The best Des Moines area events, concerts and festivals for fall 2022 – Des Moines Register

The best Des Moines area events, concerts and festivals for fall 2022 – Des Moines Register

Just as the weather brings a slight chill to the air and the leaves starting turning, the signs of autumn in central Iowa signal a change with the entertainment taking the stages across the metro. Concerts from Greta Van Fleet to the Eagles, Broadway shows such as “The Book of Mormon” and “Fiddler on the Roof” and festive events including Oktoberfest and the Latino Heritage Festival roll through the Des Moines metro.
Here’s a look at some of the biggest festivities of the season, starting with a comedic Tupperware party and ending with shows to help usher in the holidays.
When: Sept. 20-Oct. 2
Where: The Temple Theater, 1011 Locust St., Des Moines
Tickets: Start at $35 and are available through
“Dixie’s Tupperware Party” features comedian Dixie Longate emulating the food storage-centered house parties. The production arrives at the Temple Theater for 14 shows starting Sept. 20.
Fun fact: When “Dixie’s Tupperware Party” first began touring a decade ago, it stopped in Des Moines first.
When: Sept. 21
Where:Wells Fargo Arena, 233 Center St., Des Moines
Tickets: Range from $49.50 to $79.50 via
The hard rock infused with psychedelic blues sounds of Greta Van Fleet come to Des Moines when the band plays Wells Fargo Arena on Sept. 21.
Some compare the sounds of the Michigan-based band to Led Zeppelin with lead singer Josh Kizska sounding a lot like Robert Plant. Josh along with his twin brother Jake, their younger brother Sam and friend Danny Wagner make up the band that kicked off its 42-city tour Aug. 16 in Quebec City, Quebec.
Greta Van Fleet released their first song “Highway Tune” in 2017 and propelled to mainstream success. Songs such as “Safari Song,” “When the Curtain Falls,” “You’re the One” and “Black Smoke Rising” gained a wide following. They won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Album for “From the Fire” in 2019.
More:Rock band Greta Van Fleet returns to Des Moines following their Elton John performance, Grammy
When: Sept. 22-24
Where: Lauridsen Skatepark, 901 Second Ave., Des Moines
Tickets: Free to watch
For the second year in a row, Skate DSM hosts the Des Moines Streetstyle Open at the Lauridsen Skatepark.
This Copenhagen Open-inspired skate contest runs from Sept. 22 when it kicks off at 5 p.m. and goes through Sept. 24 across multiple locations throughout the Des Moines metro. The event attracts not only local skaters to show off their skills but also competitors from around the world.
More information about this year’s event can be found through
When: Sept. 23-24
Where:Cowles Commons, 221 Walnut St., Des Moines
Tickets: $50 to $100 online for Sips & the City and $80 to $130 for the Grand Tasting.
Winefest organizers once again bring back their signature events when Sips & the City and the Grand Tasting return to Cowles Commons for the first weekend of the season.
From 6 to 9 p.m. on Sept. 23, attendees can sample wines and hors d’oeuvres while listening to live music. Then at the same time the following night, attendees can sample foods from central Iowa restaurants while tasting wines. 
When: Des Moines Oktoberfest, Oct. Sept. 23-24; Adventureland Oktoberfest, Sept. 24
Where: Court Avenue at Fourth Street and Adventureland Theme Park, 3200 Adventureland Drive, Altoona
Tickets: Downtown, $17 to $25; Adventureland, $54.99
While the original Oktoberfest takes place in Munich, Germany, in late September to early October to celebrate all things beer, the Des Moines area gets in on the action with festivities of its own.
The downtown Des Moines Oktoberfest event runs  Sept. 23-24 from 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. with live music, stein-holding competitions, a silent disco, a range of beers and more. 
