Finally, it’s here. The season every one enjoys. Gone are the bikinis, swim trunks and diets of summer and back are the scarves, flannels, boots and jeans. Pumpkin EVERYTHING hits the shelves and stores, leaves start falling and, let’s be honest, you’ve probably already ordered your first PSL (pumpkin spiced latte…so basic of you)!

We’re lucky to live in a city that offers so many “must see must do, must photograph in the fall” and with the weather being as beautiful as it has been…get outside people! Trust me, snow will be upon us very shortly. Not sure where to start or what to do? You’re in luck, here is your fall bucket list.

RELATED: Fall in Greater Des Moines

Catch festive views 

Start at the Pappajohn Sculpture Park around lunch time. The leaves have already started turning, the grass is still green and the food trucks are still out. Grab a quick bite to eat at one of the favorites: Powered by Fries, Taco Loco or enjoy your last ice cream cone of the season at The Outside Scoop. Snap a quick photo and be SURE to include the trees, sculptures and the skyline. Perfect spot for family photos!

Family in Sculpture Park

Catch Fall Drinks

Every brewery in town always delivers a great seasonal beer in the fall. Some places, like Firetrucker Brewery, pair it with an event and others just start serving it. Whether you are looking for an Oktoberfest brew or want something more non-traditional, stop by one of the many local breweries including Exile Brewing CompanyConfluence515 Brewing CompanyMadhouse Brewing Company, Peace Tree, Fox Brewing,  and Court Avenue Restaurant & Brewing Company. All of them offer seasonal delights that will kick your taste buds into fall gear!

RELATED: Food & Drink Events in Greater Des Moines


Missed our grand opening last weekend? Have no fear...Cedar Ridge Wee Heavy, Blueberry Gose and 3-year-aged CR Red Rambler are still on tap!

A post shared by Peace Tree Des Moines Branch (@peacetreedmbranch) on


Catch Family Friendly Halloween

Can you believe Night Eyes at Blank Park Zoo has been around for 25+ years? It’s because this is the perfect event to bring the kiddos to, making Halloween last more than just one night! Enjoy gathering treats, face painting, costumes, train rides, Disney characters and animals. What better way to get in the Halloween spirit? October 19-22; 26-29 Thursday and Friday from 5:30 – 8 p.m. or Saturday & Sunday from 1- 8 p.m.

RELATED: Family Friendly Things to Do


Catch Spooky Spirits and German Beer

Be sure to check out our events calendar, for Halloween celebrations such as Living History Farms Family Halloween, the Pumpkin Walk in Historic Valley Junction, and Mysteries of the Castle at Salisbury House & Gardens.

If you are a beer lover, be sure to mark your calendar for Des Moines’ Annual Oktoberfest, September 22-23 in Downtown Des Moines. It’s just $10 per day and comes with your own commemorative mug. A stage featuring polka music, the seasonal craft beer village and Hofbrau Rooftop Bier Garden are just a few things to expect. You should also mark your calendar for September 30 too. Adventureland will host its third annual Oktoberfest, opening the park for those 21+ to drink beer and enjoy the parks rides. The event will feature live music, German beer and special contests. $25 admission (in advance).


It's March, which means we're one month closer to Oktoberfest! What was your favorite part last year?

A post shared by Oktoberfest Des Moines (@oktoberfestdsm) on


There's so many things on the fall bucket list, it's hard to hit them all. What are some of your favorites? 

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