Things to do in Des Moines in November 2022

This article is sponsored by Polk County Conservation.

We are thrilled to partner with Polk County Conservation to bring you this monthly event guide. 

November 20 | Fall Makers Market, Jester Park Nature Center 12130 NW 128th St, Granger
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Polk County Conservation’s Fall Makers Market is a FREE, family-friendly event. Browse a diverse representation of goods from local makers, artisans, and handcrafters. The products are just as unique and inspiring as the setting. Check out the full list of vendors at

Hosted at the Jester Park Nature Center in Granger, you can explore the educational displays, relax on the back patio, or take a lovely hike after you snag the perfect holiday gifts. Makers Market is November 20 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

For more local gift-buying ideas visit our Holiday Market guide for a go-to guide for shopping local for the holidays.

Things to Do in Des Moines November 2022

Oct. 28 – Nov. 13 | Harriet the Spy, Des Moines Community Playhouse
Harriet M. Welsch is an only child raised by busy parents and her well-read, pragmatic nanny, Ole Golly. Harriet is also… a spy. When her secret notebook of blunt and hurtful observations about her classmates and neighbors is accidentally found, her friends turn on her. This family friendly production features local actors. 

Nov. 1 | Pb&j Club (Picture Book & Juice Club), Johnston Public Library
6:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
Kids in K-2 are invited to enjoy a snack with juice and a picture book read aloud with corresponding activities and crafts. For children ages 8 and under, a parent or caregiver is required to remain inside the library during this program. Registration is required.

Nov. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 | Tot Town, Valley Community Center
9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Bring the little ones out to play for a morning at the Valley Community Center. This event is free.

Nov. 3 | A Homespun Christmas Sip & Shop, West Des Moines
5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Join Homespun Elegance for their third annual holiday shopping event. The store will be closed during the day as they transform it into a winter wonderland for your shopping pleasure. Be the first to shop the new Christmas items from over 40 handmade Iowans.

Nov. 3, 10, 17 | Caterpillar Club, Reiman Gardens in Ames
Get outside and have some fun with a weekly storytime at Reiman Gardens. This program is designed for kids ages 2-5 with an adult. Program is included with general admission to Reiman Gardens.

Nov. 4, 18, Dec. 2 | Festive Fridays, Ankeny Uptown
An evening shopping experience surrounded by Uptown Ankeny’s holiday charm. Champagne & Mistletoe will be November 4 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., with the tree lighting at 6:30 p.m.

Nov. 5 | Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical, Des Moines Civic Center
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
Don’t miss Winnie the Pooh, Christopher Robin and their best friends Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Rabbit, Owl, and Tigger as they take the stage in this beautifully crafted musical.

Nov. 7, 14, 21 | Babies & Books, Ankeny Kirkendall Public Library
10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Join Ms. Kelly or Ms. Brittany for books, rhymes, songs, and bubbles, for babies ages 0-18 months.

Nov. 7, 14, 21, 28 | Pajama Storytime, Waukee Public Library
6:15 p.m.
Young children, ages 0-5, and their caregivers are invited to put on your PJs and stop in the library for around 25 minutes of interactive bedtime songs, stories, and fun. Registration is required once for the month, ONE registration will get you signed up for all of the month’s sessions.

Nov 7, 14 | Ceramic Tree Event, Glazed Expressions in Ankeny or Clive
Remember those ceramic trees at Grandma’s house? Recreate your own with a variety of ceramic trees and specialty glazes. Grab your friends, throw on an ugly sweater, and make it a fun day out.

Nov. 12 | Single Parent Break, Valley Community Center
4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Single parents need a break. This program provides a fun and safe environment for kids to play and enjoy dinner while single parents have uninterrupted time to run errands, finish chores, study, or simply have some personal time to recharge.