Tickets for the event are $17 in advance or $25 for gate admission, and note that attendees are required to be at least 21 years of age. More information about this event can be found at
That same weekend, Adventureland Theme Park holds its own Oktoberfest on Saturday, Sept. 24, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Like the downtown event, Adventureland’s Oktoberfest will include live music — from bands like alt rockers Sister Hazel as well as the Iowa’s own Pork Tornados and Dan Finnerty’s comedy band The Dan Band — along with contests, games and rides. Tickets for the day start at $54.99 if purchased online at
When: Sept. 24
Where:Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines
Tickets: From $45 to $89 through
British rockers The Cult head to Hoyt Sherman Place on Sept. 24. The post-punk band is probably best known for “She Sells Sanctuary” from their second studio album “Love” from 1985 before breaking into the American metal market in the late ’80s with “Love Removal Machine.” The band released its 10th studio album “Hidden City” in 2016.
When: Sept. 24-25
Where: Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut St., Des Moines
Tickets: Prices range from $20 to $55 at
Guitarist Sharon Isbin joins the Des Moines Symphony in its first Harriet S. and J. Locke Macomber Concert that performs once-in-a-lifetime works with internationally renowned soloists. The first half of the concert features a trio of American composers including Kevin Puts’ “Heartland Canons.” Isbin performs Christopher Brubeck’s “Affinity,” a song written as an homage to his late father, jazz great Dave Brubeck, and composed for Isbin to perform, followed by Gershwin’s “An American in Paris.” And that’s just before intermission.
When: Sept. 24-25
Where: Western Gateway Park, 1000 Grand Ave., Des Moines
Tickets: Free
Iowa’s Latino Heritage Festival with a Taste of Latin America returns to Western Gateway Park Sept. 24 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sept. 25 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event includes food and music from local vendors and artists as well as a civic engagement and education soapbox to connect community members with candidates running for state and local office.
This marks 20 years since the festival first launched. More information about this year’s event can be found through
When: Sept. 30
Where:Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines
Tickets: $39.50 to $49.50 at
Funny guy Nick Swardson out of Minnesota is probably best known as Terry on “Reno 911,” but also appeared in “Grandma’s Boy,” “Bucky Larson” and his own shows, such as Comedy Central’s “Pretend Time” and “Typical Rick.” Swardson takes his tour, which will become his sixth stand-up special, to Hoyt Sherman at the end of September.
When: Weekends from Sept. 30 through Oct. 30
Where: Adventureland Theme Park, 3200 Adventureland Drive, Altoona
Tickets: Start at $39.99 online
A brand new Adventureland event this year is planned to recur every weekend starting on Sept. 30 through Oct. 30.
This family-friendly event will see the park take on a spooky tone after sunset with four haunted houses — themed mazes built for the occasion — and three “scare zones,” which are open-air-themed walk-through locations across the park.
The haunted houses include attractions titled “mAlice in Wonderland” and “Spirits of the Swamp” while the scare zones are themed “Death Metal Vampires,” “Arachnophobia” and “MasqueRAGE: The Phantom’s World.”
More information about the event can be found through
When: Oct. 1
Where: Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut St., Des Moines
Tickets: $15 to $61 at
The upcoming Des Moines Performing Arts Dance Series starts strong with this show from acclaimed choreographer Caleb Teicher, who uses the music of Eyal Vilner’s Big Band to accompany a Lindy Hop style of dance to life for audiences.
Teicher is known for working with world-famous talents such as Chris Celiz and Conrad Tao. 
When: Oct. 2
Where: Horizon Events Center, 2100 NW 100th St., Clive
Tickets: $29 to $49 through
Patrick Myers has been impersonating Freddy Mercury long enough that he’s become a great pretender.
Scheduled for 6 p.m. on Oct. 2 at the Horizon Events Center, attendees will have the chance to experience Myers and his band — collectively known as Killer Queen — play renditions of some of the classic songs from Queen’s catalog.
The group formed in the U.K. in 2013 and has been on this latest U.S. tour since early this year.
When: Oct. 7
Where:Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines
Tickets: $44.50 to $74.50 at
The guitar virtuoso brings his nimble moves to Hoyt Sherman Place in October. In April, Joe Satriani released “The Elephants of Mars,” his 19th studio album from his 35-plus year career in music. The artist is the headliner and founder of the all-star “G3” guitar extravaganza and the lead guitarist in Chickenfoot, the rock band that features former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar, former bassist Michael Anthony and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith.
