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Fall Arts & Entertainment Guide


The school year is well underway, schedules have stabilized, and the frenzy of summer events and festivals is finally winding down. The calm may be a welcome relief to some, but for you adventure-seekers out there, fear not. If you’re itching for something fun to do, look no further than our comprehensive guide to Des Moines metro events from now through December. And don’t worry — we’ll be back in January with our Winter Arts & Entertainment guide. For now, get out there and enjoy the arts, theater, music, sports and community happenings.


Because what is life without art?

“Iowa Women’s Bridge of Achievement” by Marybeth Heikes. Photo submitted


Harmon Fine Arts Center
1310 25th St., Des Moines
  • Through Oct. 14: “Vibrant Expressions” with five Iowa artists: Andrew Casto, Gyan Shrosbree, James Shrosbree, Aaron Tinder and Susan Chrysler White.


1520 S.W. Ordnance Road, Ankeny 
  • Through Nov. 30: Josh Sorrell, fine art oil painting. Reception on Thursday, Oct. 13, 5-7 p.m.
  • Through Nov. 30: Lainey Beck, fine art oil and encaustic. Reception on Thursday, Oct. 13, 5-7 p.m.


218 Fifth St., West Des Moines 
  • Through Dec. 31: “Local Impressions” with photographs by Victoria Herring and acrylic collage images by Marybeth Heikes. Reception on Friday, Oct. 14, 5-9 p.m.
  • Through Dec. 31: “Tale of Kitsune” by Mary Kline-Misol


4700 Grand Ave., Des Moines 
  • Through Dec. 11: “Hold Me Closer”
  • Oct. 15 – Jan. 15: “Alison Elizabeth Taylor: The Sum of It.” Artist lecture on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2 p.m.
  • Oct. 28 – Jan. 15: “Iowa Artists 2022: Miriam Alarcón Avila.” Artist lecture and reception on Sunday, Nov. 13, 1:30 p.m.

Mainframe Studios. Photo by Ryan Damman


900 Keosauqua Way, Des Moines 
  • Oct. 7: “Works of Growth + Recovery,” 5-8 p.m. Momentum Art Program celebrates its 18th annual exhibition, honoring artists living with disabilities and mental health diagnoses.
  • Nov. 4: First Friday open house, 5-8 p.m.
  • Nov. 26: Small Business Saturday open house, 1-5 p.m.
  • Dec. 2: Annual Ceramics Invitational, 5-8 p.m.
  • Dec. 17: Last Call shopping event, 1-5 p.m.


2411 Grand Ave., Des Moines 
  • Through Oct. 15: “Bananas” by Adele Renault
  • Through Oct. 15: “TMI” by Pref
  • Through Oct. 15: “Contemporary Abstraction”
  • Opening Oct. 21: “Human Nature” by Ruben Sanchez
  • Opening Dec. 2: Winter Group Show


120 Fifth St., Suite C, West Des Moines
  • Currently displaced from their 43-year home due to needed repairs to the historic building, Olson-Larsen Galleries has been hosting collaborative pop-up events in the area. For updates, check


Drama, musicals, comedy and dance 

“Cats” shows at the Des Moines Civic Center during Des Moines Performing Arts’ 2022-23 Willis Broadway Series. Photo by Matthew Murphy


120 Abraham Drive, Ames
  • Nov. 10-12, 18-20: “First Date”


1932 S.W. Third St., Ankeny
  • Through Oct. 9: “Borrowed Beats”
  • Dec. 2-11: “She Loves Me”


117 E. Salem Ave., Indianola
  • Oct. 21-23, 28-30: “Steel Magnolias”


201 First Ave. S., Altoona
  • Nov. 4-6, 11-13, 18-20: Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella”


Des Moines Civic Center & Stoner Theater
221 Walnut St., Des Moines • 
  • Oct. 7-9: “The Book of Mormon”
  • Oct. 7-16: “Sister Act Jr.” by Des Moines Young Artists’ Theatre
  • Oct. 25-30: “Fiddler on the Roof”
  • Oct. 25-30: “The Crown – Live!” at Temple Theater, 1011 Locust St., Des Moines
  • Nov. 5: “Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical”
  • Nov. 22-27: “Come from Away”
  • Dec. 9-18: “A Christmas Carol” by Iowa Stage Theatre Company
  • Dec. 22: “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical”
  • Dec. 27-28: “Bluey’s Big Play”
  • Jan. 3-8: “Cats”

