Guide to Fall Family Events in the Iowa City Area

Fall has arrived and with it comes free, autumn-themed, family-friendly events and activities! Start planning with this Guide to Fall Family Events in the Iowa City Area! Get your calendars ready, and choose a few activities to enjoy. Many thanks to our friends with The Bails Team Urban Acres Real Estate for making this guide possible.

Graphic: Guide to Fall Family Events in the Iowa City Area


Guide to Fall Family Events in the Iowa City Area

September

Weekend of: Sept. 16-18

What: Family Friendly Nights 
When: Sept. 16
Where: Wilson’s Orchard
Know Before You Go: Starting September 2, every Friday night Wilson’s will host family activities all night! Tractor rides till dusk ( weather permitting), kids crafts, painting, smokehouse and bakery specials, you-pick apples and flowers.

What: Aplefest
When: Sept.17- 18, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Where: Amana Colonies
Know before you go: Aplefest is a celebration of all things apple in the Amana Colonies. You’ll enjoy apple samples, treats, and the chance to take in the history and charm of the Amana Colonies.

What: Colony Pumpkin Patch Opening Day
When: Sept. 17, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Where: Colony Pumpkin Patch, North Liberty
Know Before You Go: Celebrate the opening day of one of our favorite local pumpkin patches! You’ll enjoy lots of games, fall-themed treats, and of course, picking your very own pumpkin. The cost to attend is $8.

What: Oktoberfest
When: Sept. 17, 11 a.m.- 9 p.m.
Where: Wilson’s Orchard
Know Before You Go: Enjoy hard cider, beer, live music, games, and German food! Admission is free, activities come with a fee.

What: Fall Festival
When: Sept. 17- 18, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Where: Bass Farms
Know Before You Go: Bring your family to pick out your pumpkins, shop the country store, and have some family fun! Admission is $10 per person, and ages 2 and under are free.


Weekend of: Sept. 23-25

What: Family Friendly Nights 
When: Sept. 23
Where: Wilson’s Orchard
Know Before You Go: Starting September 2, every Friday night Wilson’s will host family activities all night! Tractor rides till dusk ( weather permitting), kids crafts, painting, smokehouse and bakery specials, you-pick apples and flowers.

WhatKalona Fall Festival
When: Sept. 23-24, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Where: Kalona
Know Before You Go: Come and enjoy great food, live entertainment, and so much more in beautiful Kalona!

What: Fall Festival
When: Sept. 24- 25, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Where: Bass Farms
Know Before You Go: Bring your family to pick out your pumpkins, shop the country store, and have some family fun! Admission is $10 per person, and ages 2 and under are free.

WhatFree Yoga in the Park
When: Sept. 24, 9:30 a.m.
Where: College Green Park
Know Before You GoFamily friendly and all levels from brand-newbie to experienced yogi welcome!

What: Iowa City Farmers Market Kids Day
When: Sept. 24, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Where: Iowa City Farmers Market, Chauncey Swan Parking Ramp
Know Before You Go: The Kids Day at the Market is where kids get to be a vendor for a day. Kid vendors will set up outside of the ramp and offer items that they have made, grown, or produced themselves for sale.

What: Farm Glow
When: Sept. 24, 5 p.m.
Where: Bass Farms
Know Before You Go: Buzzard’s Glory Balloon Company will “glow” their hot air balloons at dusk! Admission for this event is $8 per person and ages 2 and under are FREE.

WhatAn Evening of Hocus Pocus
When: Sept. 24, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Where: Bloomsburry Farm
Know Before You Go: The movie will start as soon as it gets dark! This event will take place outside, with the film projected onto a bar. The ticket includes admission to the movie and many farm activities that will be open until the movie begins!

What: Leslie Odom, Jr. at Hancher
When: Sept. 24, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Hancher Auditorium
Know Before You Go: Leslie Odom, Jr.—as Hancher audiences know from experience—is a multifaceted, award-winning vocalist, songwriter, author, and actor. With a career that spans all performance genres, he has garnered Tony and Grammy Awards as well as Emmy and Academy Award nominations for his excellence and achievements in Broadway, television, film, and music. Tickets are available at the Hancher Box Office.

What: Farm Cycle
When: Sept. 25, 9:30 a.m.
Where: Iowa City Bike Library
Know Before You Go: Bike the farms! Each farm will be paired with a local chef serving seasonal food. Ingredients come from they farms we visit.

What: Try Fishing 
When Sept. 25, 1-3 p.m.
Where: City Park
Know Before You Go:  Fishing basics will be taught and kids and families will enjoy fish-related activities, including gyotaku fish painting, fish short stories, and a casting game. Bait and poles will be provided. Free admission.

WhatMove It! Dig It! Do it!
When: Sept. 25, 10 a.m.
Where: Coral Ridge Mall, located in the parking lot behind Target
Know Before You Go: This event is a must-attend for kids who love things that go! Participants will enjoy outdoor activities and tons of trucks and equipment to check out.


