Things to do in Des Moines in April 2021

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This article is sponsored by Kites on the Green

We are thrilled to partner with the City of Johnston to promote their Kites on the Green event Saturday, May 1.

Get ready for the eighth annual Kites on the Green by attending one or all three pop-up kite flying events. The events will be held on April 10, 17, and 24 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will feature a few giant show kites. Come out to pick up your kite-making kit and enjoy the Spring weather while flying kites with your family prior to the annual Kites on the Green on May 1, 2021.
     • Saturday, Apr. 10: NorthPoint Church, 9901 NW 62nd Ave.

     • Saturday, Apr. 17: Terra Park, 6400 Pioneer Pkwy.

     •  Saturday, Apr. 24: Johnston Commons, 6700 Merle Hay Rd.

For information on how to build your kite from the kit, visit bit.ly/KiteMakingKit.
Kites on the Green will be held Saturday, May 1, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Johnston Commons, the green space near the Johnston Public Library. This annual event allows families to come together while socially distanced to fly kites and enjoy the beautiful weather. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we encourage families to practice social distancing. The event will feature giant show kite displays, free kite building, live music, 3D chalk artist, and quality outdoor time with family. We thank our top sponsors this year, including Veridian Credit Union and Mid-American Energy.

For more information about the event, or view the schedule, visit www.cityofjohnston.com/KitesontheGreen.

Things to do in Des Moines in April

April 1-May 31 | Wild Nights, Blank Park Zoo
7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Enjoy a visually stunning festival of larger-than-life illuminated animal-shaped Asian lanterns. Immerse your family in light and culture in a limited capacity, social distance friendly festival. $20 per person or $72 for a four-pack of tickets. Discounts available for members.

April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 | Family Night at Urban Air, Ankeny
Have some fun jumping together as a family. This event includes four attractions passes, four drinks, and a large pizza.

April 2 | Virtual Storytime: Silly Bunnies!, Des Moines Public Library
Join the librarians at the Des Moines Public Library via Facebook to hear the funny story Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas. This virtual storytime is aimed at children ages 3-5, but all ages are welcome.  

April 3, 10, 17 | DSM Book Festival, Online and in-person sessions
Book lovers can enjoy several virtual and socially-distanced in-person sessions at the DSM Book Festival, including hybrid hands-on workshops, book-themed happy hours, virtual children’s activities, and a virtual nationally acclaimed author speaker series. Check out the full schedule for the 2021 DSM Book Festival here.

April 3 | Family Easter, Living History Farms
Celebrate Easter with ongoing egg hunts (divided by age), games, baby farm animals, and more. Living History Farms’ Family Easter is full of traditional holiday activities with a small-town twist. Cost is $7 per person.

April 3 | Easter Family Fun Day, Valley Community Center
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Enjoy some free family fun outside at the Valley Community Center. There will be plenty of room to space out, play, and celebrate. Masks are required. There will be a family photo opp with All Things Good Bus and local photographer Anna Berry Images. 

April 3 | Eggstravaganza, Blank Park Zoo
10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Enjoy seeing the animals at the zoo and get your photo with the Easter Bunny. There is also a zoo-wide egg scavenger hunt.

April 6, 13, 20, 27 | Storytime To Go Kits, Johnston Public Library
Each Tuesday you can swing by Johnston Public Library to pick up a storytime craft and activity kit. Kits will be available between 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays while supplies last. This activity is geared toward kids ages 2-6.

April 7, 14, 21, 28 | Storytime Online, Waukee Public Library (Virtual)
Every Wednesday there is a new storytime video from the team at Waukee Public Library. Work this into your routine at home whenever it works for your family, and enjoy an engaging storytime experience.

April 10, 17, 24 | Pop Up Kite Flying, Johnston
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Celebrate kite flying month and prepare for Kites on the Green 2021 by participating in one of the pop-up kite flying events. The events will feature a few giant show kites. You can also pick up your kite-making kit. Enjoy time with your family by practice flying kites before the annual Kites on the Green event on May 1.

April 11 | Spring Fling Family Glow Bowling, Warrior Lanes
12 p.m. -2 p.m.
Have some family fun at a glow-in-the-dark bowling event. Cost is $60 for a lane with up to 5 bowlers, 1 large single-topping pizza, and a pitcher of soda. Even the music is family-friendly!

April 16-17 | Monster Jam, Iowa Event Center
Lovers of big trucks will have an incredible time at Monster Jam. Seating for this event will be sold via POD groups. Masks are required.

April 16-18, 23-25 | The Velveteen Rabbit, The Des Moines Playhouse
When a child loves a toy, that toy becomes real to the child. But is there any magic that can make a toy truly real? The Velveteen Rabbit has been loved by generations of families. You can livestream or view it on demand from home. This show is intended for viewers 5 years and older.

April 17 | Free Admission for Earth Day, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
Visit Des Moines’ favorite indoor garden for free in celebration of Earth Day. Masks are required for all visitors two years and older. Capacity will be limited, but pre-registration is not required.

April 23 | Spring Home School Day, Brenton Arboretum
Explore one of the best outdoor classrooms at Brenton Arboretum. Pre-register for this special open house event geared towards home school families to receive a packet of self-guided learning activities emailed right to your inbox. Do as much or as little as you’d like as you explore the Arboretum at your own pace.

April 23-25 | Junk JubileeIowa State Fair Grounds, Des Moines
Explore treasure from industrial to architectural salvage, galvanized to farmhouse, vintage to retro. Check the website for ticket prices and Covid updates.

April 26 | STEM Goes Red (virtual event) 
STEM Goes Red is about empowering girls in middle and high school to take control of their health and to inspire their future by providing knowledge and exposure to the many opportunities available to them through further education and careers in STEM. Click here to register

April 30-May 1 | Putt-Putt @The Park, Principal Park
Warm-up your putter for 18 holes of miniature golf winding throughout the home of the Iowa Cubs. Enjoy ballpark food and drinks and live entertainment throughout a round of mini-golf.

May 1 | Kites on the Green, Johnston Commons
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Visit the Kites on the Green Festival featuring giant show kite displays, free kite building, live music, a 3D chalk artist, and quality outdoor time with family.


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, as COVID guidelines are changing week to week, 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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