Halloween Events in Des Moines

Halloween Events in Des Moines

Halloween in Des Moines 2020

Celebrate the spooky season with one of these fun Halloween events happening in Des Moines. The Halloween season may look different as the rest of 2020, but these businesses are providing safe events to celebrate! Dress up in your costumes and head out to celebrate in Des Moines. Let me know if I am missing your family-friendly event.

Family Halloween at Living History Farms | 2020 Sponsor

Weekends October 16-25

Friday 5 to 8 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday 4 to 8 p.m.

Take part in a 33-year old tradition at Living History Farms’ Family Halloween! Join us in the 1876 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 will offer “teal pumpkin” stops safe for trick-or-treaters with allergies. Timed tickets may be purchased in advance online. Masks are required for visitors, volunteers, and staff.

Purchase tickets here.

2020 Dallas Center Halloween Hayday

Saturday, October 31

4 to 5 p.m.

Dallas Center, Iowa

4:00 – 5:00 pm Halloween Hayday Parade!

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm TOWN-WIDE TRICK OR TREAT!

Animals of Halloween Hike

October 19 – October 31

Any time

Annett Nature Center

Hike the trail anytime between October 19 and October 31 to learn about the animals of Halloween. There will be signs along the trail with fun facts about animals that we hear about during Halloween. This is a come and go as you please hike, so you can social distance and come when it is most convenient for you!

Animals you will learn about include: spider, Cat(Bobcat), bat, coyote, raccoon, snake, owl, crow, millipede, and toad. The trail starts just across from the Butterfly Garden near the circle drive. There will be a start and an end sign.  Feel free to hike additional trails while you are here. For more information give us a call at 515-961-6169.

B&B Theatres – Fall Fun Programs

September – October

Various days + times

B&B Theatres in Ankeny, Iowa

B&B Theatres is bringing some of your favorite Halloween, family movies to the big screen including Hocus Pocus, Hotel Transylvania, Casper, and more. All movies are at discounted prices and even bigger discounts ($1 per ticket!) if you are a Backstage Member.

Fall Fest Drive Thru

Wednesday, October 28

6:30 to 8 p.m.

Greater Life Community Church

Want an alternative for trick or treating? Bring the kids to our Fall Fest drive-thru! On your route through the parking lot, receive treats, enjoy entertainment, and receive a meal-to-go* while never leaving your car.October 28th from 6:30pm-8:00pm
Parking Lot of 2957 86th Street, Urbandale, IA
In case of inclement weather, alternate date is October 29th from 6:30pm-8:00pm.
*While supplies last

Geocache Pumpkin Hunt

Saturday, October 17

1 to 3 p.m.

Thomas Mitchell Park

Learn how to use a GPS, then go search the park to find some pumpkins! Space is limited, so register early. Meet at Shelter #1.

REGISTRATION: Required. Register here.

DEADLINE: Register by Wednesday, October 14


AGES: 5+

Goldfish Swim School Urbandale Boo Bash

October 31

2 to 4 p.m.

Goldfish Swim School

Join Goldfish Swim School for a socially-distanced Halloween celebration at Goldfish Swim School Urbandale on Saturday, October 31, 2020, from 2:00-4:00 p.m. Event highlights include:

  • Socially-distanced trick-or-treating
  • Photos with Bubbles
  • Take-Home Crafts
  • Giveaways and More!

Please RSVP — one time slot per family! We can’t wait to see you there!

Great Pumpkin Party

Saturday, October 17 & Sunday, October 18

Various times

Valley Community Center & Valley Church

The Great Pumpkin Party Shows are for kids of all ages. You will need a FREE ticket for each show for everyone in your family.

The Great Pumpkin Party is a party thrown BY Valley Church FOR our community. This year the GPP will focus on two shows Saturday and Sunday, October 17-18:

1. An awe-inspiring aerial trapeze show with “The Greatest Showman” theme at the Valley Community Center (4444 Fuller Rd, WDM) at 12, 2, 4, and 6 pm. Please note the time and location of this show. Each show lasts approximately one hour.

2. Amazing illusionist Keith West at Valley Church (4343 Fuller Rd, WDM) at 1:30, 3:30, 5:30, and 7:30 pm. Please note the time and location of this show. Each show lasts approximately one hour.

All shows are family-friendly and each person needs a FREE ticket to attend as we are limiting numbers at each performance to maintain social distancing. A face covering is recommended, but not required.

You are welcome to attend more than one show, but you will need tickets for each show you plan to attend.

Kids are invited to wear their non-scary costumes and participate in a costume parade at the end of the show your family attends. All kids will receive a bag with candy.

Halloween Family Glow Bowling

Sunday, October 25

Noon to 2 p.m.