October

Weekend of: Sep.30-Oct. 2

What: Oktoberfest
When: Sept. 30 – Oct. 2
Where: Amana Colonies
Know Before You Go: Enjoy beer, live music, games, German food, and so much more all through the Colonies during this festival weekend.

What: Family Friendly Nights 
When: Sept. 30
Where: Wilson’s Orchard
Know Before You Go: Starting September 2, every Friday night Wilson’s will host family activities all night! Tractor rides till dusk ( weather permitting), kids crafts, painting, smokehouse and bakery specials, you-pick apples and flowers.

What: STEM Family Free Night
When: Sept. 30
Where: Iowa Children’s Museum
Know Before You Go: Join the museum on the last Friday of each month for free museum admission and a STEM activity!

What: 2022 Harvest Festival Starts (runs through Oct. 30)
When: Sept. 30
Where: Bloomsbury Farm
Know Before You Go: Enjoy pumpkins, farm animals, yummy snacks, and hours of play fun!

What: Oktoberfest at Hotel Millwright
When: Sept. 30 – Oct. 2
Where: Amana Colonies
Know Before You Go: The is a lawn party at Hotel Millwright as part of The Amana Colonies’ Oktoberfest! Enjoy live music events throughout the weekend! Admission is free, and great local beer and food will be available for purchase.

What: Fall Festival
When: Oct. 1- 2, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Where: Bass Farms
Know Before You Go: Bring your family to pick out your pumpkins, shop the country store, and have some family fun! Admission is $10 per person, and ages 2 and under are free.


Weekend of: Oct 7-9

What: Sidewalk Sales in West Branch
When: Oct. 7-8, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: West Branch
Know Before You Go: Enjoy special offers and great deals. Family features include: the Scarecrow Contest, Main Street StoryWalk, Outdoor Movie, and Critters of the Prairie.

What: Family Friendly Nights 
When: Oct. 7
Where: Wilson’s Orchard
Know Before You Go: Starting September 2, every Friday night Wilson’s will host family activities all night! Tractor rides till dusk ( weather permitting), kids crafts, painting, smokehouse and bakery specials, you-pick apples and flowers.

WhatNorthside Oktoberfest
When: Oct. 8, all-day
Where: Northside Neighborhood, Iowa City
Know Before You Go: The in-person festival returns, but Northside Oktoberfest in a Box is also available. For 2021, the Northside Oktoberfest will be composed of three different elements: Iowa City BrewFest, Festival in a Box, and the Outdoor Bier Hall.

What: Fall Festival
When: Oct. 8-9, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Where: Bass Farms
Know Before You Go: Bring your family to pick out your pumpkins, shop the country store, and have some family fun! Admission is $10 per person, and ages 2 and under are free.

What: Iowa City Book Fair (part of the Iowa City Book Festival)
When: Oct. 8, 10 a.m.
Where: MERGE Iowa City

What: Costume Party for Your Stuffie
When: Oct. 9, 1 -3 p.m.
Where: Sidekick Coffee and Books
Know Before You Go: Join author/illustrator Jennifer Black Reinhardt and the Sidekick Team for a SPOOKTACULAR costume party for you AND your stuffie! Jennifer will read her most recent picture book, Always by My Side and Sidekick will supply all sorts of crafty materials for you to create a costume for your stuffie! All attendees are encouraged to wear their favorite costumes. Registration is required: https://sidekickonline.shopsettings.com


Weekend of: Oct 14-16

What: Family Friendly Nights 
When: Oct. 14
Where: Wilson’s Orchard
Know Before You Go: Starting September 2, every Friday night Wilson’s will host family activities all night! Tractor rides till dusk ( weather permitting), kids crafts, painting, smokehouse and bakery specials, you-pick apples and flowers.

WhatFree Yoga in the Park
When: Oct. 15, 9:30 a.m.
Where: College Green Park
Know Before You GoFamily friendly and all levels from brand-newbie to experienced yogi welcome!

What: The Picture Show: Coco
When: Oct. 15, 11 a.m.
Where: FilmScence
Know Before You Go: Free for Kids! Adult admission is $5!

What: Fall Festival
When: Oct. 15- 16, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Where: Bass Farms
Know Before You Go: Bring your family to pick out your pumpkins, shop the country store, and have some family fun! Admission is $10 per person, and ages 2 and under are free.


Weekend of: Oct 21-24

What: Family Friendly Nights 
When: Oct. 21
Where: Wilson’s Orchard
Know Before You Go: Starting September 2, every Friday night Wilson’s will host family activities all night! Tractor rides till dusk ( weather permitting), kids crafts, painting, smokehouse and bakery specials, you-pick apples and flowers.

