September is one of our favorite months here in Des Moines. School is in full swing and the fresh air is full of possibilities! Enjoy all Central Iowa has to offer with our curated calendar featuring our favorite family events in Des Moines this month.
Here at Des Moines Moms Blog, we’re thrilled to offer two special just-for-you events this month. You’re invited to join our team for a coffee date with fellow local moms on Sept. 13 at Smokey Row, and then bring the whole family to Waukee for our Family Fun Day in Waukee on Sept. 29!
Looking for more things to do in Des Moines this fall? Check out our Fall Bucket List!
September 2018 events and activities
September 2 | Glow Wild 2018, Jester Park Nature Center, 12130 NW 128th St., Granger
4 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Bring the family out for an afternoon of outdoor fun! This popular and growing event will feature wagon rides, ponies, a glow-in-the-dark climbing wall, free s’mores, face-painting, giant yard games, food and drinks, and live music – all illuminated by an evening bonfire. Tickets are available online and are $5 for children and $15 for adults. Children aged two and under are free.
September 3 | Mini Maker Faire, Science Center of Iowa, Des Moines
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, artists, educators, crafters, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, and students. All of these “makers” come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and share what they have learned.
September 6 | Enrichment Family Fest, Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center, P.C., Urbandale
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Enrichment Family Fest will include food, games, and developmental resources. Stop by their family fun night and resource fair for the kids to have fun and parents to learn about some great resources in our community.
September 7-9 | Pufferbilly Days, Downtown Boone
Friday 9 a.m. to midnight; Saturday 7 a.m. to midnight; Sunday 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Known for being a Railroad Town, Boone celebrates Pufferbilly Days the first weekend after Labor Day each year. Enjoy a carnival, parade, live music, tons of food, a car show, and more!
September 8 | Multicultural Fall Festival, Forest Avenue Library, Des Moines
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
All are welcome to the Friends of the Forest Avenue Library Multicultural Fall Festival. Enjoy family-friendly games, live performances, a book sale, parade, and more! The event runs outside the Des Moines Public Library on Forest Ave., and at Evelyn Davis Park.
September 12 | An Evening with Temple Grandin, The Ron Pearson Center, 5820 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines
5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Spend an evening with Dr. Temple Grandin, professor of animal science at Colorado State University, consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior, and autism spokesperson. She is one of the first individuals on the autism spectrum to publicly share insights from her personal experience of autism and its relation to animals. Photo and book-signing opportunities are available. Tickets are $60.
September 13 | Coffee and Carnations with DMMB, Smokey Row, Des Moines
7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Are you a working mom? We’re having a coffee date with you in mind! We’re thrilled to introduce our second-ever “Coffee With Moms,” a regularly scheduled gathering hosted by DMMB contributors at various coffee shops around Central Iowa. These gatherings are a relaxed opportunity to connect with friendly faces and drink some great coffee.
September 14-15 | Just Between Friends Sale, Elwell Family Food Center at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, 3000 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines
10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Grab your BFF, a couple of large shopping bags, and check out this savings extravaganza. You’ll find aisles and aisles of gently used clothes, toys, baby equipment, books, and so much more! (Can’t make it on Friday or Saturday? On Sunday, many items are 50-percent off!)
September 14 | Family Night, Science Center of Iowa, Des Moines
5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Explore the Science Center of Iowa with your family with $5 general admission (per person), documentary IMAX films, and Food Chain Cafe specials. Kick off your weekend by building a rocket, traveling through outer space, or experiencing a larger-than-life IMAX film (for $5) with extended hours until 8 p.m.
September 14-15 | Beaverdale Fall Festival, Des Moines
This annual event is a local favorite. Featuring a kid zone, parade, food vendors, live music, and a carnival, Beaverdale Fall Festival is a Des Moines classic.
September 14-16 | World Food & Music Festival, Gateway Park, Des Moines
Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Produced by the Greater Des Moines Partnership, this popular Des Moines event offers international cuisine, live music, performing arts, cooking demonstrations, wine and craft beers, and much more.
September 15-16, 21-23 | Day Out with Thomas: Big Adventures Tour 2018, Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad
Friday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Thomas the Tank Engine rides depart every 60 minutes, rain or shine. Tickets for Day Out with Thomas are $19 for ages two and up.
September 16 | Monarch Festival, Blank Park Zoo, Des Moines
Noon to 4 p.m.
The Festival will highlight the miraculous migration of the monarch butterfly and will offer everything from traditional Mexican dancing, puppet shows, monarch tagging, and habitat education to free seeds (limited supply) to start your own butterfly garden. It will feature a “Bug Parade” – so dress the kids up in their favorite insect costume!
September 16 | Fam Jam: The Okee Dokee Brothers, Cowles Commons, Des Moines
1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
This free family-friendly event at Cowles Commons will feature children’s pop band, The Okee Dokee Brothers; arts and crafts stations, bouncy houses, and food trucks.
September 20 | Des Moines Storytellers Project: Siblings, Forte Banquet & Conference Center, Des Moines
8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Presented by the Des Moines Register and sponsored by Mediacom, this event features stories from when local and notable storytellers experienced “love, rivalry, and lasting ties.” The Register’s award-winning journalists help community members draw out authentic, personal experiences and hone them into engaging dialogue. General admission is $10 and VIP tickets are $25 and include one free drink.
September 22 | Art on the Lake Festival, 4390 East University, Pleasant Hill
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Art on the Lake is an art festival is held at Copper Creek Lake Park along the Gay Lea Wilson Trail in Pleasant Hill. This family-friendly festival is free to attend, featuring live music, food, kids’ crafts, and more than 50 local artists.
September 22-23 | Iowa’s Latino Heritage Festival, Western Gateway Park, Des Moines
Saturday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The festival includes traditional Latin American foods from countries that include Cuba, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, and Argentina, and a variety of entertainment from martial arts performers to folkloric dancers, artists’ works and displays about the history of Latin American cultures. The family-friendly activities in the children’s area help to accomplish a cultural exchange. Activities range from jumping castles to pinata-making. Cost is $5 for adults and just $1 for kids. Parking is free!
September 23 | Applefest, Living History Farms, 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Spend the afternoon in our 1875 town celebrating all things apple! Try your hand at stirring the copper kettle of apple butter and take your turn cranking the cider press. Children’s games and crafts round out the fun.
September 25 | Lunch Hour Yoga, Central Library, Des Moines
12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Spend your lunch-break with some FREE yoga with other grown-ups! Shelby Kruse, of Pop-Up Yoga, will instruct a class designed for people of all skill levels. Bring your mat and head to the library’s west wing on the second floor. The series will continue on the 4th Tuesday of each month through November. Registration and submission of a liability waiver are required for participation in this event.
September 28 – October 7 | Luminarium – ALBESILA, Cowles Commons, Des Moines
9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
This interactive, giant art installation will have you immersed in unexpected, colorful Ways. Cost is $5 day-of standby admission and $15 for advance reserved time. Children 2 years and younger are free.
September 29 | Des Moines Moms Blog Family Fun Day, Centennial Park, 1255 Warrior Lane, Waukee
9 a.m. to noon
A morning of fun for the whole family! Tickets are all-inclusive and include all activities, snacks, a goody bag for each child ticket, and access to all giveaways as part of our raffle.
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.