Des Moines Moms Guide to March 2018

This post is sponsored by State Historical Museum of Iowa.


Des Moines Moms Blog is thrilled to partner with the State Historical Museum of Iowa to promote Adventure into the Past, a week-long spring break program, March 12-16.

Each weekday afternoon during spring break, visitors can come for an adventure into Iowa’s past. You can explore extreme weather, learn about archaeology aboard a battleship, and meet a mountain climber. It’s all happening during spring break at the State Historical Museum of Iowa.

Each day brings a new and exciting trip through time with artifacts, superhero crafts and an archaeological adventure. There is a movie with each topic that has a connection to Iowa, including “Twister,” “Superman Returns,” and a documentary about the USS Iowa battleship. Admission is free. The program is geared toward ages 6-12. Learn more at or on their Facebook event page.

This mom-approved list of activities includes more spring break fun, the St. Patrick’s Day parade in downtown Des Moines, and some creative spins on Easter egg hunts. We crafted this March activity guide with you in mind!

March 2018 events and activities

March 2-4 | Kidsfest 2018, Varied Industries Building, Des Moines
6 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. Sunday
Join Children & Families of Iowa Friday through Sunday for Kidsfest, which features family-friendly fun like inflatables, character meet-and-greets, crafts, and a talent show.

March 2 | Friday Funday: Pinocchio, Des Moines Community Playhouse
9:30 a.m.; 10:45 a.m.; 1:30 p.m.
Enjoy an interactive theatre performance made just for kids. Tickets are $6.

March 3 | Mother Son Fun Night, Pioneer Columbus Community Center, Des Moines
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Enjoy live animals from the Blank Park Zoo, a video game truck, “Ninja Warrior” style obstacle course, magician, and face-painting. Meet members of the Des Moines Police and Fire Departments, tour the Des Moines Boxing Club workout room, and test your sports skills with local sports teams. The event is designed for ages 5-12. Tickets are $10 and available online.

March 7 | Goldie’s Kids Club Iowa History Makers: Railroads, State Historical Museum
2 p.m.
Learn about railroad heroine Kate Shelley and the engineering of the bridge she crossed in 1881. Put your engineering skills to work building a replica of the bridge she crossed during the storm. Recommended for ages 8-12. Kids must be accompanied by an adult. 

March 12 – 16 | Adventures into the Past, State Historical Museum
1 p.m. 
Adventure into the past at the State Historical Museum of Iowa! Each weekday afternoon during spring break, March 12-16, visitors can blaze a trail on a different theme. Study artifacts, make superhero crafts, watch a movie, dig into archaeology and meet Charlie Wittmack, the first Iowan to climb Mount Everest. And the bonus? Admission is free.

March 12-16 | Spring Break Day Camps, Living History Farms, Urbandale
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Enjoy spring break without the hassles of traveling a long distance. Sign your child up for a 1-day or 5-day camp full of hands-on, interactive activities, or sign the whole family up for a 1-day experience at the 1900 Farm. Visit their website for camp fees.

March 12-16 | Spring Break Staycation Programming, City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation, Pioneer Columbus Community Center, Des Moines

  • Imagination Playschool: Monday – Friday; 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    $1.50 fee per child, $1 admission fee per adult spectator
  • Drop-In Art from After School Arts Program: Monday – Friday; 10 – 11:30 a.m.; Free for Participants, $1 admission fee per adult spectator
  • Sports Mini-Clinics: Monday – Soccer; Wednesday – Basketball; Friday – Football; 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    Free for Participants, $1 admission fee per adult spectator
  • Environmental education: Tuesday – Bluebirds; Thursday – Owls; 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
    Free for Participants, $1 admission fee per adult spectator
  • Family Open Gym Night: Friday; 5 – 8 p.m.
    $1 per person for ages 18-59

March 13-16 | Spring Break Week Programs, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, Des Moines
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden is offering an array of drop-in activities and special family workshops. Drop-in activities, which are free with paid admission, include make-and-take nature journals, DIY sprout houses, seed-matching fun, experiments, and games. Special family workshops will also be offered and cost for members is $20 youth/adult pair; $15 additional youth. Cost for nonmembers: $25 youth/adult pair, $20 additional youth.  

