Halloween Events in Des Moines

Halloween Events in Des Moines

Halloween in Des Moines 2019

Celebrate the spooky season with one of these fun Halloween events happening in Des Moines. Dress up in your costumes and head out to celebrate in Des Moines. Let me know if I am missing your family-fun event.

Take a look at our giant list of Trunk-or-Treat’s in Des Moines.

Pumpkin Express Trains 

Saturday, October 5, 12 and 19

10 to 11:45 a.m.

Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad 

Get into your Halloween costume, and take the family on this one hour and thirty-minute journey (across our 156′ tall Bass Point Creek High Bridge, and the Des Moines River Bridge) to the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad’s pumpkin patch. Once at the patch, children will be able to select their perfect pumpkin before returning to town. On the return trip, children will receive an activity booklet and a treat.

Pumpkin Carving at Iowa Arboretum 

Thursday, October 17

5:30 to 8:30 p.m. 

Test your carving skills and enjoy a hot bowl of chili, a warm piece of cornbread and a cool dessert. The pumpkins will be displayed during the Arboretum’s Halloween events. RSVP: info@iowaarboretum.org.

Harvest Party

Friday, October 18

5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

True Roots Chiropractic; 2301 Ingersoll Avenue, Des Moines

True Roots Chiropractic will be hosting a family-friendly Harvest Party on Friday, October 18th from 5:30-8:30! Come celebrate the season with us and decorate your very own pumpkin, play games, and get your face painted! There will also be food, cookie decorating, candy, free health screenings, and much more! Just show up for a chance to win your own pumpkin carving kit, or test your guessing abilities for a chance to win a gift card to one of Des Moines best restaurants! Come find the Cat in the Hat and play games with Thing 1 and Thing 2! There is no cost to get in and we encourage you to come in costume! Join us for a fun-filled evening that you won’t want to miss!

Ar”boo” ween at Iowa Arboretum

Saturday, October 19

1 to 3 p.m.

Put on your favorite superhero, princess or creative costume and join the parade of activities and treats at the Arboretum. Scarecrows and pumpkins will be decorated for the holiday. Enjoy hayrides, the hay maze and games at this fun family Halloween event

Ar “boo” Scare at Iowa Arboretum

Saturday, October 19

6 to 8:30 p.m.

As the sun sets over the Iowa Arboretum… the Halloween Ar “Boo” Scare event begins. Darkness, sounds of time past and hidden surprises set the stage for Halloween night. Walk the “No Return Hidden Trail” and ride the “Hayride to the Valley of Darkness.” Bring a flashlight, wear a costume and enjoy the cool night air. Look for carved pumpkins, scarecrows and lots of treats and treasures at this night event.

Highland Park Little League – Halloween

October 19 & 20

3 to 6 p.m.

Highland Park Little League

Bouncy houses, pizza for sale, games, trunk or treating, a costume contest, and a small haunted house that is suitable for younger children

Night Eyes at Blank Park Zoo 

October 17 – 20; 24 – 27

Thursdays & Fridays: 5:30 to 8 p.m.
Saturdays & Sundays: 1 to 8 p.m.

Night Eyes at Blank Park Zoo has become the sweetest Halloween fun in central Iowa. Be sure to join us to see all the magical characters, take a ride on the train and gather as many sweet treats as you can.

Non- Member ticket $6

Member ticket $5

Family Halloween at Living History Farms

October 17 – 20; October 24 – 27

5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Take part in a 32-year old tradition at Living History Farms – Family Halloween! Families are welcomed into the 1875 town of Walnut Hill to enjoy safe, non-scary trick-or-treating at our historic businesses, play fun games, and take a horse-drawn wagon ride. Living History Farms offers “teal pumpkins” stops for trick-or-treaters with allergies. Save money when you get your tickets in advance online.

Schedule of theme nights and table of ticket prices.

Halloween Hoopla at Raccoon River Park Nature Lodge

Friday, October 18

5:30 to 7:30 p.m. 