The Des Moines Playhouse concluded its run of “Guys and Dolls” on Oct. 2 and returns with several more shows throughout their season. Photo by Steve Gibbons


831 42nd St., Des Moines 
  • Oct. 14-16: “Annie Jr.” by the Penguin Project
  • Oct. 28 – Nov. 13: “Harriet the Spy”
  • Dec. 2-18: Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella”


Harmon Fine Arts Center, 1310 25th St., Des Moines
  • Sept. 29 – Oct. 2: “The Bald Soprano”
  • Oct. 27-30: “Carrie – The Musical”
  • Nov. 17-20: “Silent Sky”


513 N. D St., Indianola
  • Oct. 28-30: “Trouble in Tahiti” and “Gallantry: A Soap Opera”
  • Nov. 18-20: “Little Women”


1900 Center Drive, Ames
  • Nov. 6: “STOMP”
  • Nov. 29: “A Charlie Brown Christmas”


2019 Grand Ave., Suite 100, West Des Moines
  • Nov. 4-20: “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley”
  • Dec. 16-18: “A Very Merry Tallgrass Holiday”

Live music

Just the highlights! 

Chris Tomlin and Hillsong United perform at Wells Fargo Arena on Nov. 16. Photo courtesy of Schmidt Relations


Des Moines Civic Center,
221 Walnut St., Des Moines 
  • Nov. 13: Joe Bonamassa at 8 p.m.
  • Dec. 23: Mannheim Steamroller Christmas at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

  • Oct. 30: John Williams iconic film scores will be honored. Pre-concert talk at noon and concert at 1 p.m., Sheslow Auditorium, 2507 University Ave., Des Moines
  • Dec. 4: Handel’s “Messiah” will be performed at 2 p.m. at Grace United Methodist Church, 3700 Cottage Grove Ave., Des Moines


Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut St., Des Moines
  • Oct. 15: “The Music of Queen”
  • Oct. 22-23: “The Firebird”
  • Nov. 19-20: “The Planets”
  • Dec. 31: “New Year’s Eve Pops: Frank & The Great Ladies of Song”

Noce’s co-owner and operator, Max Wellman, performs regularly at the downtown jazz and cabaret club. Photo courtesy of Noce


1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines
  • Oct. 2: Jeremy Camp in his “I Still Believe” tour at 7 p.m.
  • Oct. 7: Joe Satriani performs the “Earth Tour” at 8 p.m.
  • Oct. 13: The Manhattan Transfer with the DIVA Jazz Orchestra at 7:30 p.m.
  • Oct. 27: We the Kingdom at 7 p.m.
  • Oct. 29: Lindsay Buckingham at 7:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 3: Craig Morgan in the “God, Family, Country Tour” with Ray Fulcher at 8 p.m.
  • Nov. 12: The Black Jacket Symphony performs Led Zeppelin IV at 8 p.m.
  • Nov. 14: Indigo Girls with special guests Chapel Hart at 7:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 17: Dropkick Murphys with Jaime Wyatt and Jesse Ahern at 7:15 p.m.
  • Nov. 22: Steve Vai performs the “Inviolate Tour” at 8 p.m.
  • Dec. 15: An Intimate Christmas with Lorie Line at 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 16: Shaun Johnson & the Big Band Experience at 7:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 17: Tonic Sol-fa a capella quartet at 7:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 22: Michael W. Smith at 7 p.m.


