Fall Family Fun with Your Preschooler!

Fall in Central Iowa is a great time to spend some quality time with your preschooler. From family-friendly trick-or-treating events, to pumpkin patches and football games, below is a list of a variety of events and activities to enjoy in the metro area.

    • Ledges State Park, 1515 P. Ave., Madrid
      Enjoy a family nature hike: point out the changing leaf colors, look for acorns & pinecones, and enjoy the fall foliage. (Free)


    • Urbandale Story Walk, 3520 86th St., Urbandale (Start behind the Urbandale Library) (Free)


    • Toddler Obstacle Course at Johnston Public Library, 6700 Merle Hay Road, Johnston
      Sunday, October 15th or Sunday, November 19th 2-4 PM
      Let your little one enjoy an indoor obstacle course designed for ages 6 months – 6 years! Learn more here! (Free)


    • Night Eyes at Blank Park Zoo, 7401 SW 9th St., Des Moines
      October 19-22 and 26-29 (Thursdays & Fridays 5:30-8 PM, Saturdays & Sundays 1 PM – 8 PM)
      Can you believe this is the 27th year of Night Eyes at Blank Park Zoo? Trick or Treating at the zoo is an annual classic! Learn more here. (Admission: $6


    • North River Adventures Corn Maze, 2768 US 65, Carlisle
      Roam the corn maze and enjoy the giant jumping pillow! Learn more here. (Admission: $11. Kids 3 and under are free)

This year’s maze at North River Adventures! (Photo credit: North River Adventures)

    • Iowa Orchard, 9875 Meredith Dr., Urbandale
      Pick out some pumpkins and tasty treats! (Free)


    • Family Halloween at Living History Farms, Urbandale
      October 19-22 and 26-29, 5:30-8:30 PM
      Horse-drawn wagon rides, trick-or-treating, pumpkin bowling, and games. Check out the theme nights here! (Adults $7, Children $6.50)


    • Halloween at Bass Pro Shops, 1000 Bass Pro Dr., Altoona
      October 21-22 and 27-31
      Enjoy free crafts, a pumpkin toss, photos with the Peanuts Gang and trick-or-treating. See the schedule of events here.


    • Trick or Treat at Valley West Mall, 1551 Valley West Dr., West Des Moines
      October 30, 6-8 PM
      Trick or Treat through the mall plus enjoy inflatable rides, crafts, and more!


    • Spooky Paws Parade,  East Locust Street (between Robert Ray Drive and E 6th), East Village
      Sunday, October 29, 2-4 PM
      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 (or just admire all the creative costumes!). Learn more. (Free)

What preschooler doesn’t love a dog parade?


    • Attend a Football Game
      Check the local high school sports schedules, or even attend a Drake or ISU game!


    • The Great Pumpkin Party, Valley Church, 4343 Fuller Road, West Des Moines
      Tuesday October 17, 6-8 PM
      Enjoy inflatables, pony rides, carnival games and more!


    • Mysteries of the Castle at Salisbury House & Gardens, 4025 Tonawanda Drive, Des Moines
      Saturday, October 28, 10 AM-3PM
      Scavenger hunt, interactive play area, chocolate making, and trick or treating throughout the Salisbury House. Learn more. (Admission: $5)


    • Spooky Science at the Science Center of Iowa, 401 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy, Des Moines
      Saturday, October 28, 10 AM-5 PM
      Trick or treat through the Science Center! Wear your costume and receive $1 off general admission! (Plus, check out the new Tyrannosaurs exhibit!). Learn more.  (Admission: Adults $12, Children (2-12): $8)


    • Pumpkin Walk, Historic Valley Junction, West Des Moines
      Sunday, October 29, 2-5 PM
      Trick or treating, FREE pumpkins, hayrack rides and shopping. See specific locations and activities here.

Hayrack rides at Valley Junction Pumpkin Walk. (Photo credit: valleyjunction.com)