March 17 | St. Patrick’s Day ParadeStarts at 15th & Mulberry – travels north to Grand – then East to 8th St., Downtown Des Moines
Don your green and head downtown for the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Central Iowa St. Patrick’s Day Parade. See all-things Irish as lads and lasses stroll the parade route, following floats or handing out green beads. (Tag us with your family’s parade-watching pictures!)

March 17 | Staycation: A Journey in Art, Des Moines Art Center
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Drop-in for unique hands-on activities in the studios. The exhibition Wanderlust: Actions, Traces, Journeys 1967 – 2017 is a 50-year survey exhibition that considers the themes of action and exploration outside of the studio and how artists engage this theme in various ways. Chef’s Palette, the Art Center Café, will join the fun with a special kid’s menu. No need to register for these free spring break activities.

March 17 | Carnival Time, Urbandale City Swimming Pool
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Enjoy a large inflatable slide into the water, along with carnival games and prizes. Cost is $6 per person entering the pool area, and only $1 for annual pass holders.

March 17 | Spring Break Make-A-Shamrock, Des Moines Public Library
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Stop inside the Central Libary’s Children’s Area from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to make and take a foam shamrock for St. Patrick’s Day! Parent or guardian must be present with children. Craft available while supplies last.

March 21 | Goldie’s Kids Club Story Time, State Historical Museum of Iowa, Des Moines
9:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.
Celebrate Women’s History Month by reading “Kate Shelley: Bound for Legend” by Robert D. San Souci. Families will be encouraged to explore the museum to learn about other famous Iowa women. (Children must be accompanied by an adult.)

March 24 | Shh! We Have a Plan, Temple Theater, Des Moines
11 a.m. for sensory-friendly performance; 1 p.m. for a general performance
Based on the Chris Haughton book of the same title, this show follows the journey of some madcap characters, each of whom has a plan — they all want to capture a beautiful bird perched high in a tree. Tickets range from $5-12.

March 24-25 | Afternoon Fun with the Easter Bunny, The Tea Room, Des Moines
1 p.m.
The event will include a visit from the Easter Bunny, a digital photo, cookie decorating, a light lunch and a fun story reading. Tickets are $30 for all guests over the age of 2. Ages two and under are free.

March 25 | Spring Egg Hunt, Annett Nature Center, Indianola
1:15 p.m. check-in, 1:30 start time
This free egg hunt will allow kids (5-10 years old) to follow clues and search for eggs while enjoying a scenic nature hike on the Annett Nature Center property. There will also be a special hunt for kids ages four and under in the butterfly garden. Children must be accompanied by an adult. There will be crafts in the Annett Nature Center and a basket for egg recycling. Egg hunters will also be able to register for a raffle to win a prize. Online registration is required.

March 31 | Egg Dive, Urbandale City Swimming Pool
1:30 p.m.
Join the 8th Annual Egg Dive! This is a popular event, so come early! Children will be divided into age groups to dive for colored eggs in the pool. Each egg will be turned in for a prize. Diving will begin with the youngest age group and continue until all age groups have participated. Cost is $6 per person entering the pool area, and only $1 for annual pass holders.

March 31 | Annual Easter Treasure Hunt, The Bridge Campus of Meredith Drive Reformed Church, Johnston
9 a.m. to 10 a.m.; 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. (Guests should arrive 15 minutes early.)
Looking for an age-appropriate Easter egg hunt in a calm and inviting atmosphere? This Easter Treasure Hunt has a session for preschoolers through kindergarteners and another session geared for elementary kids in 1st-4th grades. Each session includes activities and crafts, storytelling, and hunting for special eggs. Each child will receive a treat bag.

March 31 | Eggstravaganza, Blank Park Zoo
Normal zoo hours
Join Blank Park Zoo with an Egg-stravangant day. Meet the Easter bunny, hunt for eggs, and enjoy other activities. This event is free with regular zoo admission.


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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