223 Center St., Des Moines
  • Oct. 27: Jason Aldean’s “Rock & Roll Cowboy” tour with Chase Rice, John Morgan and Dee Jay Silver at 7:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 16: Hillsong United and Chris Tomlin at 7 p.m.
  • Nov. 17: Eagles in the “Hotel California 2022 Tour” at 8 p.m.
  • Dec. 7: Five Finger Death Punch and Brantley Gilbert with special guest Cory Marks at 6:30 p.m.


Home game details for your favorite local sports, through the end of the year  


Wells Fargo Arena
233 Center St. in Des Moines

Des Moines’ pro basketball team plays in the Western Conference of the NBA G League. They were known as the Iowa Energy until their purchase by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2017. 

Home games:

  • Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. vs. Sioux Falls Skyforce
  • Nov. 6 at 3 p.m. vs. Sioux Falls Skyforce
  • Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. vs. Grand Rapids Gold
  • Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. vs. Grand Rapids Gold
  • Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. vs. Motor City Cruise
  • Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. vs. Cleveland Charge
  • Dec. 29 at 7 p.m. vs. Raptors 905
  • Dec. 31 at 2 p.m. vs. Raptors 905
  • Jan. 1 at 2 p.m. vs. Texas Legends
Jack Trice Stadium
1732 S. Fourth St., Ames

Iowa State plays NCAA Division-1 FBS football, coached by Matt Campbell. This season’s home games, times to be announced:

  • Oct. 8 vs. Kansas State
  • Oct. 29 vs. Oklahoma
  • Nov. 5 vs. West Virginia
  • Nov. 19 vs. Texas Tech


Hilton Coliseum
1705 Center Drive, Ames

The Cyclones basketball teams compete in the Big 12 Conference. The men are coached by T.J. Otzelberger and women by Bill Fennelly. This season’s home games (men):

  • Nov. 7 vs. IUPUI
  • Nov. 13 vs. North Carolina A&T
  • Nov. 20 vs. Milwaukee
  • Nov. 30 vs. North Dakota
  • Dec. 4 vs. St. John’s
  • Dec. 11 vs. McNeese State
  • Dec. 18 vs. Western Michigan
  • Dec. 21 vs. Omaha

This season’s home games (women’s):

  • Nov. 2 vs. Winona State
  • Nov. 7 vs. Cleveland State
  • Nov. 10 vs. Southern
  • Nov. 20 vs. Columbia
  • Nov. 29 vs. SIUE
  • Dec. 11 vs. Jacksonville
  • Dec. 22 vs. Drake 


Knapp Center
2601 Forest Ave., Des Moines

The Drake University Bulldogs compete in NCAA Division-1 basketball in the Missouri Valley Conference. 

Men’s home games:

  • Nov. 3 vs. Minnesota Duluth
  • Nov. 9 vs. IUPUI
  • Nov. 14 vs. Wofford
  • Nov. 26 vs. Louisiana
  • Dec. 7 vs. Omaha
  • Dec. 22 vs. St. Ambrose

Women’s home games:

  • Oct. 30 vs. Northwest Missouri State
  • Nov. 7 vs. Green Bay
  • Nov. 13 vs. Iowa
  • Nov. 19 vs. Nebraska
  • Dec. 1 vs. Lindenwood
  • Dec. 18 vs. Southwest Baptist


Community festivals, holiday happenings, comedy, fun runs and more



• Wednesday through Saturday evenings: Cocktails and live jazz at Noce from 7-11 p.m., or until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. No cover charge during “Jazz on the House” on Thursdays. Open to all ages until 9 p.m. 1326 Walnut St.;

• Oct. 7, Nov. 18, Dec. 16: Family Fun Night at 6 p.m. at Jester Park Outdoor Recreation and Wellness Center; 12112 N.W. 128th St., Granger;

Oct. 7-8: Halloweenapalooza film festival at the Bridge View Center of Ottumwa. 5-11 p.m. on Friday, noon to midnight on Saturday. 102 Church St., Ottumwa; 