Warrior Lanes

Warrior Lanes are holding their popular annual Halloween Family Glow Bowling Party this year. They won’t sell as many lanes, to keep their guest physically distanced but still providing much needed SOCIAL FUN! You may book 1 lane for 5 guests or a maximum of 2 lanes for up to 10 guests. (Guest counts included non-bowlers!). Each lane includes 2 hours of glow in the dark bowling and dancing to MOM APPROVED music, 5 pairs of rental shoes, a large single topping pizza, and 5 soft drinks for $59.95 + tax per lane! They will have a costume contest and treats for everyone. They just ask that costumes be “family-friendly”.

Book your lane(s) now at https://warriorlanes.com/family-glow-reservations/ 

Halloween Hike and Hunt!

October 31

10 a.m.

Ewing Park

$7 a child – reserve your spot here. Join in the Halloween fun with Muddy Boots! Dress up and head to Ewing Park where your treasure awaits. You’ll use your digital map and clue to hunt for your customized treasure bag (candy-free!) and stay to make nature crafts and enjoy apple cider. Limiting to 20 children per 2-hour time slot.

Halloween Hoopla

Friday, October 23

5:30 to 7:30 p.m. 

Raccoon River Park Nature Lodge

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

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. You will 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! Be sure to save the date…they are just dying to see you there!

Must register with WDM Park and Recreation.

Hy-Vee Trick-or-Treat Altoona

October 24-25 & October 31

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hy-Vee Store in Altoona, Iowa

Join Hy-Vee for an outdoor, social distancing Halloween event.

Iowa PBS Virtual Halloween Party

October 24

10 a.m.

Join Iowa PBS virtually on Saturday, October 24 at 10 a.m. for our PBS KIDS Halloween Party. During the virtual event, families will watch a special Halloween episode from PBS KIDS, followed by an easy at-home activity led by one of our Iowa PBS educators.

Little Free Library Launch Party: Storyhouse Bookpub

Saturday, October 31

10 a.m. to Noon

6429 University Ave, Windsor Heights

Stop by and help Storyhouse launch our new Little Free Library! Grab one of those book(s) you no longer need hanging around on your shelf and swap it for new book treasures.

They will be pouring DreiBerge Coffee and Bay Laurel Baking Co will be serving up some of their most fallish cookies (complimentary!). And why not show off those Halloween costumes buried in the closet while we’re at it? (** Extra points for bookish characters :))

Mix and mingle with friends and neighbors on Halloween morning around all the best things: books, coffees, cookies, and costumes. Masks required. They will have hand sanitizer at the ready. No worries if you don’t have a book to bring – come celebrate anyway!

Night Eyes at Blank Park Zoo 

October 15 – 18 and 22-25

5 to 9 p.m.

Iowa’s most popular Halloween tradition may not be as sugary this year, but guests can look forward to nights filled with an autumn cheer. It is time for dazzling lights, festive delights, and merry-not-scary Halloween nights.

Their primary focus in bringing Night Eyes, back for its 30th anniversary is to be responsible in this time of COVID, so out of an abundance of caution for guests, staff, and volunteers, they have made two major changes to Night Eyes this year. First, to help control capacity, they will be requiring advance purchase timed-tickets for the event. The second change is Night Eyes will NOT have a Treat Safari this year.

Instead of a candy-filled, trick-or-treating experience at the Zoo for Halloween, they are thrilled to pursue activities including socially distanced costume character photo opportunities, an outstanding array of themed-displays and dazzling lights, and a Fun Zone, where all activities encourage social distancing and are cleaned and sanitized between each party.

Tickets go on sale October 1st!

Not Too Spooky Story Time – Virtual

October 22

6:15 to 7 p.m.

Clive Public Library

Families with Children of All Ages.
Free. Registration Required. Are you ready for Halloween? Want to show off your costume early? Come dressed in your Halloween costume or your pj’s for some early Halloween fun. We will read some stories and sing some songs and get ready for Halloween night. You must register to participate in this program and receive your Zoom invitation. 


Sunday, October 25

1 to 3 p.m.

Meredith Drive – The Bridge Campus – 10025 NW 62nd Avenue, Johnston Iowa 50131

Join Meredith Drive for their Pick-a-Pumpkin event at The Bridge campus. Free “socially distanced” pumpkins will be there for you to take home from our lawn, as well as treats, games, and photo opportunities! Wear your costume and bring your family, friends, and neighbors. They will be collecting non-perishable food items for their Little Free Pantry, located at our Meredith Drive campus if you would like to bring something to donate when you arrive.

Pumpkin Express Trains 

Saturday, October 3, 10, 17, & 24 and Sunday, October 11

10 to 11:30 a.m.

Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad 

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.

Tickets are $18 per person, ages 2 and up, and can be purchased here.

Pumpkin Patch!

October 10

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Johnston Public Library

Stop by the library to pick up your pumpkin patch kit, filled with fun goodies, crafts, and activities! We will have bags for kids and teens – while supplies last!

Spirits in the Gardens 

Friday, October 23 & 30; 7 to 10 p.m.

