5 Ideas for Summer Fun in Des Moines


summer fun in Des MoinesHere at Des Moines Mom, we are all about making sure that you and your family take advantage of summer fun in Des Moines! This is especially true for the summer months. When the kids are out of school and weekends take a more laid-back vibe, there is always something to see and do right here in the metro.

Here are just five of the many events you can enjoy with your family this summer.

5 Summer Activities

Downtown Farmers’ Market

Cost: No admission fee

How lucky are we to have so many Farmers Markets in the area? When my family is looking to make a morning out of the market we head downtown. There are so many amazing vendors with everything from produce and crafts to ready-to-eat food and drinks. There truly is something for everyone. We love heading down early and grabbing breakfast before we shop. Oftentimes there is live music and other entertainment. Vendor booths will still be spaced out in order to allow some social distancing. Don’t forget to bring a bag to hold all your goodies as you enjoy the market every Saturday from 7 a.m. to Noon this summer!

Urbandale’s 4th of July Celebration

Cost: No admission fee (except for fun runs)

After a one-year pause last summer, the Urbandale 4th of July Celebration is back on for 2021! Taking place July 3-5th, the festival will kick off with the annual parade that starts at 70th Street and ends on Aurora. If you have never been to this parade it is quite a sight! Make sure you bring sunscreen and a blanket or chairs along with something for the kids to collect all the candy and other goodies they will end up with. After the parade, head to the carnival at Lyons Park right across from Urbandale High School. With rides for kids of all ages, games, and local food vendors, it is a great way to spend a few hours or an entire day. Several fun runs during the festival include a 5K, a 1 mile, and a tot trot will help you burn the calories from all the yummy food vendors.

Des Moines Art Festival

Cost: No admission fee

Head down to Western Gateway Park June 25-27 to enjoy the Des Moines Art Festival! After a break last summer the festival is back and looks to be better than ever. There is always great art to look at as you stroll through the park. Whether you are looking for a new painting, photograph, or sculpture to add to your home, there is something for everyone. In addition to seeing the work of talented artists from Iowa and all over the country, there is also free entertainment each day of the festival.From music to dancing and even live art demonstrations you can easily fill a whole day with fun! Don’t worry about getting hungry or thirsty will you are there. With two food courts with multiple local vendors, there is sure to be something for everyone to enjoy.

Living History Farms

Cost: $16 Ages 13-59, $9.50 ages 2-12, free under 2

Living History Farms is a great place to spend a day and learn about Iowa’s past. Along with the outdoor museum that teaches about over 300 years of Iowa History through self-guided tours and demonstrations, there are lots of summer-only events you can take advantage of. This summer at Living History Farms you can check out historically accurate baseball games, medicine shows, and grains harvest to name a few. You can check out these special events in between touring other parts of the farm. From the Ioway 1700s farm to the 1850 and 1900 pioneer farm and the town of Walnut Hill, there is always something new to discover at Living History Farms.

Iowa Cubs Baseball

Cost: Tickets start at $9

Baseball is back at Principal Park this summer! Whether or not you’re a Chicago Cubs fan, you have to admit that Des Moines is pretty lucky to have this Triple-A Affiliate right here in our backyard. It is a chance to see the up and coming players for so many Major League Baseball teams, and even some current players who are in need of conditioning or other training. There is nothing better on a nice summer day (or night) than watching America’s pastime in the comfort of Principal Park. Taking in an Iowa Cubs game is really a great event for members of your family no matter their age.  And don’t get me started on the amazing food at the concession stands.

More Ideas for Family Fun

For more summer fun ideas, don’t forget to check out our Des Moines Summer Bucket List.  It was hard to narrow this list down to just five things so I would love to hear about events that are on your summer Must Do list!  Share them below and spread the fun!


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