• Oct. 8: Cars and Coffee from 8-11 a.m. at 5901 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines;

• Oct. 8: Fall Festival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at South Sports Complex, 750 S. James St., Grimes;

• Oct. 8: Community Table: Storytelling & Local Food Festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Franklin Avenue Library, 5000 Franklin Ave., Des Moines;

• Oct. 8: Raccoon River Rally festival with cardboard boat races, fun zone, food trucks, beverage tent, business expo and live music. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Raccoon River Park, 2500 Grand Ave., West Des Moines; 

• Oct. 8: Bill Burr (Slight Return) comedy tour at 7 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena, 223 Center St., Des Moines;

• Oct. 8: Moonlight Seed Harvest. 4-7:30 p.m. at Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt, 11204 N.E. 118th Ave., Maxwell;

• Oct. 8: High Trestle Hawk Watch guided by expert birders at the High Trestle Trail’s main viewing platform. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closest parking is 2335 QF Lane, Madrid;

• Oct. 8: Eat.Drink.Architecture, a three-hour tour through the Drake Neighborhood, starting at the University Library Cafe, 3506 University Ave., Des Moines; 

• Oct. 8: Wauktoberfest from 5-11 p.m. Downtown Triangle at Ashworth Drive and Sixth Street, Waukee;

• Oct. 8-9: Madison County Covered Bridge Festival in Winterset;

• Oct. 13: Sip, Shop & Stroll at The District at Prairie Trail, S.W. District Drive, Ankeny;

• Oct. 14: Gallery Night at Valley Junction, 5-9 p.m. along 100 to 300 blocks of Fifth Street, West Des Moines;

• Oct. 14: ​​Whose Live Anyway? improv comedy at 8 p.m. Stephens Auditorium, 1900 Center Drive, Ames;

• Oct. 14-16: Iowa Home Show from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Varied Industries Building, 3000 East Grand Ave., Des Moines;

• Oct. 14-15: Fall Bulb Market. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, 909 Robert D. Ray Drive, Des Moines;

• Oct. 15-16: Great Iowa Pet Expo. 4-H Exhibits Building, Logan Ave., Des Moines;

• Oct. 15-29: Family Halloween at Living History Farms. Check website for dates and times. 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale; 

• Oct. 16: IMT DSM Marathon and Half-Marathon, plus the Bankers Trust Marathon Relay, Principal 5K Road Race and MercyOne Children’s Hospital Kids Run;

• Oct. 16: Geocache Pumpkin Hunt at 1 p.m. at Yellow Banks Park, Prairieview Shelter, 6801 S.E. 32nd Ave. Pleasant Hill;

• Oct. 20, Oct. 27, Nov. 3: Sip & Shop after work hours. Along Fifth Street in Historic Valley Junction, West Des Moines;

• Oct. 22: Iowa Inferno natural bodybuilding championships at Franklin High School, 4801 Franklin Ave., Des Moines;

• Oct. 22: Bondu Spooktacular. 2-4 p.m. at City Park, 201 Main St. S.E., Bondurant;

• Oct. 22: The Salvation Army: Unmasking the Singer. Costumed local celebrities will entertain to raise funds starting at 7 p.m.; Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines;

• Oct. 23: Trunk or Treat with Waukee Public Safety from 4-6 p.m., 1300 S.E. LA Grant Parkway, Waukee;

• Oct. 23: Community Jazz Center honors local jazz heroes at its Annual Hall of Fame and Special Recognition Awards at Noce. Reception and dinner at 5 p.m.; awards and performances at 6 p.m. 1326 Walnut St., No. 100, Des Moines;

• Oct. 25: Trick or Treat Around the Lake from 5-7 p.m. Copper Creek Lake Park; 4390 E. University Ave., Pleasant Hill;

• Oct. 25: Des Moines Storytellers Project: Obsessions as told by Des Moines Register journalists. 7 p.m. at Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines;

