Keep the Kids Entertained With These 5 Fall Activities in Des Moines

After the excitement of summer ends and children return to school here in Des Moines, fall takes on a dreary, boring feel. Full schedules suddenly put a damper on quality family time, so it’s important to remember to make time for bonding. These activities are great for family fun.

Living History Farms

An educational experience, as well as fun, the Living History Farms let you see how life was in different time periods. The site features three farms: 1700s Ioway Indian, 1850s pioneer, and 1900s horse-powered. There is also the Town of Walnut Hill, based in 1875. The town features a blacksmith, general store, Flynn Mansion, and more to give a realistic view of what an old town looked like. For adults, an elegant Victorian tea service is offered during certain times of the year. The family activities available change depending on the seasons, like a regular farm. Set aside a full day to visit and enjoy.

Center Grove Orchard

Center Grove Orchard is not your ordinary pumpkin patch. Along with pumpkins, which are available in late September and October, there are also apples you pick yourself. The corn maze provides plenty of fun, but it’s far from the only attraction. Races, rides, and games will keep your entire family entertained for hours. Some activities, such as the Touch a Tractor event, are only available on specific days, so it’s best to check the website when planning your visit.

Valley Junction Pumpkin Walk

Valley Junction Pumpkin Walk - Des Moines, IA

Image via Flickr by Angela K. Severn

Halloween is a huge fall favorite, and it isn’t Halloween without trick-or-treating. The Valley Junction Pumpkin Walk is Sunday, Oct. 23 and features an afternoon Trick or Treat through Valley Junction, with free pumpkins for the children. Dress up with the family and enjoy some pre-Halloween fun.

Halloween Fest

Here’s another festivity for the family to dress up for. Saturday, Oct. 29 is the annual Halloween Fest in the city of Grimes. There are plenty of activities planned for an evening full of fun. Fitness activities, a petting zoo, and a magician are just a few of the fun things to do. While you’re there, take your kids to meet Princess Anna and get a caricature drawn in costume. There’ll also be an opportunity for free vision screenings during the event.

Santa’s North Pole Village

Santa’s coming to town early in Iowa for the huge annual Santa’s North Pole Village Craft Show on Saturday, Nov. 5. Around 250 vendors come together for this one day display. An incredible assortment of commodities will be available, from jewelry and clothes to candles and decor. Nonprofit organizations will be around selling food and drinks, and the cafeteria will have vendors as well. The show is large enough to need three different locations, so a shuttle will be available to take you from one to another for just $1. Fall sometimes feels boring and disconnected, or hectic, with no real opportunities for family fun. If you take time to look around, you’ll find there are plenty of chances to keep children and families entertained in the Des Moines area.