Thanksgiving Fun in Des Moines

Thanksgiving Fun in Des Moines

Thanksgiving Fun in Des Moines 2019

Note: This post has been updated to reflect Thanksgiving events for the 2019 season in Des Moines.


Looking to do some fun activities at home? Here are some fun ideas!

The Great Turkey Escape

Grimes Library

November 16

5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

An After-Hours Escape Room Challenge: Can your flock escape before the Thanksgiving Harvest? Pizza will be served Ages 10 + Registration Required.

Family Turkey Time Bowling

Warrior Lanes

November 17

Noon to 2 p.m. 

It’s almost time for our annual Turkey Time Family Glow Bowling Party with MOM approved music and totally alcohol-free!

Glow-In-The-Dark Bowling, Concert Lights, and Black Lights. Lanes must be reserved and paid for by 6 pm on Friday, November 15.

Turkey Trek (National Take a Hike Day)

Yellow Banks Park, Pleasant Hill

November 17

10 to 11:30 a.m.

Join us on Sunday, November 17 from 10-11:30 am at Yellow Banks Park to enjoy a one-mile hike through the park. We’ll talk about turkeys and how animals are preparing for winter all while burning some calories. Meet at the pond parking lot. Free for all ages!

Great Turkey Tumble

Mid Iowa Gymnastics

November 20

11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Get ready for the Great Turkey Tumble!

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 Turkey fun and fitness! Kids will enjoy playtime in the gym, followed by a time where they will eat their sack lunch, hear stories, and make a fun craft.

Living History Farms Road Race

Living History Farms

November 23

9 a.m.

You will be challenged by a “SLIGHTLYNEW” COURSE over the world’s richest farmland. YES, you will still wade through creeks, dodge farm animals and claw your way to the top of gullies with other runners of questionable senses.  Then you’ll want to hang out for the “Outdoors in November” post-race lunch, door prizes and awards ceremony.

Disney on Ice presents World of Enchantment

November 27- December 1

Check here for showtimes and to purchase tickets.

Get ready to enter a dazzling world of Disney magic, live on ice where Lightning McQueen, Mater and the crew of Disney•Pixar’s Cars perform high-speed stunts and race across the ice as you’ve never seen before! Be amazed and join Ariel as she dives into the underwater kingdom of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Cheer on Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Jessie and other favorites from the Toy Story gang as they try and escape from Sunnyside Daycare in one of their most daring adventures ever from Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story 3 – proving that the toys are back in town! Plus, enter the world of Arendelle with sisters Anna and Elsa from the Academy Award®-winning and number one animated feature film of all time, Disney’s Frozen. Join Anna as she embarks on an epic journey with the hilarious snowman Olaf and rugged mountain-man Kristoff to find her sister, the magical Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. 

Festival of Trees and Lights

Veteran’s Memorial Community Choice Credit Union

November 27; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

November 28; 1 to 7 p.m.

November 29; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

November 30; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

December 1; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Festival of Trees & Lights is a five-day public event that is the main fundraiser for Blank Children’s Hospital. This event features beautifully decorated trees, entertainment, children’s activities, food, shopping and more. $5 admission; Children 2 years and younger are free

Thanksgiving Turkey Crafts

Grimes Public Library

November 23

10 to 11 a.m.

All ages welcome to create fun Thanksgiving Day crafts.

Des Moines Turkey Trot

Downtown Des Moines

November 28

9 a.m.

Experience Downtown Des Moines on Thanksgiving Day before indulging in your Thanksgiving Day feast.

Runners will start their Thanksgiving run near the Des Moines Courthouse. From there both 5K and 5-mile runners will make their way across the Des Moines River and through the center of the Historic East Village.

Jolly Holiday Lights


November 29 – December 30

5:30 to 10 p.m.

Come out and celebrate more than 20 years of holiday lights. Bundle up the family and enjoy a 2.5-mile ride through more than 100 magical light displays. 100% of admission fees go directly to Make-A-Wish® Iowa! Since it began in 1995, the event has raised enough money to grant more than 900 wishes to Iowa kids! $20 per car.

Des Moines Hungry Turkey Half Marathon & 5K

Riverfront Des Moines

November 30

9 a.m.

Sign-up to run a half marathon or 5k. Have children? They can sign-up for the Kids Dash. Bundle up and bring the entire family out for a fun-filled morning.

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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