When: Oct. 8
Where:Wells Fargo Arena, 233 Center St., Des Moines
Tickets: $50.50 to $105.50 at
Comedian Bill Burr pokes to moral boundaries with his hilarious anecdotes when he takes the stage at Wells Fargo Arena. He appeared in “Date Night” as Detective Walsh and in the fourth and fifth seasons of AMC’s “Breaking Bad” as Patrick Kuby. In 2015, he released the animated sitcom “F Is for Family” on Netflix, where he voices the lead character Frank Murphy. 
When: Oct. 7-9
Where: Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut St., Des Moines
Tickets: $40 to $150 through
Des Moines Performing Arts has the most amazing show to share with the arrival of the touring production of “The Book of Mormon.” You can read all about it now.
This Tony Award-winning comedy-musical will appear at the Des Moines Civic Center Oct. 7-9.
The show — conceived by the creators of “South Park” and with music from one of the composers behind “Frozen” — is a satirical comedy following Mormon missionaries Kevin Price and Arnold Cunningham as they are sent to Uganda (despite a preference to be sent to Orlando, Florida). 
When: Oct. 8
Where: Franklin Avenue Library, 5000 Franklin Ave., Des Moines, and the Northwest Community Center, 5110 Franklin Ave., Des Moines
Tickets: Free
This marks the inaugural Storytelling & Local Food Festival at the Franklin Avenue Library and the Northwest Community Center. The festival features children’s activities, food vendors and live performances including an appearance by the former first lady of Iowa Christie Vilsack at 2:30 p.m. and an evening of “scary stories” on the lawn of the Franklin Avenue Library.
The event is free to attend, and a full schedule of the day’s programming, as well as more information about the festival, can be found at
When: Oct. 8
Where: Raccoon River Park, 2500 Grand Ave., West Des Moines
Tickets: Free
For the second year, West Des Moines is rolling out the Raccoon River Rally. The event scheduled for Oct. 8 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Raccoon River Park includes a performance from local groups such as alt-rock country band The Nadas and the folk-rock band Stranger Than Fiction. Also part of the day will be food, beverages, biking and cardboard boat racing among many other activities.
More information about the event can be found at
When: Oct. 9
Where: Teehee’s Comedy Club, 1433 Walnut St.,  Des Moines
Tickets: $20 in advance and $25 at the door.
Teehee’s opened in late 2019, just a few months before the pandemic hit the United States, and reopened with comedian AJ Simmons as the co-owner in April. Teehee’s brings the laughs to central Iowa with Hari Kondabolu taking the stage.
One of the hosts on the podcast “Politically Re-Active,” Kondabolu is also known for his 2018 Netflix special “Warn Your Relatives,” which was released the same year he was named one of Variety’s Comics to Watch.
Kondabolu’s Des Moines performance is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 9. 
More information about the event can be found through
More:Des Moines comedian AJ Simmons buys Teehee’s Comedy Club, the destination for Iowa comedy
When: Oct. 13
Where:Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines
Tickets: $53 to $88 at
Jazz quartet The Manhattan Transfer heads out on a final world tour with a stop in Des Moines at Hoyt Sherman on Oct. 13. The Grammy Award-winning group fuses swing, R&B, doo-wop and jazz with the all-female Diva Jazz Orchestra backing. During their 53-year career, Manhattan Transfer’s biggest hit, “Boy From New York City,” came out in 1981.
When: Oct. 20-22, 27-29
Where: Stoner Theater, 221 Walnut St., Des Moines
Tickets: Start at $50.50 through
Earlier this year, Ballet Des Moines introduced an original ballet titled “Of Gravity and Light.” Like that ballet, “Salem” is a new work from the local company with choreography by Tom Mattingly, the ballet’s artistic director.
The new production will have performances on Oct. 20-22 and 27-29 at Stoner Theater with a narrative that speaks to the historical Salem witch trials.