Halloween is lurking just around the corner, and this haunted holiday would not be complete without a fun, family-friendly event at Raccoon River Park. Come on out and join the freaky festivities. Decorate pumpkins and enjoy a ride on the “Witch’s Wagon” around the Lake. You will be treated to Count Dracula’s “blood” while making your own Skeleton S’mores!

Please note: All children must be supervised by a paying adult to participate in the evening festivities and to ride the hayrack.

ages 12+: $6 ages 2 – 11: $4 Under 2 years: FREE

Must register with WDM Park and Recreation.

Bass Pro Shops Halloween Event

Saturday, October 19 – Sunday, October 20

Friday, October 25 – Thursday, October 31

Free 4×6 photo in the pumpkin patch with the Peanuts gang – new this year, WOODSTOCK, too! One photo package is available to purchase for only $5 (plus tax).

Trick-or-Treating on Halloween ONLY (10/31) from 4-8 pm – watch for the balloons to get your treats! Kids’ Costume Parades – 10/26, 3:30pm, and 10/31, 6pm. Take a look at complete details.

Spirits in the Gardens 

Saturday, October 19; 4 to 10 p.m. 

Sunday, October 20; 4 to 9 p.m. 

Reiman Gardens

Wear your favorite costume and come trick-or-treat at Reiman Gardens. Additional activities include: Meet-A-Scientist, a professional magician, dancing to Thriller and more. Stay into the evening to view 1,000 hand-carved Jack-O-Lanterns lit against the night sky.


Members: $3 in advance and $4 at the door.
General Public: $5 in advance and $6 at the door.
No refunds.

The Great Pumpkin Party at Valley Church

Monday, October 21 – Special Needs Night 

Tuesday, October 22

Wednesday, October 23

6 to 8 p.m. 

The Great Pumpkin Party is coming! You don’t want to miss this party thrown BY Valley Church FOR our community! Invite your friends and family to the best party in the fall. Wear your non-scary costumes and enjoy giant inflatables, pony rides, carnival games, free popcorn, and more! Plus the Iowa League of Heroes is back and the princesses are joining them!

With nearly 6,000 guests last year, The Great Pumpkin Party is Des Moines’ best family activity this fall. It’s totally free and primarily indoors (so don’t worry about the weather)! Everyone is welcome!

Halloween in Uptown

Thursday, October 24

5 to 7 p.m.

Uptown Ankeny

Join us in Uptown for a night of trick or treating.

More details coming soon!

Trick or Treat Night Indoors

Thursday, October 24

4 to 7 p.m. 


Put your Halloween costumes on and bring the whole family for our 9th annual Homemakers Trick-or-Treat Night! Your kids will love showing off their costumes and fill their bags with fun toys, treats, and goodies—and parents will appreciate the cozy, indoor atmosphere you won’t find anywhere else. So, gather your pirates, superheroes, and princesses to stop by Homemakers for our free Trick or Treat extravaganza!

2019 DSM Halloween Hustle

Saturday, October 26

2 to 5 p.m.

1007 E Grand Avenue, Des Moines

Grab your friends and family, put on your costume, stretch your legs, and join the horde for the inaugural DSM Halloween Hustle 5K!

Spooky Science at the Science Center of Iowa

Saturday, October 26

10 a.m to 4 p.m.

Hair-raising experiments, bubbling potions, and visual illusions abound during Spooky Science at the Science Center of Iowa! Dust the cobwebs off of your costume and join the Science Center of Iowa. Trick-or-treat your way throughout the building and experience themed programming. Wear your costume, and receive $1 off general admission to SCI.

Annual Halloween Fest at Grimes Community Center 

Saturday, October 26

4 to 6:30 p.m.

The gym will be packed with inflatables, activities around the facility, and candy for all at the booths set up. Admission is $1 per person or $5 max per family (Ages 2 and under are free). Adults are encouraged to dress up too!

Mysteries of the Castle – Children’s Halloween Party 

Saturday, October 26 

10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Salisbury House & Gardens

Our spooktacular family-friendly Halloween party welcomes kids to come in costume and enjoy trick or treating, interactive activities, face painting, storytelling, live children’s entertainment, and more! This is a fun, festive and safe activity for the whole family to enjoy.

