Looking for a fall festival to enjoy during sweater weather? Well, look no further. Get inspired by this list of Iowa Halloween events that are sweeter than candy.
Check out Iowa’s best pumpkin patches here.
Oct. 14: Halloween Moonlight Walk
The days are becoming shorter, the leaves are beginning to change color, and pumpkin spice will soon be added to everything imaginable. If you’re ready for autumn galore, be sure to attend the Halloween Moonlight Walk in Liberty on Friday, Oct. 14, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. for plenty of Halloween happenings. As you go on a treasure hunt around the pristine pond, you’ll run into a ton of friendly Halloween decorations and comical characters. Those brave enough to finish the adventure will receive a freshly-picked pumpkin and a take-home kit for decorating. Also, don’t forget your camera or phone since there will be a photo opportunity with the big lit letters spelling out “BOO” in the boldest fashion. This Iowa Halloween event is free to attend. For more information, visit northlibertyiowa.org.
Oct. 15: The Heart of Darkness Haunted Attraction
For almost two decades, The Heart of Darkness has provided Downtown Waterloo with frightful yet enjoyable Halloween entertainment. On Saturday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m., the expansive complex will comprise 13 not-too-spooky themed sections. Guests will be greeted by Darkhold Castle, Creeper’s Bus and House of Evil Dead. In addition, Claustrophobia Black Out Maze, Jack-o-Lantern Lane and the Goblin’s Lair are sure to scare. There are also scrumptious snacks, plenty of picture opportunities, scary movie showings, as well as a DJ. All this and more will be available at the magnificent Monster Midway, the star of the show. Additionally, a trick-or-treating event takes place on Kids Day, while the lights are on and the monsters are dozing off. Admission is $20. For more information, visit enterthod.com.
Oct. 21: Fall Shop Crawl
Get creative when concocting your best costume because the Fall Shop Crawl will feature an evening of delectable hot and cold beverages, a costume contest, fantastic holiday shopping opportunities with special discounts, and fun with friends and family. Returning for its second year on Friday, Oct. 21, at 4 p.m., this Iowa Halloween event will feature deals at all of the participating locations. You can take in the crisp, fall air in the nostalgic downtown setting and shop until you drop. The stunning array of shops includes local favorites such as The Makers Loft, Ten Thousand Villages, Revival Clothing Store and Beno’s Flowers. Be sure to make the trip because there is nothing more fitting than an autumnal bouquet of freshly-picked flowers alongside perfect pumpkins. A special Fall Business Crawl mug, a Downtown Iowa City tote bag and access to drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, will be provided at each participating shop, and are all included in the $15 ticket price. For more information, visit downtowniowacity.com.
Oct. 22: Boos and Brews Weekend: The Tappening
Get ready to celebrate! As part of the Boos and Brews Weekend of the Julien Dubuque International Film Festival, Five Flags Center is hosting The Tappening on Saturday, Oct. 22, from noon to 4 p.m. A bee lover’s dream come true, this extensive tasting features several local and regional brewers. The brewers will be serving guests with the most ghoulishly great brews that Iowa has to offer, so be sure to ask about seasonal specialties while you still can experience their fall-tastic flavors. And it only gets better from there. This Iowa Halloween event will also allow guests to compete in pickleball games and a cornhole tournament. At the same time, the atmosphere will be enhanced with live music from Joie Wails. Additionally, scary movie screenings will allow visitors to get into the spooky spirit under the stars. General admission is $40. For more information, visit fiveflagscenter.com.
Oct. 22: NewBo & Czech Village Halloween Parade
It’s time to get spooky as the Fourth Annual CR NewBo Czech Village Halloween Parade is proudly presented by Terry-Durin Company. On Saturday, Oct. 22, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., guests can prepare for the thrilling theme of Dark Harvest. The Dark Harvest Halloween Parade and the Dark Harvest Ball at the Chrome Horse Saloon are this year’s festival’s chilling highlights. All guests are encouraged to get into the fall spirit and attend these activities dressed in their most spell-binding Halloween costumes. Prior to the main event, from 4 to 5:30 p.m., the Creep Kid Zone will be available and feature face painting, a costume contest, door prizes and more. Admission is free. For more information, visit tourismcedarrapids.com.
Oct. 23: Make Your Own Jack O’ Lantern
Carve out some time to create the scariest or most cheerful toothy jack-o’-lantern this October at the Iowa Ceramics Center and Glass Studio. In a collaborative effort with Lion Bridge Brewing Company, this dynamic duo plans to present guests with the opportunity to create their own grinning pumpkin while sipping a local brew on Oct. 23 from 2 to 4 p.m. Participants in this spooky session will create a clay jack-o’-lantern using a variety of hand-building methods. After that, participants can embellish their masterpieces with glazes to give color, texture and a one-of-a-kind effect. Once dried, the projects will be sent back to ICCGS where they will get a unique clear glaze and undergo two firings in their kilns. Admission is $38 and will include an exclusive ceramics class, a colorful 4-in.-by-4-in. clay pumpkin masterpiece and a seasonal beverage. For an even more fall-tastic experience, be sure to ask for Lion Bridge’s seasonal specialties, including the Oktobot 3000, Zombie Awakening and Blue Ribbon Cinnamon Roll Stout. For more information, visit lionbridgebrewing.com.
Oct. 25: Grundy Family YMCA’s Halloween Carnival
The Grundy Family YMCA is hosting its annual Halloween Carnival, so be sure to mark your calendars. The event is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 25, from 3 to 5 p.m. and is sure to be overflowing with ghoulish games, raffles and crafts. The entire family can enjoy the costume contest, but participating in the fun will take the extravaganza to another level. There will also be plenty of candy and other sweets available to sooth the seasonal sweet tooth. Additionally, face painting and a photo booth are sure to put a smile on your face. For an Iowa Halloween event for boys and ghouls of all ages definitely check out his not-too-creepy carnival. Admission is $4 for kids; admission is free for adults. For more information, visit allevents.in.
Oct. 31: Halloween on the Hill
Give back for a good cause and get into the spirit of spooky szn at the same time at Halloween on the Hill in historic Sherman Hill on Monday, Oct. 31, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Residents of Sherman Hill will dress up their historic homes in frightful attire while guests help gather non-perishable food items for the Des Moines Area Religious Council Food Pantry. Numerous ghosts and ghouls will be in attendance, along with the historic mansions that will be haunted for just one night. Guests can also witness a live performance of Michael Jackson’s Thriller and a 7-ft. Frankenstein replica. But beware of Freddy Kruger prowling the streets; but no need to worry, he is completely harmless this time! After a night of tricks and treats, be sure to warm up with hot chocolate for sale to support Beacon of Life fundraising. A fun way to help people in need in the community, this neighborhood-wide haunted house is a bone-chilling Iowa Halloween event for families of all ages. For more information, visit facebook.com.