11 Can’t Miss Halloween Events in Des Moines
Ahhh October. A month filled with football, fall weather, and Halloween events. Let’s not forget Des Moines trick or treating. This year, October brings new events, annual celebrations, and plenty of ways to get your dose of ghosts, pumpkins, and candy. Catch these 11 ways to celebrate Halloween in Des Moines:
Wine Witches and Brews
Friday, October 13
5 – 9 p.m.
Spend a magical evening shopping Indianola Square while sipping wines and brews. Attendees are encouraged to wear costumes (however it’s not required). Tickets to attend are $10. The first 500 to purchase tickets will be rewarded with a special bag to be used for our own version of Trick R Treating that night. Must be 21 years or older to attend.
Halloween Zoo Brew
Blank Park Zoo
Friday, October 13
5:30 – 8 p.m.
Enjoy a SPOOKtacular event at the Blank Park Zoo! Celebrate Halloween at the Zoo with live music, trick-or-treating for brew samples, lighted displays and more. Must be 21 to enter. No children allowed. Event will be held rain or shine.
There’s a reason that Night Eyes is celebrating its 27th year! This popular event allows your kids to explore the zoo while collecting candy in their favorite costumes. Take a ride on the train and stop by to see your favorite magical storybook characters. This fun, not scary, Halloween event is just $4 if you purchase tickets in advance.
Family Halloween Theme Nights
Living History Farms
October 19-22 & 26-29
5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Jump on the horse-drawn wagon and get ready for a family-friendly Halloween in Des Moines! Living History Farms celebrates Halloween with fun activities such as pumpkin bowling, trick or treating through town and storytellers. Kids can check out scarecrow and jack-o-lantern displays and enjoy free pop and popcorn all night. Admission is $7 per person at the door.
- Thursdays: Double Treats and Athletes – Get twice as many treats! Dress up as your favorite athlete.
- Fridays: Doggone Scary – bring your furry friend along (in costume!) for trick-or-treating. Get treats for your dog at the historic Vet Clinic in our 1875 Town.
- Saturdays: Fairy Tales and Super Heroes – meet your favorite characters and dress up in your best superhero and fairytale costumes.
- Sundays: Farmer & Friends – Dress up as an animal on the farm, a farmer, or Victorian style like a person in the past! Wear your best “Living History Farms” themed costume.
This is a great event that’s enjoyable for parents and kids. Dress up the kids and head to Homemakers for free, family fun. Kids can trick or treat around the store and parents will love the indoor, low-key environment. It’s a great option should the weather be rainy or cold. Plus, you can secretly shop while your kids are collecting candy and come home from trick or treating with a new lamp…or couch. We call that a win-win. It’s all free to attend (unless you decide you need new furniture or décor).
Don’t miss this unique twist on history and Halloween at the State Historical Museum of Iowa. Sip a “Grim Reaper” signature cocktail while you learn about historic death rituals and mourning practices. This event is $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Admission includes one drink ticket and appetizers. Must be 18 to attend and 21 to drink.
Enjoy interactive crafts, live children’s entertainment, storytelling, chocolate making, games, a bounce house, mascots, and trick or treating throughout the Salisbury House. It’s only $5 to attend and is a fun family-friendly way to check out the Salisbury House! Food and snack vendors will also be available.
Catch Spooky Science at the Science Center of Iowa. Families can enjoy science experiments, bubbling potions and visual illusions. Bring the kids in costume and treat-or-treat your way through the Science Center. Don’t miss live programing, meet-and-greets with creepy crawly critters and other giveaways. Discounted admission is available for all those dressed-up! Wear your costume, and receive $1 off general admission to SCI.
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Alien Abduction Halloween Party
Saturday, October 28
6 – 10 p.m.
Join Firetrucker Brewery for their Halloween Costume party! This year’s theme is Alien Abduction and it’s going to be out of this world! Enjoy a costume contest, giveaways, and Firetrucker beer!
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Photo courtesy of the Jett and Monkey Facebook Page
Bring your favorite furry friend for the Spooky Paws Parade in the Historic East Village. Dress up your dogs for a costume contest and then walk them in the Halloween parade through the district. It’s free to participate and a lot of fun. Judging for the costume contest will occur before the start of the parade. If you don’t have a pet, you should at least go watch. Picture dozens of dogs in costumes walking down the street…adorable, right? Stop by Jett & Monkey’s between Noon and four for your complimentary photo in the Spooky Paws Photo booth!
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Head to Historic Valley Junction for trick or treating, free pumpkins, hayrack rides and shopping. That’s right, FREE PUMPKINS are available at the Swander Gazebo. Admission is free too. Children can show off their costumes while they collect candy through the district. After you’re finished, swing by your favorite shops to pick up Halloween décor, sweets and more.
There’s so many Halloween events, it was hard to narrow it down! Check our events calendar for an entire list of events happening in October. How will you trick or treat in Des Moines? What are your favorite local events? Best place for the kids to snag candy? Let us know in the comment section below!