More:‘Of Gravity and Light’ may be ‘the most ambitious collaborative work’ by Ballet Des Moines
When: Oct. 25-30
Where: The Temple Theater, 1011 Locust St., Des Moines
Tickets: $35 to $48 at
If you’re a fan of the Netflix series “The Crown” and like a good laugh, this is almost certainly the show for you. In the span of 80 minutes, two actors will affectionately riff on the story of how Elizabeth Windsor became Queen Elizabeth II. This comedy tells the story of Beth, an actress who was overlooked for the role of Queen Elizabeth, so she and her agent Stanley recreate the narrative of the Netflix show.
When: Oct. 25-30
Where: Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut St., Des Moines
Tickets: $40 to $150 through
“Fiddler on the Roof” returns to the Des Moines Civic Center with eight performances from Oct. 25-30.
The show, set in 1905, follows the lives of the inhabitants of the town of Anatevka, Ukraine, and is based on a series of stories called “Tevye’s Daughters” by Sholem Aleichem. As the title of the original stories implies, the show’s story focuses on a man named Tevye and his family — particularly his daughters who are looking to marry.
When: Oct. 27
Where:Wells Fargo Arena, 233 Center St., Des Moines
Tickets: $49.75 to $149.75 at
Ever since Jason Aldean released his debut single “Hicktown” in 2005, fans have adored his country rock vibe. The Georgia native heads to Wells Fargo Arena in October for his Rock n Roll Cowboy Tour that includes songs such as the country rap and Colt Ford cover “Dirt Road Anthem” and “Crazy Town,” his classic song that describes the Nashville music scene. Gabby Barrett, John Morgan and Dee Jay Silver open.
When: Nov. 12
Where: Valley Junction Activity Center, 217 Fifth St., West Des Moines
Tickets: Admission for Wine & Clay is $5 for guests age 13 and older with children 12 and younger allowed in for free. Tickets will become available to purchase online through on Oct. 4.
Valley Junction lands a new community event with Wine & Clay, which combines wine tastings with artists who work with pottery, tiles and other mediums.
The event makes its debut at the Valley Junction Activity Center on Nov. 12 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
When: Nov. 5
Where: Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut St., Des Moines
Tickets: $25 at $70 at
The cast of the Hundred Acre Wood is coming to Des Moines with all the expected stuff and fluff for a musical adaptation telling a new story of Pooh Bear and friends.
The show promises to showcase familiar Winnie the Pooh tunes from the Sherman Brothers — songs like “A Rather Blustery Day” and “The Wonderful Things About Tiggers” — alongside newer pieces from A.A. Milne.
This show arrives to Des Moines following its New York premiere in 2021 and subsequent final off-Broadway performance at Theatre Three at Theatre Row on Jan. 30. 
When: Nov. 13
Where:Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines
Tickets: Start at $45 through
The Indigo Girls — an American folk-rock duo made-up of Emily Saliers and Amy Ray — are coming to Des Moines’s Hoyt Sherman Place at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 14.
For the past three decades, the duo kicked off their career by winning a Grammy Award for their self-titled 1989 album “Indigo Girls.” Since then, the pair has put out songs like “Power of Two” and “Closer to Fine,” with their latest album “Look Long” coming out in 2020.
When: Nov. 17
Where:Wells Fargo Arena, 233 Center St., Des Moines
Tickets: Start at $129 through and
Classic rock band the Eagles — famous for hits such as “Hotel California” and “Take It Easy” —  will expand the “Hotel California” Tour to include a stop in Des Moines at 8 p.m. on Nov. 17 at Wells Fargo Arena.
The tour will include band members Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit, with Vince Gill, who started touring with the band in 2017 after the death of the band’s guitarist, Glenn Frey.
More:The Eagles bring their ‘Hotel California’ Tour to Des Moines and will play the entire album
When: Nov. 22-27
Where: Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut St., Des Moines
Tickets: $40 to $130 through
A musical based on a true story of 7,000 stranded passengers stranded in Newfoundland on the night of Sept. 11, 2001, “Come From Away” is coming back to central Iowa for eight performances starting on Nov. 22.
