What to do now that fall is finally upon us

Jill O'Brien

The month of October means cooler temperatures, cozy sweaters, apple cider and Halloween. 

It also means plenty of fall and Halloween events and activities will be happening around campus, as well as in Ames and the Des Moines area. Mark your calendars for some of the events happening throughout the month of October and read up on them here.


Paint Your Own Pottery: Skull Night

Memorial Union Workspace

Oct. 6, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

$4 for ISU students

Choose between a variety of favorite skull characters to paint at the first Paint Your Own Pottery night of the month.

Sugar Skull Embroidery

Memorial Union Workspace

Oct. 16, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

$24 for ISU students (supplies included)

Whether embroidery is a favorite hobby or it’s your first time picking up a needle, you’ll learn basic embroidery stitches and have the chance to choose several different patterns and colors for your sugar skull.

 Halloween Floral Design

Reiman Gardens

Oct. 17, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

$34 for ISU students

This week’s theme at Reiman Gardens’s floral design is Halloween centerpieces, breathing a little more life into leftover fall flowers. Prepayment and registration is required for the event.

Spirits in the Gardens

Reiman Gardens

Oct. 21 and 22, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Free for ISU students

While the afternoon starts with activities aimed more at children, Reiman Gardens’ yearly Halloween event will end with a walk to see the 650 carved Jack-O-Lanterns lined throughout the gardens.

Paint Your Own Pottery: Halloween Date Night

Memorial Union Workspace

Oct. 27, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

$4 for ISU students

Just a few days shy of Halloween, grab a friend and get two of one studio fees at the Workspace, complete with other sweet treats.

Halloween Costume Skate

Ames/ISU Ice Arena, 1507 Gateway Hills Park Drive

Oct. 29, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Come dressed in a Halloween costume for an afternoon of ice skating at the ISU Ice Arena. Admission is $2 for those dressed in a costume, skate rental is $3.

ISU Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble’s “Octubaween”

Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall, Music Hall

Oct. 30, 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The evening’s concert will feature a program of Halloween-inspired music written for a mix of tubas, euphoniums and trombones. The concert will also feature skits and, of course, candy.

Ghost Stories of Iowa State

2019 Morrill Hall

Oct. 31, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Iowa State University Museums will be hosting a night of ghost stories in Morrill Hall on Halloween night. The evening will focus on campus legends and history, as well as the ghosts haunting the halls we live and sit in each day.

Surrounding Areas

Spooky Paws Parade

Historic East Village

Oct. 30, 2 p.m.

Dogs? Halloween costumes? In the same place? Des Moines’ East Village will be holding a costume contest for dogs and a walk through the neighborhood for anyone to enjoy. Des Moines pet store Jett and Monkey’s Dog Shoppe will also be taking keepsake photos of any furry friends dressed up for the day.

Farms and Orchards

Events not your thing? Here are a few farms with pumpkin patches and apple orchards to fill up a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

Center Grove Orchard

32835 610th Avenue, Cambridge, IA

Open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

$9.75 on weekdays, $12.95 on weekends

Center Grove Orchard has a variety of fall activities at their farmyard, from a 20-acre apple orchard with 34 varieties of apples, a corn maze and a number of events happening throughout the month of October. If you’re looking to save some money before an outing, Center Grove gives a $2 discount to those who purchase tickets online.

Geisler Farms

5251 NE 94th Ave, Bondurant, IA 50035

Open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays

Free to visit the pumpkin patch

Owned and operated by the Geisler family for three generations, Geisler Farms raises corn and soybeans for the Des Moines area, but also plays host to their Growing Family Fun events during the fall. Growing Family Fun started as a way to increase tourism from surrounding towns like Ankeny and Altoona, hosting the public during September and October. Growing Family Fun also includes a corn maze, pumpkin patch and other activities.

Iowa Orchard

13140 NW 102nd Avenue, Granger, Iowa 50109

Iowa Orchard grows not only 20 varieties of apples, but also strawberries, peaches and pumpkins. The farm also sells pies, ciders, caramel apples and party trays that customers can purchase at the farm.