Nov. 12 | Downtown Winter Farmers Market, Court District Downtown Des Moines
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Downtown Farmers Market returns for a couple of winter events, once in November and once in December. The Winter Market takes place outdoors in the streets of the Historic Court District. Participating vendors will have seasonal local produce, meat, cheese, eggs, and local art available for purchase. There will also be breakfast and lunch street food options on-site.

Nov. 15 | Meals with Mentors, Science Center of Iowa
Girls in grades 7 through 12 can register online for this unique event where they will meet female undergraduates studying for a degree in a STEM field as well as working female scientists. The dinner will feature a keynote speaker as well as group challenges that give girls the opportunity to interact with as many of the attending female STEM professionals as possible. This event is free for girls to attend. Participants must register by Thursday, November 10. 

Nov. 18 | Kids Night Out, Blank Park Zoo
5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Parents can enjoy a kid-free evening while the kids enjoy the zoo. Kids will experience the exhibits after hours, an ambassador animal program, crafts, stories, games, and more. Pizza dinner is included. Registration and pre-payment are required.

Nov. 18 | Dallas County Drive-Thru Baby Shower, West Des Moines
9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Dallas County expecting parents, this is for YOU! Join The Short Years Partnership for a FREE Drive-Thru Baby Shower in West Des Moines on November 5. Every registered family will receive a bag of brand-new baby gifts, a tasty treat, and a chance to win big-ticket baby items in a drawing.

Nov. 18, 25 | Holiday Promenade, Historic East Village 
Holiday Promenade is an exciting celebration full of holiday-themed activities, entertainment, shopping, and family-friendly fun. Historic East Village retailers, restaurants, and attractions are encouraged to remain open until 9 p.m. each Friday.

Nov. 19 | Tail Waggin’ Readers, Grimes Public Library
9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Strengthen your reading skills with 15 minutes of reading aloud and 5 minutes of play with therapy dog, Liesl. This event takes place inside and is limited to one child at a time. Call the library to reserve your spot.

Nov. 20 | Ravioli & Gnocchi, Real Food 4 Kids
12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
As part of their Fall Sweet & Savory Dough Series, kids will make both homemade pasta dough and potato-based gnocchi dough. Your kid or teen will get lots of practice with dough just in time to show off their skills during the upcoming holiday season.

Nov. 20 | Locally Grown, Raised, & Created Fall Makers Market, Jester Park Nature Center
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Support local small businesses in the community this season while shopping at the Fall Makers Market at the scenic Jester Park Nature Center.

Nov. 24-27 | Disney on Ice, Wells Fargo Arena
We love this Thanksgiving weekend tradition in Des Moines. This year, see Encanto and Frozen on ice at Wells Fargo Arena. 

Nov. 25-27 | Festival of Trees and Lights, Iowa Events Center
As a fundraiser for Blank Children’s Hospital, the Festival of Trees and Lights is back with an in-person event this year. See beautifully decorated trees and shop the vendor shops for cute holiday finds.

Nov. 25 – Jan. 1 | Jolly Holiday Lights, Adventureland
5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Price: $25 per car ($20 when you buy online in advance)
A central Iowa favorite for more than 20 years, Jolly Holiday Lights kicks off on Black Friday. Support the Make-a-Wish foundation and treat your family to a night of lights and holiday fun. Tickets will also be available at Des Moines area Hy-Vee, Casey’s, at the front gate, and the Make-A-Wish Iowa office.

Nov. 26 | Christmas in Olde Town, Altoona
2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Olde Town Altoona transforms into a bustling winter wonderland for Christmas in Olde Town—a celebration of our community and the holiday season. Load up your sleigh with family and friends and join in for live music, walking tours, the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, a light show, and a special appearance from the Big Guy himself.
All of the family-friendly activities start at 2 p.m. when Santa arrives on a fire truck

 Send us an email if we missed anything, and we’ll add your event to the list.

We work hard to ensure the accuracy of this information. However, you should always call ahead to confirm dates, times, location, and other information before heading to an event or activity, since it may change.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here