What: Solon Trunk or Treat
When: Oct. 22
Where: Solon Rec and Nature Area
Know Before You Go: Trunk or treat! All ages are welcome to come to SRNA to show off their costumes and grab some fun treats!

What: Fall Festival
When: Oct. 22-23, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Where: Bass Farms
Know Before You Go: Bring your family to pick out your pumpkins, shop the country store, and have some family fun! Admission is $10 per person, and ages 2 and under are free.

What: Press Coffee Halloween Party
When: Oct. 23, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: Press Coffee
Know Before You Go: Enjoy a Halloween Pawty and doggie costume contest!

What: Floating Pumpkin Patch
When: Oct. 23, 9:30 a.m.
Where: North Liberty Community Center
Know Before You Go: Jump into the indoor pool and swim to your favorite pumpkin. Enjoy raffles, a pumpkin decorating station and goody bags. Registration is required and opens on Oct 16. Open swim to follow.


Weekend of Oct. 28-30

WhatUniversity of Iowa Homecoming Parade
When: Oct. 28, 5:45 p.m.
Where: Downtown Iowa City
Know Before You Go: Sport your black and gold proudly while waving to Herky, grooving to the music of the Hawkeye Marching Band and Alumni Band, and enjoying the floats during the University of Iowa Homecoming Parade.

What: Family Friendly Nights 
When: Oct. 28
Where: Wilson’s Orchard
Know Before You Go: Starting September 2, every Friday night Wilson’s will host family activities all night! Tractor rides till dusk ( weather permitting), kids crafts, painting, smokehouse and bakery specials, you-pick apples and flowers.

What: STEM Family Free Night
When: Oct. 28
Where: Iowa Children’s Museum
Know Before You Go: Join the museum on the last Friday of each month for free museum admission and a STEM activity!

What: Shop-O-Ween Vending Bizzare
When: Oct. 28-30
Where: Coral Ridge Mall
Know Before You Go: This event allows local small businesses to showcase their products & services alongside your favorite department stores.

WhatUniversity of Iowa Homecoming Football Game
When
: Oct. 29
Where: Kinnick Statum
Know Before You Go: Iowa will take on Northwestern in this homecoming tradition. Check out our Hawkeye Football with Kids Gameday Guide before you go!

What: Owl-O-Ween Family Night
When: Oct. 29, 8 p.m.
Where: Macbride Nature Recreation Area
Know Before You Go: Come join us at the Falcon Shelter for a bonfire, s’mores, and, of course, owls! We will bring some of our owls for a night program around the bonfire.

What: 8th Annual Halloween Bash
When: Oct. 30, 1-3PM
Where: The Celebration Farm
Know Before You Go: After two years of uncertain times, we are THRILLED to announce that the ICM Halloween Bash is BACK! Join us for games, crafts and activities, indoor trick-or-treating, and new this year–a GIANT CANDY GRAB! Costumes are encouraged, but not required. And don’t forget your candy buckets, because you’ll go home with TONS of goodies! **Adults and babies under 1 year old are FREE.

What: Miles in the Maize Run
When: Oct. 30, 9 a.m.
Where: Colony Pumpkin Patch
Know Before You Go: Miles in the Maize is a unique running experience for people of all ages and abilities! With a 5k and Maize Mile, this event takes competitors through a unique off-road course weaving around a corn maze, pumpkin patch, and other beautiful fall Iowa scenery!

What: Super Hero Night
When: Oct. 30, 6 p.m.
Where: Iowa Children’s Museum
Know Before You Go: During Super Hero Nights, admission is free for families with children who have special health or sensory needs thanks to our friends at GreenState Credit Union. Enjoy a quieter and more welcoming environment throughout our exhibits.

Happy Fall! We hope you’ll enjoy these fall family events in the Iowa City area. 

This is a sponsored post. Iowa City Moms was compensated for sharing this piece. We love connecting our readers with people and organizations that are doing good in our community, and we think you will find this information helpful and informative!


About Our Sponsor

A photo of the Urban Acres Bails TeamHiring The Bails Team at Urban Acres Real Estate means you’ll have access to the real estate expertise you need anytime, anywhere. This real estate team includes Mike Bails, Phil O’Brien, Marcy Willier, Chelsey Riggan, Matt VandeBerg, and Briley McAtee. Together, they have over 50 years of combined experience and a deep understanding of the entire residential and commercial real estate picture in the Iowa City area – it’s what they like to call a panoramic view of real estate. If you are ready to buy or sell, give them a call today and tell them Iowa City Moms sent you!

Katie is a spouse, mother, and professional communicator. She became acquainted with Iowa City as a student at the University of Iowa, earning degrees in Journalism, Political Science, and most recently her MA in Strategic Communication. Katie and her husband met and fell in love in Iowa City, deciding to never leave. Their family can often be found eating their way through downtown, walking their dog in City Park, or cheering on their beloved Hawkeyes at live sporting events.

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