Des Moines Moms Guide to April Events 2019

This post is sponsored by the City of Johnston Kites on the Green.

april guide des moines moms

We are thrilled to partner with the City of Johnston to promote their Kites on the Green event Saturday, May 4.

Join in on the fun during the family-friendly festival featuring giant show kite displays, celebrity bol races, free kite building, live kids’ music from Debbie Doo Wop and Dynamite Dan, popular storytime, sidewalk art, face painting, and delicious food! The event is Saturday, May 4 at Johnston Commons, 6700 Merle Hay Road (near the Johnston Public Library) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information about the event can be found by visiting

Spring has sprung, and we are beyond thrilled to be able to get the kids outside to play at the park and go for walks around the neighborhood again! There are also great events kicking off around the city, including the opening day of Iowa Cubs baseball games and the Drake Relays.

And don’t forget Easter! Check out our guide to Easter Egg Hunts, for the best places to find eggs in and around Des Moines. 

April 2019 Events and Activities in Des Moines

April 6 | Sensory Sensitive Skate and Wheeling My Friend AroundSkateland Des Moines, 5621 Meredith Drive
9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Families with sensory sensitivities and individuals who use wheelchairs are welcome to attend a special skating event. No disco lights will be turned on and music will be very low (or off if requested). Admission to skate is $8 and skate rentals are $2. Non-skaters can walk out on the floor to help skaters.

April 6 | Midwest Local Vendor Market, Outlets of Des Moines 
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Each month, the Midwest Local Vendor Market features a variety of items including home décor, jewelry, clothing, nutritional and wellness products, handmade pieces, baked goods, and spa items. Sounds like a good excuse to plan a girls’ day out!

April 6 | Family Sing-Along, Clive Library
11 a.m.
Explore music as a family in a relaxed and playful setting. This 30-minute program is taught by local instructor and guitarist, Denise Forney. The class is free, but pre-registration is required.

April 9 | Iowa Cubs Opening DayPrincipal Park, Des Moines
6:38 p.m.
Take the family to an opening day at the ballpark. Get the first look at Chicago’s next wave of stars, taste test Principal Park’s new food and drink options, and of course, enjoy a ball game!

April 11 | Kids in the Kitchen with Hy-Vee, Clive Special Events Building
4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Join a West Lakes Hy-Vee Dietician for this fun-filled class. This session is great for kids ages 8-12 (and costs $15). They will learn about cooking utensils, recipe and label reading, and healthy-eating habits. Oh, and of course, cook some yummy food from start to finish!

April 12 | $5 Family Night, Science Center of Iowa
5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
With extended evening hours, your whole family can enjoy the Science Center of Iowa for just $5 per person (free for members). If you haven’t seen the Brick by Brick exhibit, the Lego lover in your life needs to go!

April 13 | Doll Tea Party Program, Living History Farms
11 a.m.
Experience a “formal” tea suitable for young ladies and gentlemen along with their favorite doll, teddy bear, or other stuffed companion. The program will include historic children’s games, a craft, and an opportunity to explore the Flynn Mansion. This event is ideal for families with children ages 7-13 years old. Tickets are $35 per person (or $30 per person for members).

April 14 | The Harlem Globetrotters, Wells Fargo Arena
2 p.m.
Your kids’ eyes will be wide with excitement as they experience the wonder of the Harlem Globetrotters for themselves.

April 16 | Family STEM Institute, Science Center of Iowa
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The theme for this session is Bit & Bots. Here you can introduce your child to the fundamentals of programming, robotics and coding, and explore the ways you can incorporate bits and bots into your child’s daily life. Registration for one adult and one child is $25 ($15 for SCI Members). Additional children or adults are $10 each. Children under 3 are free, and childcare is available.

April 19 & 20 | Monster Jam, Wells Fargo Arena
Friday: 7 p.m. Saturday: 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Kids (and kids at heart) will get a big thrill from watching six-ton machines do backflips, two-wheel skills, and other jaw-dropping stunts. It’s sure to be a night to remember.

April 20 | Downtown Earth Day Tour, Greater Des Moines Botanical Center
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Celebrate the seventh annual Downtown Earth Day Tour with a visit to the Botanical Garden, Iowa Rivers Revival (located at the Hub Spot), and the Science Center of Iowa. Enjoy a short walk or bike ride between these three locations to celebrate Earth Day. Drop-in activities from various organizations will be offered at each location along with a photo contest. Free admission is sponsored by Principal.