Saturday, October 24 & 31; 5 to 10 p.m.

Sunday, October 25 & November 1; 5 to 10 p.m.

Reiman Gardens

Tickets: must be purchased online.

See incredibly detailed, volunteer carved Jack-O-Lanterns! Sunset is at approximately 7:00. Wear your favorite costume with a mask that covers your mouth and nose. Follow a designated path and see all of the fun. There are planned activities. View schedule here.

Spooky Science

October 31 & November 1

9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Science Center of Iowa

Celebrate Halloween at the Science Center of Iowa!

Dust the cobwebs off your costumes, and bring the whole family down to enjoy spooky, science-y and SAFE Halloween fun. There will be hair-raising experiments, creepy-crawly critters and tons of other spook-ified programming. Plus, catch the spookiest specimen of all… SUE the T. rex!

All activities are included with admission – free for SCI members! Reserve advance tickets in one of four timeslots (Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 am -12:00 pm or 1:00-4:00 pm) at www.sciowa.org/gettickets

Costumes are encouraged. Face coverings are required for all visitors ages 2 and up. Costume masks do not qualify as a replacement for protective face masks.

The Spooky Window Scavenger Hunt

October 17 – 25

Valley Junction

A fun, free scavenger hunt in Historic Valley Junction! On October 17, you’ll be able to download a print-at-home scavenger hunt card and start your search for spooky items hidden in Valley Junction windows any time until October 25.Hint: You can also pick up a card at the Historic Valley Junction office during our neighborhood Sidewalk Sales coming up October 17 from 10-4!

  • Social distancing friendly, this can be done 100% outdoors on your own.
  • Some stores will have signs to show your scavenger hunt card and get a treat.
  • In the end, turn in your card for our prize drawing.

Presented by First National Bank with help from the Theatrical Shop. The annual Pumpkin Walk triumphantly returns in 2021.

The Spooky Window Scavenger Hunt is a social-distancing friendly version of our popular Valley Junction Pumpkin Walk.  Valley Juntion looks forward to returning to our regular Pumpkin Walk tradition in 2021!

TIC or Treat Drive Thru

October 27

6 to 8 p.m.

The Iowa Clinic Ankeny Campus, 1410 SW Tradition Drive

Dress-up, stay in your car, and drive through our outdoor, socially distanced, kid-friendly, Trunk, or Treat event. Collect treats from some of your favorite Iowa Clinic physicians & staff in a safe outdoor environment! Vehicles will enter off Oralabor on the north side of the building. There’s no need to park, you’ll simply proceed along a designated route.

Timber, Trails, & Twilight

Saturday, October 31

9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Brenton Arborteum

Before you head out to trick-or-treat, take a Halloween drive through the Arboretum! You will see spooky scenes at trailheads and beautiful fall vistas as you drive along the winding gravel road of the Arboretum. Costumes are strongly encouraged! All ages welcome.

Fee: $5 per car for members & nonmembers. Register by Thursday, October 29. Check-in at front gate.


October 27 & 29

10 a.m. to Noon

Get Air Sports

Bring your little ones to GET AIR Trampoline Park for a Toddlerween celebration on October 27 and 29 from 10 AM to Noon! They will be hosting a Halloween party full of jumping, games, and candy for jumpers under 46″ tall! Remember to wear your costume!

Trick-or-Treat on the Farm

Saturday, October 31

Howell’s Pumpkin Patch

Enjoy trick-or-treating on the farm at Howell’s Pumpkin Patch. More details coming soon. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates.

Trunk or Treat Cruise Night

October 30

5 to 9 p.m.

Pathway Church – Johnston

Bring your car, come in a family friendly costume (nothing scary please) and bring a bag of candy to hand out to Johnston kiddos as they come Trick or Treat from 6 PM to 8 PM


October 31

10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

Youth, families and people of all ages will enjoy a festive and safe event from the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. Trick-or-Trees will feature interactive activities, entertainment and fun information about trees throughout the six acres of outdoor gardens. Join us for a fun, festive day for all ages!

  • Story Sprouts
  • Papermaking Demonstrations
  • Costume Parade
  • Andy Klindt Chainsaw Artist
  • Interactive Activities
  • Goodie Bags, courtesy of Trellis Café (while supplies last)

The event will be included with admission. Face coverings are required for all Botanical Garden guests above age two; costume masks are not a replacement for protective face masks.

Trunk or Treat

Saturday, October 3

5 to 8 p.m.

Pie Five Pizza in Ankeny

Area Auto Sales Pie Five Pizza and Zion Designs are putting on our 2nd Annual trunk or treat. Bring the kids with their costumes. Plenty of fun and candy for all the kids.

There Will Be Trophies For:
Best Display
Best Lighting

They will have raffle ticket for sale $5 each or 5 for $20 there will be several items raffled off . All donations and sponsorship money will be given to the Ankeny Wrestling Club

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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *