Make Des Moines a Destination This Fall

There is nothing like the fall season. The crisp air and autumn activities make it a great time to get outside and enjoy local events with friends and family. In the Des Moines area, there are many activities and festivals throughout the season where you can go to enjoy food, entertainment, and fun. Here are some of the reasons you should make Des Moines a destination this fall.

Des Moines Oktoberfest

oktoberfest - de moines - world of wheels

Image via Flickr by Schill

An Oktoberfest celebration is one of the best ways to celebrate fall, and the one in Des Moines does it right. On Oct. 22-23 you can join in the fun at 101 4th St. in Des Moines. The event features a ceremonial keg tapping, polka dancing, and a beer maiden contest, along with food, a beer garden, and prizes for people who dress up. Admission is $7 for one day or $13 for a two-day admission ticket, and you get a commemorative mug and entry into the Craft Beer Village with your ticket.


Illumifest is a Fall Festival of Light and takes place on Sept. 23 in West Des Moines. This fun event has something for everyone, including inflatables for the kids along with games for the whole family. You can enjoy the food vendors, and even make your own lantern to light when the sun goes down. The Royal Promenade is a parade around the pond featuring the kids’ favorite characters and princesses. At the end of the night, all the guests can watch a free movie, and then enjoy the fireworks before it’s time to go home.

Taco Festival

If you like tacos, then the Taco Festival at Western Gateway Park in Des Moines is a can’t miss event. The $12 admission will get you into the event and it get’s you access to all the $2 tacos you can eat. Enjoy the different flavors from several taco makers from near and far, along with drinks to go with them. You can choose from margaritas and beer if you are over 21 or soda and water if you are not. The Taco Festival takes place on Oct. 7 from 12-6 p.m. at 1000 Grand Ave. in Des Moines.

Vintage and Made Fair

Browse through the Vintage and Made Fair outdoor market to see all kinds of indie crafts, vintage jewelry, and handcrafted items. This two-day event has over 100 different vendors showcasing and selling everything vintage and handmade. There will also be live music, food vendors, and food trucks, along with entertainment to add to the experience. Admission to the fair is just $6 for adults, and children under 12 can get in for free. It takes place on Oct. 7-8 at the Living History Farms on Hickman Road in Urbandale. Des Moines is a great fall destination for all kinds of activities. Stop by one of these fall festivals and find a unique vintage piece or enjoy delicious tacos while listening to live music.