Autumn: The year’s last, loveliest smile.
In my last blog post, I listed my Top 7 reasons to look forward to Spring in Des Moines. Well I’m happy to report that spring definitely lived up to my expectations. And as we near summer’s end, I can attest that this season’s outdoor concerts, farmer’s markets and long daylight hours will make it a tough act to follow.
But never fear... Des Moines is pretty wonderful in autumn, too!
There’s just something about the fall. As a kid, it meant going back to school. This was good (in terms of a fresh start) but also bad (in the sense that the freedom of summer was over). As an adult with a year-round occupation, that sense of change doesn’t really apply anymore, but autumn still evokes a certain feeling... As the daylight hours get shorter and shorter, it’s like everyone’s trying to fit in as much as possible before winter.
Here are just a few of my fall favorites:
- Cooler weather! After the scorching summer we’ve had, any temperature drop would be a welcome relief. Just imagine, week after week of 70 degree days and nights where it’s still nice enough to be outside but may require a light sweater to keep the chill at bay. Sounds pretty fantastic, doesn’t it?
- Fall fashion. Boots... scarves... layers. I’d wear this look year-round if I could. Ladies, you’re with me, right?
- Football (...and tailgating!) As a Drake grad, I’m pretty indifferent in the Cy-Hawk rivalry. But regardless of who you root for, football season can be a pretty kickin’ time. Make friends with some die-hard fans who tailgate every home game, and prepare for some day-drinking! I can’t wait to rock my “Beat the other team” t-shirt.
- Harvest. It has shaped human cultures for thousands of years. Growing up in rural Iowa, I truly appreciate the beauty of harvest. The colors are rich and warm, and there’s not much more “Iowa” than watching the sun set over rolling amber cornfields.
- Trips to the orchard. Even city-dwellers can get a taste of harvest! Whether it’s apple-picking or pumpkin-choosing, there are a number of orchards in Central Iowa that provide a fun weekend excursion. Corn mazes, hay rack rides, farm animals... And Center Grove Orchard (between DSM and Ames) even offers a seasonal membership, so you can go back again and again!
- Halloween. Frightfully fun! Pumpkin carving, haunted houses, loads of candy and, of course, finding the perfect costume. I tend to stick with the redhead theme... Any suggestions for this year?
- Fall drinks. Yes, I’m mostly referring to pumpkin beer (!!), but there’s also Oktoberfest brews aplenty and hot apple cider (spiked or not).
Des Moines has some great events in the fall, too. Here’s a sampling of what I’m most looking forward to in the upcoming season:
- Mixology - Friday, September 7 - Mix. Mingle. Music. Science! The Science Center of Iowa’s monthly 21+ night kicks-off in September with music by the Snacks. [Full disclosure: SCI is my full-time job. But Mixology is SCI’s way to reach out to the YP crowd, and so far, even my less nerdy friends have really had a blast!]
- YPC’s Nonprofit Forum - Thursday, September 20 - Are you ready to find your heart in Des Moines? At the annual Nonprofit Forum, YPs can learn about 50 local nonprofits and how to get involved and give back!
- Whiff-It: Fall Classic - Saturday, September 22 - Take the field to support the Kiwanis Miracle League and Young Variety of Iowa. Register before September 1 to ensure your spot!
- Oktoberfest - September 28-29 - Beer, polka and lederhosen. Prosit! I’ll see you at the Hessen Haus.
- Color Run Des Moines - Saturday, October 6 - Don’t be alarmed if you see technicolor teams traversing the city... This 5K is so intriguing that even the girl who adamantly professes to be anti-running (me) has agreed to lace up her tennies and hit the course.
- Pollock Ball - Friday, October 19 - This year’s Art Noir costume gala celebrates the recent exhibition of Jackson Pollock’s Mural at the Des Moines Art Center. Vintage cocktail attire is encouraged. Tickets go on sale soon!
- The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure - Saturday, October 27 - The world’s largest fundraising event for breast cancer comes to Des Moines the last Saturday in October. Last year, attendance topped 21,000 pink-clad walk/runners.
- Election 2012 - Tuesday, November 6 - Love it or hate it, Iowa takes center stage during election season. Get involved and have some non-partisan fun with YPC’s election photo contest, YPC Vote!
What did I miss? Comment and let me know... I want to make the most of fall, because it’s going to be snowing before we know it!
(Blog title is a quote by American poet and longtime editor of the New York Evening Post William Cullen Bryant.)
-Emilee Richardson, YPC Social Media Coordinator