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Fall for Ames

Hey, it’s fall, y’all! And there are so many fun, fall-themed things to do in and around Ames that you need to get started NOW!

Head downtown for the popular Witches Walk. Downtown businesses will be open late and hosting snacks and sips from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6. This event invites the community to come out for a scary good time.

Don’t miss Reiman Gardens’ annual Spirits in the Gardens weekend. Tickets are on sale NOW! The fall celebration will be held the evenings of Oct. 21-23, with more than 1,000 carved Jack-o-lanterns, candy, entertainment, and more. Bring the kids in costume! 

Get your tickets early for Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad’s Pumpkin Express (Oct. 1, 8, and 15). Take the family on this hour-and-30-minute journey to the railroad’s own pumpkin patch. Children may select their perfect pumpkin before returning to town.

It wouldn’t be fall without visits to local apple orchards and pumpkin patches. Lucky for us, Ames has several fun destinations within easy driving distance:

  • Black’s Heritage Farms pumpkin patch is located just two miles south of Jack Trice Stadium. Choose from pre-picked pumpkins, or ride on the hayrack to the pumpkin patch to pick your own. Bring the kids!
  • Red Granite Farm , located west of Ames (2013 130th St., Boone) is a horticulturalist’s delight. The farm offers locally grown produce, farm-fresh eggs, perennials, and succulents, plus one of the most sophisticated selections of pumpkins and mums in central Iowa.
  • Located south of Ames on 32835 610th Ave., Cambridge, family-friendly Center Grove Orchard is the Disney World of pumpkin patches. This place has it all: 25 acres of pumpkins and gourds, more than 6,000 apple trees, a farmyard filled with activities (including a corn maze and super slides), plus dining venues, a coffee shop, and Country Store retail shop. Don’t miss the cider donuts from the bakery!

And that’s not all!

  • For fall produce – pumpkins, mums, apples, and more – visit Ames Main Street Farmers’ Market Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (through Oct. 8).    
  • Take a hike at McFarland Park (just north of Ames) or Ledges State Park (south and west of Ames). Both parks promise to have abundant fall color, hiking trails, water features, and picture-perfect spots for your fall picnic.
  • If you’re looking for inspo for your 2022 Halloween costume, look no further than Spirit Halloween, now open at North Grand Mall. 
  • To cap off your perfect fall day, order a pumpkin spice latte (or your espresso beverage of choice) at Café Diem, Café Milo, Burgies, Morning Bell, or other Ames coffee shop. 



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