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« Previous Edition   |   This Iowa Travel Edition Posted on 08/05/15

Visiting Central & Western Iowa

As summer gives way to fall in Iowa, an array of eclectic events and activities continues throughout the central and western regions of the state. From Des Moines – and surrounding communities like Clive, Ankeny, and Altoona – to Cherokee and Council Bluffs in the west, the people of the Hawkeye State welcome late-summer and fall visitors with a wealth of special events, festivals, and attractions.

Kids and adults alike are invited to show off their creativity in Des Moines’ Western Gateway Park on August 29th. The 6th Annual Sidewalk Chalk Festival turns concrete into canvas – live entertainment, kids’ activities, and games create a festival atmosphere the whole family can enjoy.

Des Moines-area visitors can get out and appreciate the remaining warm weather at attractions like Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, home to over 1,200 species of plants, and the Blank Park Zoo, which encompasses over 250 acres near Des Moines International Airport. Schedule your zoo visit for September 24th to be a part of Zooktoberfest 2015 and enjoy live music, seasonal beers, and Bavarian-themed food amongst new animal friends.

To the northwest, Fort Dodge visitors can find a sense of the town’s rich history by visiting the Fort Dodge Museum & Frontier Village, open now through October 11th. Just a short distance up U.S. Route 169 in the Oak Hill Historic District, the Blanden Art Museum is another Fort Dodge treasure, boasting a vast collection of European and American art.

Travel north on Interstate 35 to reach the community of Clear Lake. The town’s sparkling namesake lends itself to an exciting range of waterborne fun, and the weather’s still right for boating, fishing, and more. While you’re in town, see a show at the iconic Surf Ballroom. Just off the shores of Clear Lake, the venue’s calendar promises an eclectic mix of performers this season – from Breaking Benjamin on September 30th to Sara Evans on December 5th.

Cherokee, in northwestern Iowa, invites families to celebrate Halloween at the 2015 Trick-Or-Treat Parade. On October 31st, kids come in costume, lining Main Street for the spooky spectacle, which embarks from Cherokee Fire Station at 12:30 p.m.

Situated on the shores of the Missouri River on Iowa’s western border, the Council Bluffs area is the perfect place to experience an all-American holiday season. Neighboring Omaha hosts over a month’s worth of special holiday events throughout downtown, in conjunction with the 2015 Holiday Lights Festival – all kicked off by the CenturyLink Thanksgiving Lighting Ceremony on November 27th.

Central & Western Iowa Hotel Map

Best Western Rewards

11 Best Western Hotels
in Central & Western Iowa

    Altoona Inn


    University Park Inn & Suites

    Metro North


    La Grande Hacienda


    Holiday Lodge

    Clear Lake

    Des Moines West Inn & Suites

    Crossroads of the Bluffs

    Council Bluffs

    Starlite Village

    Fort Dodge

    Pioneer Inn & Suites


    Regency Inn


    Norseman Inn


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Central & Western Iowa Events

October 2015

October 8, 2015
2015 Taylor Swift

Grammy winner Taylor Swift brings her catalogue of hits to the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, celebrating her album "1989." The show begins at 7:30 p.m.

October 31, 2015
2015 Trick-Or-Treat Parade

Costumed kiddies line Main Street in Cherokee for a spooky downtown parade, beginning at 12:30 p.m. at the Cherokee Fire Station. There will be plenty of Halloween fun and treats.

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