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Iowa Gardener Cover




Upcoming Events for Iowa

To submit your gardening event to our staff, submit it using our contact form or send an email to



Every Thursday through winter, Ames
Youth Program – Caterpillar Club
Reiman Gardens

Features a different theme each Thursday as two books are read aloud, wraps up with related activities for two to seven years old, 10 to 11 a.m.




October 2, 9, 16, & 23, Ames
Family Yoga – Stories with a Twist
Reiman Gardens
Come to the Gardens, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. for this four-week program and warm up in these light-hearted parent/child yoga classes incorporating autumn stories.


October 2, 9, 16, & 23, Ames      
Introspective Writing
Reiman Gardens

This four-week program, 6 to 7:30 p.m., helps participants discover the connections between their inner life and experiences with the external environment through the five senses.  


October 4, 11, 18 & 24, Ames     
Parent/Child Dance & Movement
Reiman Gardens

This four-week program, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., will lead you and your young ones through a series of motions emphasizing external movement and a variety of dance techniques.   


October 4, 11, 18 & 25, Ames
Made in the Shade
Reiman Gardens

The first presentation covers building a basic shade gardening from scratch or improving an existing space. The second features foundation plants, the third exotic plants and the fourth ferns, 6 to 8 p.m.


October 7, Cedar Rapids
Seasonal Garden and Landscape Walk
Brucemore Historic Site

Explore 26-acres of historic gardens and grounds, 9:30 a.m., with head gardener. Details at or 319-362-7375.


October 8, Waterloo
Fall Tree Hike
Cedar Valley Arboretum and Botanic Gardens

Hike through the Arboretum, enjoy fall colors and learn more about Iowa’s trees, 2 p.m. Details 319-226-4966 or


October 9, Ames      
Public Film Showing: Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea
Reiman Gardens

The free film, 6 to 8 p.m., is about a non-profit community art project, which involves collecting, washing, and sorting plastic that has washed up on Oregon beaches, repurposing it into art.


October 10, Ames         
Herbal Preparations for Cold/Flu Season
Reiman Gardens
Learn how to make herbal teas and tinctures to combat cold and flu season, 6 to 8 p.m.


October 12, Ames
Brown Bag Lecture
Reiman Gardens

Bring your lunch, noon to 1 p.m., and enjoy an education program.


October 14, Decorah
Harvest Festival
Seed Savers Exchange, Heritage Farm

Celebrate the harvest with cider pressing, hayrides, food-storage workshops, a soup cook-off, and plenty of activities for kids, starting at noon. Details at


October 17, Ames
Floral Design Series Workshop
Reiman Gardens

Learn the basics of floral design with a different theme each session and take your work home, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.  


October 18, Ames
Behind the Scenes
Reiman Gardens

Join staff 11 to noon each month for an interactive, behind the scenes look at Reiman Gardens.


October 19, Madrid
Pumpkin Carving
Iowa Arboretum

Test your carving skills and enjoy a bowl of hot chili, a warm piece of cornbread and a cool dessert, 5 to 8 p.m.


October 21, Ames
Serendipity Dyeing
Reiman Gardens

Learn dyeing techniques using flowers, herbs, leaves, and a variety of everyday items. Different theme each session, 10 a.m. to noon.


October 21-22, Ames
Spirits in the Gardens
Reiman Gardens

Join in the spooky fun, 4 to 9 p.m. See 500 carved pumpkins lit against the evening sky. Trick or treat and other activities, including storytelling and more. Come in costume and bring a bag for candy.


October 21, Des Moines
Annual Symposium
Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

James Hitchmough from University of Sheffield will be the keynote on growing meadows from seed. Details at


October 21 and 28, Dubuque
Fall Clean Up Days
Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens

Volunteer groups, families and individuals are welcome 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. A light lunch provided volunteers at noon. Details 563-556-2100 or


October 21, Madrid
Ar “Boo” Ween
Iowa Arboretum

Wear your favorite costume and join the parade of activities and treats, 1 to 3 p.m. Enjoy hayrides, the hay maze and games at this fun family event.


October 21, Madrid
Ar “Boo” Scare
Iowa Arboretum

Walk the “No Return Hidden Trail” and ride the “Hayride to the Valley of Darkness.” Bring a flashlight, wear a costume and enjoy the cool night air, 6 to 8:30 p.m.




November 2, Ames
Crafty Cocktail Night: Upcycled T-shirts - Bags, Bracelets, Blankets, & Poms
Reiman Gardens

Bring in a handful of old t-shirts and learn how to repurpose them into a variety of useful and sporty items, while you sip on adult beverages in a beautiful setting 6 to 8 p.m.

November 4, Ames
Pom-Pom Party! - Wreaths
Reiman Gardens

Make your own pom-poms and combine them to create colorful, festive wreaths, 10 a.m. to noon.

November 5, Ames
Silk Painting Workshop
Reiman Gardens

Create beautiful images on a square silk scarf, 1 to 3:30 p.m.

November 7, Ames
Fall Pruning Workshop
Reiman Gardens

An informative and hands-on workshop designed to familiarize you with all the Ws – what, when, where, how, and why – of autumn pruning, 1 to 3 p.m.

November 9, Ames
Brown Bag: Nature at Noon - Holiday Decorating
Reiman Gardens

Enjoy a nature-based education program relating to the 2017 theme of water, noon to  1p.m. Topics range from gardening interests to current local science research, to holiday decorating, and more.  

