Autumn is a beautiful season in Iowa, and the entire Midwest! Crisp air moving in and the leaves changing color, making the Loess Hills Scenic Byway even more breathtaking. After a few 100 degree days recently, I won’t lie that I was dreaming about jeans, flannels, and FALL! If it had you doing the same, check out this list of 14 Fall Festivals in Iowa you must experience this year!
Fall Festivals in Iowa You Must Experience
#1 FRYfest in Coralville, Iowa
FRYfest is an Iowa Fall Festival that is about celebrating ALL that is Hawkeye! There are tons of activities going on, as well as the World’s Largest Hawkeye Tradeshow! If you are looking for Hawkeye gear and products, this sounds like a place to check out! For 2017 they are celebrating the history of men’s and women’s basketball at a Hawkeye Hoop Salute. Stop by FRYfest and meet basketball greats from Hayden’s era, which includes the 1980 men’s and 1993 women’s NCAA Final Four teams.
#2 Monarch Festival in Des Moines, Iowa
The Monarch Festival is held at Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa. This Iowa Fall Festival highlights the migration of the monarch butterfly. Activities include traditional Mexican dancing, puppet shows, monarch tagging and habitat education, as well as limited free seeds to start a butterfly garden. If you take the kids, dress them up as insects for the Bug Parade.
#3 Oktoberfest in Des Moines, Iowa
Oktoberfest in Des Moines takes over the heart of the Historic Court District! With a Hofbrau Rooftop Bier Garden, Craft Beer Village and the Lederhosen Lounge, this Iowa Oktoberfest is not to be missed!
#4 Oktoberfest in Amana Colonies
Amana Colonies Oktoberfest is another Iowa Fall Festival not to miss. A parade, activities, and music in the colonies make it a family-friendly event for all ages.
#5 GermanFest in Guttenberg, Iowa
The 28th anniversary of Guttenberg’s GermanFest is in 2018! Did you know this festival has been named one of the Top 20 Events in Iowa by Top Events USA?! I did not but with it’s open air arts and crafts market, biergarten, kraut cook-off, hog roast, homemade beer tasting, lots of live music, food vendors, a 5K walk/run, kids’ games, chalk drawing, wiener dog races, performances by the UNI Dancers, and much, I can see why!
#6 Good “Vine”brations Harvest Festival in Fort Doge Iowa
The 3rd Annual Good “Vine”brations Harvest Festival is happening this fall in Fort Dodge, Iowa. This sounds like my kind of fall festival with winery tours, vineyard hayrack tours, and a grape stomp tournament!
#7 World Food & Music Festival in Des Moines, Iowa
The World Food & Music Festival in Des Moines, Iowa brings together food from around the world, live entertainment, and cooking demonstrations into one event. With $1 tastes and entrees for $6 or less you can fill up on delicious food at a great price!
#8 Kalona Fall Festival in Kalona, Iowa
The Kalon Fall Festival is a great way to enjoy the colors of autumn! Make sure you also check out their Antique Show and Handmade Arts and Crafts Sales during the festival.
#9 Madison County Covered Bridge Festival in Madison County, Iowa
The Madison County Covered Bridge Festival offers a parade, 5K, vendors, live music and tons of other activities!
#10 Walnut Antique Fall Festival in Walnut, Iowa
One of Walnut’s newest annual events is the Walnut Antique Fall Festival. If you love antiques, this sounds like a great place to shop while you enjoy the Autumn air in Iowa!
#11 Scenic Drive Festival in the Villages of Van Buren, Iowa
The Scenic Drive Festival sounds like Iowa wrapped up into an amazing two day event! It is the largest event that takes place in Van Buren County, and possible all of Southeast Iowa. You can find tons to do with several historic Villages hosting a variety of events and activities. There’s shopping, free tours of one of the largest Turtle Farms in the Midwest, pioneer-type demonstrations, and tours of the historic Iowaville Cemetery, Pioneer Log Cabin Tour, and more! If the kids come along, stop by Bloom and Bark Farm for “Fun Funky Stuff”!
#12 Pumpkinfest in Anamosa,
It makes sense that Iowa’s Pumpkinfest would be held in the pumpkin capital of Iowa! With dozens of food and craft vendors, kids’ games, one of the largest parades in all of Iowa, and giant pumpkins, I can see why Pumpkinfest has drawn thousands since 1989.
#13 Harvest Festival in Decorah, Iowa
Enjoy cider pressing, hayrack rides, a soup cook-off, kids activities and more at Harvest Festival in Decorah, Iowa!
#14 Nature’s Harvest in Honey Creek, Iowa
Held at Hitchcock Nature Center in Honey Creek, Nature’s Harvest is an all ages event including guided hikes, scavenger hunts, refreshments, and more. Put on your costumes and head out to celebrate fall in Iowa!