April 20 | Mayor’s Annual Bike Ride and Run for Trails, Principal Park
If your family loves to hit the trails, you’ll want to join this ride. Your registration fee (Adults: $35 before April 18; Kids 5-18: $5) goes toward funding new trail construction. The event will kick-off at Principal Park with breakfast from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. The 5K run and 1-mile family fun walk start at 9 a.m., featuring a route inside the stadium and shown live on the video board. Mayor Frank Cownie will lead the 22-mile ride, which leaves the park at 10 a.m.

April 20 | A Princess Mermaid Ballet, Des Moines Civic Center
1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
“Dive under the waves and immerse yourself in a mystical, underwater world. Fall in love with a princess mermaid as she falls in love with a man and is willing to sacrifice her life in the sea in exchange for becoming human.” The Des Moines Community Orchestra will enhance the production by performing an original score.

April 20–27 | Drake Relays Week
Don’t miss this premier track meet hosted by Drake University. Cheer on high school, college, and professional athletes, take part in a road race, and much more! 

April 22 | 40th Annual Beautiful Bulldog ContestDrake University Knapp Center, Des Moines
6 p.m.
The Beautiful Bulldog Contest, a Drake Relays tradition now in its 40th year, was the first-of-its-kind in the nation and continues to be a model for imitators from several states. During the contest, each contestant will walk the pageant runway. This is prime time for the pups to show off their stuff or do tricks. This event is free and open to the public.

April 23 | Every Woman Counts LuncheonIowa Events Center, Des Moines
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Join the annual Every Woman Counts Luncheon in supporting Count the Kicks and a mission to empower moms and save babies. This year’s event features Cara Brookins, a bestselling author and professional speaker, who, despite her lack of construction training, built a 3,500 square foot house with her four kids by watching YouTube tutorials.

April 26-28 | Junk JubileeIowa State Fair Grounds, Des Moines
Friday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Explore treasure from industrial to architectural salvage, galvanized to farmhouse, vintage to retro. A $25 ticket is good all weekend. General admission is $8 daily. Children ages 14 and under are free.

April 27 | Des Moines VeganFest, Atrium at Capital Square & Cowles Commons
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Come get rooted in connectivity to all things veganism: animal rights, food, health, and environmentalism. Back by popular demand, the Des Moines Children’s Museum will be on site with lots of kid-friendly activities. Plus there will be seed planting, kids yoga, bubbles, face painting, and more!

April 27-28 | Food & Farm Festival, Living History Farms, Urbandale
Saturday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
There’s a new festival in town. Local producers, brewers, makers, and artists will gather together on the front lawn of Living History Farms to celebrate everything that makes Iowa great! Bring the whole family or make it a date and enjoy some of the metro’s favorite food trucks with warm eats, cool treats, and bubbly drinks.

April 27 | Spring Craft Fair, Summerset Winery, Indianola
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Grab a glass of wine, shop with local vendors, and if the weather is nice, sit out on the patio overlooking the vineyard! Sounds like a nice little Saturday.

April 28 | Tiny Tot Triathalon Johnston Fire Station,10225 NW 62nd Ave., Johnston
1 p.m.
Kids in grades K-6 can raise money for Special Olympics Iowa and participate in a run, fireman’s crawl, and a mini Polar Plunge. Registration is required.

May 4 | Kites on the Green, Johnston Commons, Johnston
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The family-friendly festival will feature giant show kite displays, celebrity bol races, free kite building, live kids’ music, popular storytime, sidewalk art, face painting, and delicious food! 

Send us an email if we missed anything, and we’ll add your event to the list.

We work hard to ensure the accuracy of this information. However, you should always call ahead to confirm dates, times, location, and other information before heading to an event or activity, since it may change.

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Content Coordinator Megan doesn’t really fall into any one mom category. With three kids from ages 5 to 12, she’s been a working mom and a stay-at-home mom. She’s breastfed and bottle-fed. She’s kept kids on strict sleeping schedules in their own beds and also embraced the benefits of co-sleeping. She’s a big believer in finding what works for you and your kiddo (and it’s often different for each kid). Megan is an Iowa native and lives in Ankeny with her husband Darren. They love to travel and are often planning their next road trip (even it’s a year away). They also enjoy entertaining and are famous among their friends for throwing big bashes to celebrate the Olympic Games. But her everyday life is mostly comprised of playdates, trips to the park, and trying to stay ahead of the never-ending laundry pile.    


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