Kids and Performing Arts: Some things just go together 

This article is sponsored by Des Moines Performing Arts

kid playing drums. performing arts. Des Moines MomWhy might you bring your young person to a dance, musical or theatrical performance?  

Let’s count the ways! 

We are natural players. Most of us had a phase (if we’re lucky, we’re still in it) in which we made believe, imagined, pretended to be somewhere else, someone else, with attributes that made us special. Whether it was with building blocks, dolls, costumes, trucks or dinosaurs, we likely tried on different personas and created whole new worlds.  

The performing arts offer each of us – children and adults alike – the opportunity to experience and express in ways day-to-day life may not foster. 

Seeing performers on a stage brings into three dimensions various forms of play that often feel faraway or unattainable. Discovery Parties take that one step further, giving young audience members and their families opportunities to create and become part of the art. 

kids looking at activities on tablesWhat is a Discovery Party?

Discovery Parties are an offering of Des Moines Performing Arts’ Wellmark Family Series. These parties take place in the Civic Center lobbies one hour prior to a public performance. They provide young audiences and their families with interactive experiences that are culturally and thematically tied to the performance they will attend. Guests are invited to explore, learn and create. Each Discovery Party is unique to the performance it precedes. 

This season alone you’ll learn about the animals that live in the Hundred Acre Wood, dance to live music by local professional guitarists and pianists, experience the effects of gravity and air, move your bodies, and feel the beats of your own drum!

Sensory Friendly, What Does That Mean?

Additionally, DMPA seeks to engage audiences of all learning styles. To that end, sensory-friendly performances are geared toward individuals with sensory sensitivities and their families. These dedicated performances contain all the joy of a typical theater setting with a few adjustments to help those in attendance feel more comfortable. This includes alterations to light and sound, a variety of seating options, an environment that will encourage movement and breaks when needed, ASL interpretation, and inclusive staff who will welcome guests from the moment they arrive. Families who do not require these accommodations are still welcome to attend.  

The intention of the arts is often to entertain and engage; sometimes to enlighten and educate. With the goal of providing all of the above, DMPA invites you to experience the wide variety of performances this season in the Wellmark Family Series. 

wellmark family seriesBoth season tickets and individual shows in the Wellmark Family Series are now on sale. To purchase your tickets, or to learn more about all of the offerings from Des Moines Performing Arts, head to


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