Passionate About Des Moines
and the Moms Who Live Here

A Des Moines Mom’s Guide to November 2017

Things to do in Des Moines with kids in November.

It’s November already? Wasn’t it just summer? Whatever the case, we’re thankful for all the things to do this month here in Des Moines. When you’re not snuggling under a blanket or planning your Thanksgiving dinner grocery list, load up your kids and enjoy a fun November outing!

November 2017 events and activities

November 1 | Pumpkin PlungeScience Center of Iowa, Des Moines
2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Wondering what to do with your leftover Jack-o-Lanterns and Halloween pumpkins? Grab the kids and head to the Science Center of Iowa, where you can throw them off the Science Center balcony while learning about gravity.

November 2 | Día de los MuertosEast Side Library, Des Moines
4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Celebrate Día de los Muertos! This free, all-ages community program will provide hands-on activities and traditions associated with Day of the Dead.

November 2 | We are S.i.C.K., Wellmark YMCA, 501 Grand Ave., Des Moines
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Looking for some encouragement? S.i.C.K (Sisters in Christ’s Kingdom) is hosting a free event for women who may be feeling down or discouraged. Gather with others and share your story. Coffee and cookies provided.

November 3 — 26 | A Little House Christmas, Kate Goldman Children’s Theater, 831 42nd St., Des Moines
7 p.m. Fridays; 1 p.m. & 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays; recurring
Kick off the holiday season with an evening of theater with the whole family. Based on the Little House book series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, “A Little House Christmas” is performed by the Des Moines Community Playhouse. Tickets range from $19-23.

November 3, 10, 17 | Story Sprouts, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Bring your kiddos ages 2 to 5 for an interactive story time that explores nature themes. November’s themes are “Fall Color,” “Short Days, Long Nights,” and “Harvest.” Children 1-17 are $3; regular admission for adults. Members are free.

November 4 | Gingerbread Run for Adoption, Ankeny DMACC, Ankeny Bldg #3W
10 a.m.
Support adoption grants by walking, running, or cheering on the metro’s third annual Gingerbread Walk/Run for Adoption. Bring the kids for face painting, balloons, snacks, and more.

November 5 | Grand Opening of Rosie’s City, Central Library, Des Moines
2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Central Library in downtown Des Moines is unveiling a new youth area named after their library monster Rosie — and they want metro families to join in the fun. The library will present new stations, toys, games, and crafts that promote literacy. Snacks provided at this free family event.

November 10 | Champagne & Mistletoe, Uptown Ankeny
5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
This free event will feature holiday open houses, snacks like roasted nuts and kettle corn, holiday carolers, carriage rides, bonfire with s’mores, Christmas karaoke, and an ugly sweater contest.

November 11 | Princess Tea PartySummitt Middle School, 9500 Windsor Parkway, Johnston
1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Support the Johnston High School Competition Cheerleaders at an afternoon tea party fundraiser with Princess Belle and this years’ cheer squad. Attendees will enjoy lemonade and cupcakes and will decorate a tiara. Princess attire is welcome and children will have the opportunity to take home a photo with Belle. Cost is $20 per person.

November 10-11 | Iowa Beer, Wine, and Food Expo, Iowa Events Center, Des Moines
4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday
Need a night out? Come hungry and thirsty to sample food and drinks from restaurants, breweries, and wineries from across the Des Moines metro. Enjoy live music, watch cooking demonstrations, and check out vendor shopping, too. General admission is $35.

November 11 | Self Defense ClassFarrell’s Martial Arts and eXtreme Body Shaping, 1905 EpTrue Pkwy., West Des Moines
10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Learn self-defense techniques from a Farrell’s Martial Arts and Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping 6th-degree black belt. This event is free, but donations will be accepted to benefit Youth Emergency Services and Shelter.

November 11 & 12 | Free Santa pictures at Homemakers, 10215 Douglas Ave, Urbandale
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

November 14 | College Planning, Compass Financial Services, 4801 Westown Pkwy West Des Moines
6:30 p.m. 
Start planning for college and learn about student loan repayment with Guy Leman and Caleb Pearson.

November 16 | Stress-Free Wine & Craft Night, Iowa Family Chiropractic, 1906 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines
6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Want a free night out? Iowa Family Chiropractic is hosting an evening of wine, hors d’ouevres, and crafting. (Supplies to make a trendy tassel bracelet are provided.) Door prizes available. The event is open to both patients and the public (21+). RSVP required.

November 17 | Ladies Restorative Night Out, Shakti Yoga, 4119 Rollins Ave., Des Moines
6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Destress before the holiday hustle and bustle at this evening of restorative yoga that can help renew your energy throughout the season. Cost is $20.

November 17 | Opening Day, Brenton Skating Plaza, 520 Robert Ray Dr., Des Moines
Noon
Get your skates and be the first to hit the ice for the 12th season of the only outdoor skating rink in Des Moines. Cost is $8 for adults, $5 for children and seniors.  Skate rental is available for $4.50. (And stay downtown while you’re at it for the East Village Holiday Promenade!)

November 18 | Jingle Bell Drop Historic Valley Junction
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

November 18 | Make Your Own Donuts, Hy-Vee, Altoona
9 a.m.; 10 a.m.; and 11 a.m.
Time to make the donuts! All ages are welcome at this fun event. Attendees will get a long john, round donut, and endless toppings to choose from. Eat your masterpieces there, or take them home in a to-go box. Cost is $7 per person.

November 18 | Tour De Lights, Adventureland, Altoona
4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Run, walk, bike, or skate through the Jolly Holiday Lights displays — before it opens to the public! Start and register at Spectators for the 1.5 mile route and don’t forget to stop by the Wish Shop for cookies and cocoa. You’ll also have the opportunity to raise funds for Make-a-Wish Iowa. Participants who raise more than $100 will receive an Adventureland Park season pass.

November 22 -26 | Disney on Ice: Dream BigWells Fargo Arena, Des Moines
Various times
Channel your inner child as Disney princesses (including Anna, Elsa from Frozen!) and other beloved characters (Olaf!) skate their way into your heart.

November 22 – 26 | Festival of Trees Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center at Iowa Events Center
Wed, Fri, and Sat 11 a.m. – 7 p.m; Thurs 1p.m. – 7 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Come see beautiful trees, enjoy entertainment and children’s activities, do some shopping and support Blank Children’s Hospital. 
Tickets: Adults $5; children 2 & under free

November 23 | Des Moines Turkey Trot, Des Moines
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Ready to run? Try the Turkey Trot 5K, where you’ll make your way past the most charming spots in downtown Des Moines. There’s also a Tot Trot for kids six and under. All registered participants will receive a racing bib and finisher medal. 

November 24 – December 30 | Jolly Holiday Lights Adventureland 3300 Adventureland Drive, Altoona
starting at 5:30 p.m.
$20 per car. All proceeds go to Make-A-Wish® Iowa.

November 24 | Hop-A-Lot Indoors Grand Opening, Merle Hay Mall, Des Moines
When you’re done with your Black Friday shopping, let your kids burn some energy with BOGO tickets to Merle Hay Mall’s new inflatable play area and party space. Open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Cost is $8.50 for children and $5 for under two years old.

November 30 | Jingle in the Junction Historic Valley Junction
5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
150,000 twinkling lights line the streets creating a magical experience. Kids will love free horse and trolley rides, Santa sitings, caroling, ice carving and balloon animals.

Send us an email if we missed anything, and we’ll add your event to the list.


We work hard to ensure the accuracy of this information. However, you should always call ahead to confirm dates, times, location and other information before heading to an event or activity, since it may change.

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