The musical previously came through Des Moines in early 2020 and was one of the last touring Broadway performances to play in the space before the pandemic shuttered stages across the nation.
More:Broadway shows coming to Des Moines include ‘The Lion King,’ ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ ‘Six’ and more
When: Nov. 22
Where:Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines
Tickets: Start at $40 through
Grammy-Award-winning musical artist Steve Vai, a renowned guitarist famous for collaborating with names like Alice Cooper and Spinal Tap, is scheduled to play Hoyt Sherman Place at 8 p.m. on Nov. 22.
Vai is also known for performing with groups like G3 — where he’s played with other names like Joe Satriani and John Petrucci among others — and Generation Axe, a supergroup that also features Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen, Nuno Bettencourt and Tosin Abasi.
When: Nov. 24-27
Where:Wells Fargo Arena, 233 Center St., Des Moines
Tickets: Start at $19 at and
You don’t have to talk about Bruno in order to attend the latest “Disney On Ice” performance coming to Wells Fargo Arena on Thanksgiving Day.
Scheduled to run with nine shows from Nov. 24-27, “Disney On Ice” is a touring production in which some of the Walt Disney Co.’s most memorable characters and stories are brought to life on the ice.
More:16 shows coming to Des Moines from ‘The Crown — Live!’ to family-friendly theater
When: Dec. 2-18
Where: Des Moines Playhouse, 831 42nd St., Des Moines
Tickets: Start at $29 at
The Des Moines Playhouse will be putting on its production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s adaptation of the classic fairytale “Cinderella.” This version of the musical is tweaked from the Rodgers & Hammerstein 1957 film both for the stage and with contemporary audiences in mind.
More:‘Next to Normal’ and ‘The Cake’ lead Cloris Awards
When: Dec. 7
Where:Wells Fargo Arena, 233 Center St., Des Moines
Tickets: Start at $29.50 at and
Heavy metal rockers Five Finger Death Punch, fronted by Ivan Moody, and country singer Brantley Gilbert are gifting the metro with a Christmastime tour stop in Des Moines.
The rock royalty members out of Las Vegas and Gilbert previously collaborated on a 2019 heavy metal remake of the 1998 Kenny Wayne Shepherd hit “Blue on Black” with Shepherd and Queen lead guitarist Brian May.
Five Finger Death Punch has a slew of popular rock songs like “Bad Company” and “A Little Bit Off” while Gilbert has topped the charts with country anthems “Bottoms Up” and “Country Must Be Country Wide.”
More:Five Finger Death Punch returns to Des Moines for a co-headlining show with Brantley Gilbert
When: Dec. 8-11
Where:Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines
Tchaikovsky’s ballet Nutcracker may be an internationally known piece of the live performance canon, but the version you can see in Des Moines is different than any other.
Ballet Des Moines’ annual performance of “The Nutcracker” is scheduled to open on Dec. 8 at Hoyt Sherman Place with shows through Dec. 11.
“I’m really excited that we are on the bleeding edge of transforming what education looks like at a dance company,” Blaire Massa, executive director of Ballet Des Moines, told the Des Moines Register prior to the 2021 debut of this arrangement.
As of reporting ticket prices have not yet been announced for this year’s performance, but more information can be found through
More:Ballet Des Moines’ new characters add modern twist to Tchaikovsky’s ‘The Nutcracker’
When: Dec. 9-18
Where: Stoner Theater, 221 Walnut St.
Tickets: $40 through
As fall turns into the holiday season, Iowa Stage Theatre Co. is rolling out its latest Christmas show, a stage adaptation of a classic familiar to most.
“A Christmas Carol” is a stage adaptation of the Charles Dickens novella — with nine shows from Dec. 9-18 at Stoner Theater — featuring the curmudgeonly Ebenezer Scrooge. Though the show is a tradition for Iowa Stage Theatre Co., this latest performance is refreshed iteration with all new sets.
Isaac Hamlet covers arts, entertainment and culture at the Des Moines Register. Reach him at or 319-600-2124, follow him on Twitter @IsaacHamlet.


Share This


Wordpress (0)
Disqus ( )