Pick Your Pumpkin

Sunday, October 27

3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Urbandale Public Swimming Pool 

Pick your pumpkin night! 50 pumpkins will be placed into the pool, swim around and find the pumpkin that you want to take home to decorate! Located at the Urbandale Swimming Pool 3:30 to 4 p.m. Admission into the pool applies.

Pumpkin Walk in Valley Junction 

Sunday, October 27 

2 to 5 p.m.

Join the Halloween fun as children show off their costumes and travel through Historic Valley Junction on Sunday, October 27 from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Join us for this FREE Halloween activity!

Costume Weekend at Center Grove Orchard

Saturday, October 26 & Sunday, October 27

During normal business hours.

Put on your costumes and come to the Farmyard! What better place to go Trick or Treating than at Center Grove Orchard! Our staff will be dressed in their festive costumes, handing out candy at many different Trick or Treat locations.

Halloween Party & Make-n-Takes!

Sunday, October 27

1 to 5 p.m.

The Knotty Nail, Valley Junction

Join The Knotty Nailduring the Valley Junction Pumpkin Walk for a fun, Halloween themed party at The Knotty Nail!

Pumpkin and Halloween make & takes for all ages
Free coloring sheets for everyone!

Wear a costume and get entered into a drawing for our Fall Themed Basket.

Hooray for Halloween

Monday, October 28

6 to 7 p.m. 

Giovannetti Shelter 

For ages 2-12 years

It will be a spooktacular night! Children should dress in their favorite costumes and bring a sack for trick or treat candy. We will make Halloween crafts, decorate Halloween cookies and play Halloween games! The registration deadline is October 15. $8 fee; Register with Urbandale Parks and Rec.

Halloween Style Family Yoga

Tuesday, October 29

5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

1600 6th Avenue

Family Yoga Families are given a fun, physical way to connect with one another through movement, mindfulness practices, deep breathing, and partner poses.

This class gives each member of the family a chance to move, imagine, play, and relax together!

EVERYONE IS encouraged to DRESS UP!

Halloween Skate, Scoot, Stroll

Wednesday, October 30

9 to 11 a.m.

Skate North

This Halloween, you can have a blast at Skateland on almost any kind of wheels!

Open to ages 6 and under and their parents.

Skates, scooters, trikes, push toys, strollers, etc. are all welcome! $5+tax includes admission, skate rental, skate mates, scooter rentals, a treat, and a juice box. Nonskating or scooting parents are welcome.

Halloween Costume Party | Lunch Bunch

Wednesday, October 30

11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Mid Iowa Gymnastics

Wear your costume and celebrate Halloween at Mid Iowa Gymnastics!

This is a great opportunity for your little ones to come explore the gym, have fun with friends, and give a lunch break for mom or dad!

Drop your kids off for some Halloween fun and fitness! Kids will enjoy playtime in the gym, followed by a costume party where they will eat their sack lunch, hear stories, and making a pumpkin craft.

Members … $12
Non-Members … $15

Halloween Hop

Thursday, October 31; 6 to 7:30 p.m. 

Friday, November 1; 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. 

Clive Public Library 

Celebrate Halloween at the library with a costume dance party! We’ll pull out some of our favorite Halloween tunes along with treats and not-so-spooky fun. Please choose only one date to attend. Register Clive Public Library to register.

Pumpkin Destruction at Center Grove Orchard 

Saturday, November 2 & Sunday, November 3

Help us celebrate the end of our Farmyard season at our Pumpkin Destruction Weekend! Watch and participate in many fun ways to destroy pumpkins. From smashing them and bashing them to dropping them from a crane. It’s definitely a crowd favorite so don’t miss out!

All Halloween events are also listed on our extensive Des Moines Parent event calendar.

Erin Huiatt

Erin is a reliable resource and stepping stone for women and families to find support and make connections within our community. She wants families to feel confident to reach out and ask for help and advice to get pointed in the right direction. She enjoys traveling and exploring with her two children in tow!

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