• Oct. 28: Wine, Witches & Brews, hosted by the Indianola Downtown Association. 5-9 p.m. in the Indianola Downtown Square

• Oct. 29: 5K Boos & Brews. Noon at Fox Brewing, 103 S. 11th St., West Des Moines;

• Oct. 29: Trick AND Treat with the Animal Rescue League. 5452 N.E. 22nd St., Des Moines; 

• Oct. 29: Trick or Trees at the Greater Des Moines BOOtanical Garden. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 909 Robert D. Ray Drive, Des Moines;

Oct. 29: Halloween Hikes: The Great Migration & Day of the Dead Festival. Register at 5-8 p.m. at Pammel Park Lodge; 1818 Pammel Park Road, Winterset

• Oct. 29: Charlie Berens comedy show at 8 p.m. Stephens Auditorium, 1900 Center Drive, Ames;

• Oct. 29-30: Reggie’s Sleepout. Gather a team and sleep on the field of the Drake Stadium in solidarity with homeless youth in Iowa. 2719 Forest Ave., Des Moines;

• Oct. 30: Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration of Mexican traditions. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Des Moines Art Center, 4700 Grand Ave., Des Moines;

• Oct. 31: Halloween on the Hill. Walk or drive through horrifically decked out historic homes in the Sherman Hill neighborhood. 6:30-8:30 p.m.


• Nov. 3: All Access Live! A live broadcast and taping of the Avey Grouws Band for Iowa Public Radio at xBk Live, 1159 24th St., Des Moines;

• Nov. 3: Discover Ankeny from 5-8 p.m. at FFA Enrichment Center, 1055 S.W. Prairie Trail Parkway, Ankeny

• Nov. 4-6: Des Moines Holiday Boutique at Hy-Vee Hall; 730 Third St., Des Moines; 

• Nov. 5: 5K Beer Run at 11 a.m. at Twisted Vine Brewery, 112 S.E. Fourth St., Des Moines;

• Nov. 10: 2022 Morsel Combat. 5:30-9 p.m. at Prairie Meadows Event Center, 1 Prairie Meadows Drive, Altoona;

• Nov. 11: Iliza Shlesinger’s “Back in Action” comedy tour at 7 p.m. Des Moines Civic Center; 221 Walnut St., Des Moines;

• Nov. 11: JP Sears comedy show at 8 p.m. 2100 N.W. 100th St., Clive;

• Nov. 12: Living History Farms Race returns after two years. Registration at 9 a.m. or online. 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale; 

• Nov. 12: 5K Beer Run at 11 a.m. at Mistress Brewing Company, 1802 N. Ankeny Blvd., Suite 108, Ankeny;

Nov. 12: Wine & Clay, a new event by the Des Moines Arts Festival. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Valley Junction Activity Center, 217 Fifth St., West Des Moines;

• Nov. 12: Bert Kreischer’s “The Berty Boy Relapse” comedy tour at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Des Moines Civic Center; 221 Walnut St., Des Moines;

• Nov. 13: Girls on the Run festival at 12:30 p.m. and 5K at 2 p.m. Principal Park, 1 Line Drive, Des Moines;

• Nov. 17, Dec. 1, 8, 15: Jingle in the Junction. 5-9 p.m. along 100 to 300 blocks of Fifth Street, West Des Moines;

• Nov. 18-19: Des Moines Whiskey Festival at The River Center, 340 S.W. Third St., Des Moines;

• Nov. 19: North Pole Craft & Vendor Show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Adventureland Inn, 3200 Adventureland Drive, Altoona

• Nov. 19: Champagne & Chocolate at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. 6-9 p.m. at 909 Robert D. Ray Drive, Des Moines;

• Nov. 19-20: Taylor Tomlinson in “The Have It All” comedy tour at Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines;

• Nov. 24: Des Moines Turkey Trot with 5K, 5 Mile and Tot Trot runs. Register online or on race day, 7-8:15 a.m. at Renaissance Savery Hotel, 401 Locust St., Des Moines; 