November 11, Madrid
Wrappin’ at the Arboretum
Iowa Arboretum

Enjoy a breakfast burrito wrap, 8 a.m. to noon, then go shopping at the Iowa Arboretum Holiday Sale. Fee: $8

November 11, Madrid
Iowa Arboretum Holiday Sale
Iowa Arboretum

Holiday treats and sounds as the festive season begins at the arboretum’s Holiday Sale. All gift shop items purchased will get complimentary gift wrapping 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

November 14, Ames
Floral Design: Harvest Vase Arrangements
Reiman Gardens

Decorate for Thanksgiving with a spin on the classic arrangement highlighting autumn color and floating gourds, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

November 15, Ames
Behind the Scenes: Reiman Railroad
Reiman Gardens

Preview this spectacular holiday conservatory display and get inspired by the creativity and effort that make it all happen. Join different staff members, 11 to noon each month, for an interactive, behind the scenes look at Reiman Gardens.

November 16, Ames
Crafty Cocktail Night: Lightbulb Terrarium
Reiman Gardens

Learn how to turn burned out light bulbs into miniature terrariums, while you sip on adult beverages in a beautiful setting, 6 to 8 p.m.

November 17 - January 14, Des Moines
Holiday Exhibition
Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

Exhibition features more than 1,000 amaryllis throughout the conservatory, in addition to hundreds of tropical and temperate ferns, begonias, orchids, and more. The exhibition kicks off the Friday before Thanksgiving with the Botanical Garden’s holiday party, Champagne and Chocolate. For more information: visit, email or call 515-402-4274.

November 18 and 19, Bettendorf
Wallace’s Christmas Open House
Wallace’s Garden Center

Refreshments, holiday music, holiday items, train rides through the greenhouse, with 12,000 poinsettias, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Indoor play area for the kids. Also, many holiday photo-ops for families, and 12,000 poinsettias in our greenhouse. For more information, visit or call 563-332-4711.

November 24, Ames
Black Friday Family Tour
Reiman Gardens

Follow trained guides as they show you caterpillars, chrysalides and cocoons, and hundreds of native and tropical butterflies, 10 to 11 a.m. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the Reiman Railroad in the tropical Conservatory.

November 27, Ames
Winter Nature Meditation
Reiman Gardens

Get the most out of your nature experience with Camilla Kottman, expressive therapies instructor, as she leads you through progressive relaxation, guided imagery, and movement techniques to help promote wellness, warmth, and relaxation, 6 to 7 p.m.

November 29, Ames
Black Light Butterfly Roosting
Reiman Gardens

Learn the science behind the way many butterfly patterns fluoresce when exposed to ultraviolet light, and view them in a new way, as they clump together and begin roosting for the night, 4:35 to 5:45 p.m.

November 29 OR November 30, Ames
Wreath-Making Workshop
Reiman Gardens

Steps to use evergreens, specialty greens, and other materials to create your own seasonal decoration for your home, 6 – 9 p.m.

November 30, Ames
Crafty Cocktail Night: Holiday Garlands
Reiman Gardens

Create a festive holiday garland, while you sip on adult beverages in a beautiful setting!, 6 to 8 p.m.



December 2 OR December 16, Ames
Butterfly Blizzard
Reiman Gardens

Experience a different kind of blizzard – a butterfly blizzard in Reiman Gardens’ Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing. Opportunity to release your very own butterfly in this tropical, indoor garden, 8 to 9:30 a.m.

December 2, Madrid
Dad’s Belgium Waffles
Iowa Arboretum

Dad’s Belgian Waffles returns to the Arboretum, 8 a.m. to noon, to serve mammoth waffles that fill your plate and satisfy your appetite. Santa will fly in from the North Pole for this family event, $9.

December 2 – 17, Madrid
Iowa Arboretum

Iowa Grown Christmas trees decorated by local clubs, schools, and organizations. Free and open to the public, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturdays, noon to 4 p.m., Sundays.

December 9, Ames
Breakfast with Santa
Reiman Gardens

Families can enjoy a hearty and delicious breakfast buffet, visit with Santa, create their own holiday-themed crafts, and see the train exhibit in the Hughes Conservatory. Two seating options, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

December 14, Ames
Brown Bag: Nature at Noon – Sea Ice in the Arctic: Where We Are, Where We’re Going, and Where We’ve Been
Reiman Gardens

Enjoy a nature-based education program relating to the 2017 theme of water. Topics range from gardening interests to current local science research, to holiday decorating, and more, noon to 1 p.m.

December 16, Decorah
Winter on the Farm
Seed Savers Exchange, Heritage Farm

Hot chocolate, cookies, horse-drawn rides through the valley, and even an heirloom potato tasting,11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free, no registration required. Visit for more details.

December 19, Ames
Floral Design Series: Submersible Centerpieces
Reiman Gardens

Incorporate water into a wintergreen centerpiece, featuring cranberries and cloves, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. m



Contacts for facilities with multiple events

The Brenton Arboretum
Phone: 515-992-4211 

Living History Farms
Phone: 515-278-5286  

Reiman Gardens
Phone: 515-294-2710 


State-by-State Gardening assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of listed events. It is recommended that you verify the date, time and location of any event you plan to attend.