Iowa State Fairgrounds Arts and Crafts Show


The Iowa State Fairground’s Arts and Crafts Show is the largest in the state, with well over 300 exhibitors and vendors on site. With styles ranging from more traditional to avant-garde pieces for sale, this show is a must-attend for art lovers and craftspeople alike. The event starts on Friday, Sept. 1,  at 5 p.m. and runs until 9 p.m., and continues on into the weekend with hours from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission to the show is $7 and includes free parking, which makes it an affordable outing for friends and family with tons of shopping opportunities and inspiration for future craft projects. These three events are just a small picture of all the events going on in the city during the fall. Whether you’re looking for indoor or outdoor entertainment, Des Moines has tons of options to make this fall the most memorable yet.