• Nov. 24-27: Disney on Ice presents Frozen and Encanto at Wells Fargo Arena, 223 Center St., Des Moines;

• Nov. 25: Festival of Lights starting at 5 p.m. in Winterset, 112 N. John Wayne Drive, Winterset;

• Friday evenings, Nov. 25 to March 31: Dome After Dark. The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden will be illuminated with unique lighting displays and luminarias. (No Dome After Dark on Dec. 9.) 909 Robert D. Ray Drive, Des Moines;

• Nov. 25-27: Festival of Trees & Lights at Iowa Events Center, 833 Fifth Ave., Des Moines;

• Nov. 26: Small business Saturday. Support local shops and restaurants around the metro.

• Nov. 26: Entirely Kids Day at the Des Moines Art Center. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 4700 Grand Ave., Des Moines;

• Nov. 27: Norwalk Tree Lighting & Santa Drive-Thru from 5-6 p.m. at O’Leary’s Celebration of Life, 1020 Main St., Norwalk;

• Nov. 30: The Illusionists – Magic of the Holidays at 7:30 p.m. Stephens Auditorium, 1900 Center Drive, Ames;

• Dates TBD: Holiday Promenade in the Historic East Village. Find updates at


Winterfest at Waukee’s downtown triangle. Photo courtesy of City of Waukee

• Dec. 1-4: Christkindlmarket. Experience a centuries-old European holiday tradition at Principal Park, 1 Line Drive, Des Moines.

• Dec. 2: Light Up Polk City from 6-8 p.m. in the Polk City town square;

• Dec. 2: WinterFest from 6-8 p.m. at Waukee’s Downtown Triangle, Ashworth Drive and Sixth Street; 

• Dec. 2-3: Hometown Holiday Celebration in Adel;

• Dec. 3: Polar Plunge supporting Special Olympics Iowa at Raccoon River Park, 2500 Grand Ave., West Des Moines;

• Dec. 3: Windsor Wonderland at Hy-Vee, 7101 University Ave., Windsor Heights;

• Dec. 3: Dazzling in the District at Prairie Trail, S.W. District Drive, Ankeny;

• Dec. 3: Family Christmas at Living History Farms. 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale; 

• Dec. 3: Merry & Bright Parade starting at 5 p.m. in Bondurant’s downtown area; 

• Dec. 3: Holidays at the Town Center from 6-8 p.m., Merle Hay Road and N.W. 62nd Avenue, Johnston;

• Dec. 4: 3K Winter Beer Run at noon at Confluence Brewing Company, 1235 Thomas Beck Road, Des Moines;

• Dec. 4: Grimes Holiday Celebration. 5-7 p.m. at Grimes South Sports Complex, 750 S. James St., Grimes;

• Dec. 6: Alton Brown Live: Beyond The Eats – The Holiday Variant at 7:30 p.m. Des Moines Civic Center; 221 Walnut St., Des Moines;

• Dec. 8: “Wheel of Fortune Live!” at 7:30 p.m. Des Moines Civic Center; 221 Walnut St., Des Moines;

• Dec. 9-10: Bells, Bows & Boutiques Tour, a self-guided shopping and dining road trip through four communities;

• Dec. 10: Santa Fun Run. 521 E. Locust St., Des Moines;

• Dec. 10: Home for the Holidays. 5-8 p.m. in the Indianola Downtown Square;

• Dec. 10-11: Winter Solstice Market runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. 116 S. First Ave., Winterset;

• Dec. 13: Des Moines Storytellers Project: Generosity as told by Des Moines Register journalists. 7 p.m. at Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines;

• Dec. 16-17: Light the Night and celebrate the arrival of winter with a hike, bonfire and cocoa. Jester Park Nature Center, 12130 N.W. 128th St., Granger;

• Dec. 31: Ultimate NYE 2k22 Gala. Holiday Inn, 6111 Fleur Drive, Des Moines. Tickets at ♦

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