Halloween is a spooktacular time of year, and Iowa offers a wide range of family-friendly events to celebrate the season. Whether you’re into hair-raising science experiments gone eerie or need a sensory-friendly experience, there’s something for every trick-or-treater. The following are some of the top family Halloween events in Iowa that you won’t want to miss.
Oct. 6: Teen Halloween Event
Join West Des Moines Library for a family Halloween event in Iowa with a showing of the holiday classic, “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” The staple movie will be enjoyed with pizza, popcorn, costumes, crafts, games and more for guests in grades sixth through 12th. The Teen Halloween event will run from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free; registration is required.
For more information: wdmlibrary.org.
Oct. 13 to Oct. 22, Select Dates: Spirits in the Gardens
Kick off your Halloween celebrations at Reiman Gardens in Ames, a family-friendly event featuring a mesmerizing display of over a thousand carved pumpkins, illuminated in the enchanting backdrop of the botanical gardens. Perfect for families, this event offers a unique and magical experience, with other seasonal fun including chemistry experiments, trick-or-treating, Halloween costume contests and more. The fun will take place on select nights from 5 to 9 p.m.
Cost: $15; $7 for youth 2 to 12; and free for those 2 and under.
For more information: reimangardens.com.
Oct. 19 to Oct. 22 and Oct. 26 to Oct. 29: Night Eyes at Blank Park Zoo
Head to Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines for a not-so-spooky adventure. Night Eyes, a merry-not-scary tradition, allows kids to dress up in their favorite costumes and embark on a trick-or-treating journey through the zoo. Encounter costumed characters and enjoy festive activities along the way including carnival games, inflatables, light displays and more at this family Halloween event in Iowa. The special nights run from 5:30 to 9 p.m. on select dates through October.
Cost: $8 for general admission or $6 for members.
For more information: blankparkzoo.com.
Oct. 20 to Oct. 22 and Oct. 27 to Oct. 29: Family Halloween
Experience Halloween with a historical twist at Living History Farms in Urbandale. Family Halloween nights offer a family-friendly atmosphere with storytelling, pumpkin carving, pumpkin bowling and a spooky horse-drawn ride through the historic town, making history come to life in the moonlight. The fun will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and Sunday from 4 to 7 p.m.
Cost: $9 for ages 2-plus or $8 for members.
For more information: lhf.org.
Oct. 22: Great Pumpkin Party
For your little ghosts and witches with special needs, the Great Pumpkin Party in West Des Moines Valley Church has you covered with a sensory-friendly pumpkin bash. The family Halloween event in Iowa will run from 6 to 8 p.m. and feature accommodations like smaller crowds, quiet spaces, light/sound adjustments and more. Seasonal activities include science experiments, sweet treats, a petting zoo, a barrel train, carnival games, cookie walks, crafts and much more.
For more information: valley.church/great-pumpkin-party.
Oct. 28: Spooky Science at Science Center of Iowa
Get your science fix with a spooky twist at Science Center of Iowa in Des Moines. Spooky Science combines hands-on experiments, demonstrations and Halloween-themed activities that are both educational and entertaining for kids of all ages. Little witches and ghouls can enjoy hair-raising experiments, creepy-crawly critters and more fun. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: All activities are included with admission ($15) or free for Science Center members.
For more information: sciowa.org.
Oct. 28: Not-So-Spooky Halloween Party
Dust the cobwebs off your favorite costume and join Canoyer Garden Center in Grimes for its Not-So-Spooky Halloween Party, taking place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Visitors of the family Halloween event in Iowa will embark on a journey through a foggy enchanted forest as they groove to music, play an assortment of games and collect treats along the way. The spooktacular event will also offer a “tattoo” station, trick-or-treating, costume contest, warm ciders and more.
For more information: allevents.in.